Headaches and sleep disturbances often go hand in hand. Headaches don’t only occur during daytime. Such attacks are also possible at night and can interfere severely with healthy sleep. Conversely, a bad night’s sleep might also lead to headaches. Apart from stress, colds and muscular tensions, sleep disturbances are a main cause for headaches.
Nightly headaches negatively influence quality of life
According to an article published in the German Journal “Der Neurologe & Psychiater” (The Neurologist and Psychiatrist) epidemiological studies show that three out of four chronic headache patients suffer from insomnia. The possible causes are diverse. For example, Svenja Happe of the Neurology Clinic in Telgte observed increased occurrences of restless legs syndrome with migraine patients. She also noted indications of a direct link between narcolepsy and migraines. But even headache medication can provoke sleep problems.
Sleep-related headaches like migraines or cluster headaches don’t only have a negative influence on sleep itself. Nightly headaches triggered by sleep-maintenance insomnia interfere with nightly regeneration of body and mind. This in turn has an effect on daily well-being and quality of life. Instead of energized and well-rested, those afflicted mostly wake up feeling tired and exhausted. In the course of the day symptoms like tiredness, irritability, absent-mindedness and a decrease in productivity might occur.
Help with nightly migraine attacks
Migraines don’t only happen during the day, they often haunt patients at night too. They usually occur during REM phases and have a negative influence on subsequent deeper levels of sleep. It is also assumed that migraine patients pass through fewer sleep cycles than others. Even minor everyday changes can contribute to some relief.
Stress is known to be a trigger factor for migraines. In order to leave everyday stress and worries behind, relaxation is key. Apart from relaxation techniques like yoga, autogenic training and progressive muscle relaxation according to Jacobson, conscious abdominal breathing can contribute as a preventive:
Sit up in a chair or on the floor. The spine should be as straight as possible. Keep your head up and your chin parallel to the ground. Put your hands on your stomach and breathe in and out against your hands, in a concentrated and relaxed manner.
Healthy inclined sleep
Sleeping in an inclined position has positive effects on various illnesses and ailments such as Alzheimer’s, restless legs syndrome, sleep apnoea and snoring. It can also bring relief with migraines. With its tilted body positioning of 3.5° to 5.5°, the SAMINA Gravity Inclined Sleeping therapy can activate health-beneficial gravity stimuli during sleep. In connection with nature-conform SAMINA sleeping systems, this can prevent or alleviate various health problems.
Dehydration is regarded as a trigger for headaches. Make sure to drink at least 1.5 to 2.5 litres of liquids in a day. Water, mineral water, unsweetened tea and spritzers are a particularly good choice.
Regular sleep-wake cycles
Changes in daily rhythms/rhythms of life such as weekends, vacations or travelling can lead to migraine attacks. Try to maintain your personal rhythm even on weekends and vacations. Besides regular mealtimes this applies to sleep-wake cycles in particular. Be mindful of keeping your bedtime and rising time as consistent as possible.