In previous articles, we’ve talked about how to reduce migraines through diet and how to decrease migraines by improving neck and shoulder health. In this article, we’ll cover the connection between sleep and migraines, as well as a handful of simple strategies to improve the quality of your sleep — which in turn can reduce migraine occurrence.
What is the Connection between Sleep & Migraines?
Did you know getting too little, or too much sleep can cause a migraine? Anyone who experiences insufficient sleep knows that it can be a vicious cycle, because lack of sleep is causing a migraine, which in turn causes poor sleep. Sometimes it may appear that you’re getting enough sleep, based on the number of hours you spend in bed. But if you’re waking up with a migraine, feeling run down and unrested, there’s a good chance that the quality of your sleep was poor.
STRATEGIES TO HELP YOU SLEEP BETTER
If you’re experiencing poor sleep and migraines, it’s always a good idea to speak with your health practitioner. That being said, here are a few simple strategies you can employ to improve your sleep quality …
Experiment with Sleep Length
If getting five or six hours of sleep has you waking up with a migraine, you might need to get to bed (or stay in bed) an extra hour or two. On the flip side, if you’re getting nine or ten hours of solid sleep, but waking up with a migraine, try getting up an hour or two earlier.
Avoid Electronic Devices Before Bed
We know, easier said than done. But if you’re not sleeping well, isn’t it worth missing an hour of email, Facebook or your favorite game in exchange for a good night’s sleep?
Establish a Pre-sleep Routine
The more ritualistic you make your pre-sleep routine, the more meditative and calming it can become. It’s not just about what time you brush your teeth and what time you go to bed. It’s also about what you’re doing in those in-between moments.
Get Meditative & Mindful
Continuing on our previous point, things like deep breaths, reading a calming book or listening to soothing music can help put you in a more Zen-like state that’s more sleep friendly. Meditation and listening to binaural beats is also very effective.
Darken Your Bedroom
Get rid of night lights, and make sure your blinds and curtains block out most or all of the light emanating from outside.
Implement Standard Sleep Hours
Go to sleep and get up at the same time as much as possible. Once you’ve created a consistent routine, your body will have an easier time sleeping. This includes weekends!
If You Nap, Keep it Short
Naps should last between 15-30 minutes. Longer times may affect your sleep at night.
Avoid Late Night Stimulants
Stay away from coffee, soda or anything caffeinated. It’s also a good idea to refrain from intense exercise late at night. Heavy meals, alcohol and nicotine are also stimulants that can disrupt your sleep.
Become a Fan of Your Ceiling Fan
It’s a great way to create a natural sound dampener, which masks distracting noises during the night.
Some drugs can interfere with sleep. If you’re unsure, speak with your health practitioner to see what the side effects are regarding your medications.
Use a Supportive Pillow
As the makers of the Natural Comfort Pillow, we know how important a role your pillow plays in the quality of your sleep. A supportive pillow can help reduce the neck joint and muscle “triggers” that can pre-empt a true migraine. Learn more about how our pillow can help you sleep better.
Thank you for visiting Natural Comfort Pillow. We hope these tips help reduce your migraines and improve your sleep!