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Insomniac with a Migraine: What is the connection?

Categories // Migraines

Insomniac with a Migraine: What is the connection?

If you can say one thing about migraines, it's that they're complicated. There are many different migraine triggers, and symptoms differ as well (1). Migraines are unlike headaches, even in their basic physiological behavior. Migraines involve dilation of blood vessels in the head, while headaches involve contraction of those same vessels.

One of the primary triggers of migraines – an element that increases their frequency and severity – is lack of sleep. In turn, migraines can disrupt sleep schedules. Let's look at the connection between these two health problems (2).

Migraines & Insomnia – how they relate

Migraines can make it difficult to sleep, because the stress of the head pain is so severe. In a study conducted on patients suffering from migraines in 2005, one-third of the subjects either could not sleep through the night or woke up still feeling tired. Both intermittent sleep and restlessness are symptoms of insomnia.

To make matters more confusing, stress is a contributor factor for both disorders. Healthy sleep is often interrupted by high levels of stress, but those same incidents of extreme stress can trigger migraines as well. Because of this, it's difficult to tell whether the true trigger of a migraine was the lack of sleep or the stress itself; often it's a combination of the two.

Migaines vs. Sleep Apnea

Migraines can be confused with other illnesses and disorders as well. Sleep apnea can create head pain upon awakening also, approximating the sensation of a migraine or intense headache. An additional 2005 study found that 30% of people awakening with head pain, when treated for sleep apnea, saw a significant alleviation in pain.

Targeting Insomnia to Avoid Migraines

Since treating migraines can be complex, one angle to try is preventative measures against the sleep disorder. These same techniques are stress-reducers as well, which can knock out another possible trigger of your migraines. Here are a few tactics (3):

  1. Get fit – Develop a workout schedule and stick to it. Exercise can be relaxing, optimize your health, and release endorphins, all of which protect you against migraines.
  2. Catch some rays – Spending time in the sun can bring your circadian rhythms into balance. It also can ward off the depression associated with migraines.
  3. Don't over-stimulate – Coffee and cigarettes are typical migraine triggers, as well as interfering with sleep.
  4. Stay calm – Yoga, tai chi, and meditation can all help keep you relaxed so that evening "wind-down" time is minimized.

Those four techniques can help to ward off insomnia, to target the dual problem from that direction. Going after the migraines head-on can be achieved with an exciting new migraine and headache solution: MiRx Protocol™. The treatment, which has gotten thousands of Americans off of pills and headed toward long-lasting pain relief, is now available through providers nationwide. Contact one near you to get started.

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Living with Headaches:
Solutions that Work

The MiRx™ Protocol is made up of two parts that first stops the reaction of the nervous system, the medical component; then treats and rehabilitates.

The MiRx™ Protocol is made up of two parts that first stops the reaction of the nervous system, the medical component; then treats and rehabilitates.