For too many migraine sufferers, a good night’s sleep every night is an impossible dream.
A study done at the University of North Carolina by sleep specialist, Dr. Anne Calhoun found that by improving sleeping habits, women decreased their headache frequency by 29% and the intensity of the migraines they did get, by 40%.
When the number of migraine days per month is under 15, the patient is diagnosed with episodic migraine. If 15 or more per month, the patient is considered to have chronic migraines.
The women in this study originally had episodic migraines that over a course of years converted to chronic migraines. (This is called transformed migraine- i.e., transformed from episodic to chronic).
It is believed that transformed migraines can come about due to multiple factors like poor sleep habits and/or pain killing medication over-use.
86% of the women in the study reported non-restorative sleep. In simple terms this means they still felt tired when they awoke in the morning. 80% of them watched TV or read in bed. 70% awakened between 1-6 times a night to urinate.
The women were instructed to:
- Move dinnertime to 4 hours before bedtime.
- Limit fluids taken 2 hours before bedtime.
- Allow for 8 hours of sleep and not to vary their bedtimes more than 30 minutes.
- Not to listen to music, read, or watch TV in bed.
- Not to over-use migraine medications.
- Stop taking naps (even though they were tired from poor sleep)
Improvements in migraine frequency happened rather quickly after implementing the “better” sleeping habits. Within a month and a half, 35% of the group reported fewer migraines.
By the end of 3 months 58% of the women who implemented the recommended sleep changes went back to being only episodic sufferers.
The good news is that these recommendations work and that all except one of the women who implemented ALL of the recommendations reverted to being episodic from chronic.
The bad news is that women who kept three or more of the bad sleep habits did not improve.
Discipline is important. Implement all of the recommended sleep changes, they are really not that hard.
What may also prove to be very exciting is to implement these sleep habit changes and combine them with doing 3-4 days a week of moderate exercise (i.e. brisk walking, moderate weight-resistance with dumb bells). Recent studies have shown that moderate exercise 3-4 days a week can prevent migraines as well as a prescription medication.
Need extra help falling asleep?
For those of you who need more intensive support with sleep challenges, I formulated a comprehensive sleep supplement called Sleep All Night for falling asleep faster, staying asleep longer and reaching the deep sleep stage where much of the body and mind healing and reset occurs.
Establishing healthy sleep patterns is the most powerful tool you have to maintain good health and extend your life. Learn more. And if you are a migraine sufferer, don’t forget to take your MigreLief!
I hope you find these suggestions useful and life changing.
To the best of health,
Curt Hendrix, MS, CCN, CNS
The MigreLief collection of supplements was created by Akeso Health Sciences to help migraine sufferers of all ages. AKESO formulates world class dietary supplements that provide nutritional support for the most common health issues that concern people most, such as migraines, headaches, joint health, stress & anxiety, memory, sleeplessness, ADHD, and more. Changing lives is the reasons we wake up every day passionate about the special products we provide to our customers. Helping you to get well and stay well is our bottom line.
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