Sleep Deprivation and Migraines

Sleep Deprivation and Migraines

It is well known that sleep deprivation can cause headaches, but did you know that there is a connection between migraine and sleep? According to the World Health Organization, about 50% of women and 10% of men suffer from migraines. There are a number of things that can trigger migraines, but the most common causes include stress, caffeine, lack of sleep, hormones, and food. The good news is that you can prevent migraine attacks from occurring by getting a good night’s rest. In this article, we describe how sleep deprivation and migraine are connected and how to prevent them from happening.

What is Sleep Deprivation?

A lack of sleep differs from insomnia because when someone is deprived of sleep, he or she have trouble falling asleep or staying asleep. If you’re not getting enough sleep, it might be a result of several barriers, including occupations with long or irregular work hours, substance abuse, stress and anxiety, medications, or medical conditions that disturb sleep. People who experience sleep deprivation don’t sleep enough because of these barriers that prevent them from dedicating enough time to sleep.

Some people have more frequent nightmares than others. If you find yourself waking frequently throughout the night, it could be a sign of restless sleep. Sleep deprivation is a significant cause of reduced cognitive performance and focus, excessive daytime sleepiness, mood changes, and trouble with memory and decision-making. Sleep deprivation may also have an effect on the severity of migraines in some people.

What is a Migraine?

Migraines are headaches that have varying degrees of severity, from mild throbbing to excruciating throbbing and pulsing. Migraines can be accompanied by nausea, vomiting, and extreme sensitivity to light and sound. Migraine attacks can last for hours to days and cause such excruciating pain that it interferes with your daily activities.

Types of Migraines

Migraine headaches can be very painful and debilitating, but there are several different types of migraines:

Migraine with aura (complicated migraine): About half of people with migraine headaches experience an aura.

Migraine without aura (common migraine): This kind of migraine is characterized by its rapid onset and severe intensity. The symptoms are the same, but that phase doesn’t happen.

Migraine without head pain: “Silent Migraine” is a type of migraine that includes the aura symptoms but not the headache that typically follows.

Hemiplegic migraine: You will have temporary paralysis or neurological or sensory changes on one side of your body. The onset of the headache may be associated with temporary numbness and tingling on one side of your body, a loss of sensation, and dizziness or vision changes. Sometimes it includes head pain and sometimes it doesn’t.

Retinal migraine (ocular migraine): When you have a temporary, partial, or complete loss of vision in one of your eyes, along with a dull ache behind your eye, there’s a possibility you’ll develop an infection that spreads into your brain. Vision loss can last a few minutes or up to a month or longer. You should always report a migraine that doesn’t go away, to a healthcare provider so he or she can evaluate it and figure out what is going on.

Chronic migraine: A chronic migraine is when you have migraine headaches that occur at least 15 days each month. You may feel the pain that varies in intensity and location, and there’s no way to describe it as the symptoms change frequently. Chronic migraine sufferers should consider reducing their use of medications as their headache frequency will probably increase due to the consumption of medicines.

Migraine with brainstem aura. This migraine causes vertigo, slurred speech, double vision, or loss of balance that appears before the headache. The headache pain may affect back of your head. If this symptom occurs suddenly, it can be associated with the inability to speak properly, ringing in the ears, and vomiting.

Status migrainous. It’s a rare and severe type of migraine that can last longer than 72 hours. The headache pain and nausea can be extremely bad. Some medications, or a medication withdrawal, can cause you to have headaches like this.


How Are Sleep Deprivation and Migraines interrelated?

Migraine attacks tend to occur between 4:00 a.m. and 9:00 a.m., which might suggest a timing mechanism related to circadian rhythms or sleep. Lack of sleep is a well-known trigger, as is too much sleep (such as lying in at the weekend. Working in shift hours and jet lag is likely to be triggered by some people, making it possible that the circadian clock, as well as the sleep-wake cycle. Excessive sleepiness in the lead-up to migraine can be a signal that there’s an increased likelihood of a migraine attack. Sleeping through a migraine attack can also be helpful, as sleep can sometimes stop the attack before it starts.

How to Prevent Migraines?

There’s a strong association between sleep and migraine, but we still have a lot to understand in order to improve treatment. Good sleep hygiene is an important step in reducing migraine. Developing a regular sleep pattern through these measures will also help:

  • Go to bed at the same time every night and wake up at the same time every morning. To maintain circadian alignment.

  • Know your sleep needs, including when it feels right for you to go to bed, how long you need to be asleep, and how long you can sleep before your body needs to be awake again.

  • Take some time outdoors or in natural light during the daytime to get some sun, because sunlight plays a very important role in regulating your circadian rhythm.

  • It’s a good idea to sleep in a room without light or noise. In fact, your sleep environment should be as peaceful as possible. This includes sufficient darkness, comfortable bedding, and no devices around the bed.

  • It’s important to exercise before dinner, preferably rather than before bed. Exercise can be helpful as it helps to increase serotonin and decrease the stress hormone cortisol.

  • If you’re going to use your bed for activities that can be done elsewhere, such as watching television or studying, then you should try to make sure that you don’t spend too long lying down.

Avoiding caffeine and alcohol before bed is recommended, as they both reduce the quality of your sleep and can have other unpleasant side effects, including irritability and the inability to fall asleep, as well as headaches, and drowsiness.


There are a lot of different treatments for migraines. You can use over-the-counter medications, such as Tylenol or Advil.

You can prevent migraines by keeping your stress level low. You can also avoid caffeine, which is a stimulant.

 Having a bad night of sleep can cause migraines, but it is not the only factor. Other factors include genetics, stress, and certain foods.

Having a bad night of sleep can cause migraines, but it is not the only factor. Other factors include genetics, stress, and certain foods.


In conclusion, migraines are a common, recurring and debilitating problem for many people. They affect almost everyone, but the frequency and severity of attacks can vary. Migraine headaches are usually triggered by environmental factors, such as stress, fatigue, weather changes, food, caffeine, and certain medications. The condition is also linked to lifestyle habits, including lack of sleep, alcohol consumption, and smoking. So, we advise you to get yourself checked by an expert if you are facing any of the above conditions that lead to migraines.

If you want to know more about different sleep related disorder check out here.

If you are looking to buy a mattress check out here, also here.