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HeadWay Issue #207 Migraine and Sleep: New Meta-Study
November 22, 2021
In this issue:
Migraine and Sleep: A New Meta-Study
Recent Articles at Headache and Migraine News
Say what?! REM Sleep
Migraine and Sleep: A New Meta-StudyDoes migraine affect your sleep patterns? Or do sleep patterns affect migraine? Well, it's probably a mix of both.
This study didn't show cause-and-effect, but it did confirm yet again that migraine patients do sleep differently. Here are the basic results (we'll talk more about study methods in a moment):
Let's Talk About It.If migraine is taking away your sleep, we need to help you get more sleep. If interrupted sleep is triggering migraine attacks - well, you need better sleep. So either way, improving sleep is important.
The PSQI test is actually an interesting way to start thinking through your own sleep patterns. How many nights over the past week have you had to get up in the night? How long does it take you to fall asleep? Do you experience pain? Are you too hot?
You can see the PSQI questionnaire here - take a look, and discuss it with your doctor.
Time to Focus on Sleep?Lack of sleep can lead to a lot of headaches, literally. If you're not waking up feeling "refreshed", this is certainly something you should investigate with your doctor.
But a lack of sleep can also affect your immune system, and even cause heart problems (there is some fascinating information on this from the CDC directed to nurses who are doing shift work).
You know some of the basics - make sure you're getting exercise during the day (check out A Sleep Apnea Mystery Solved?) , you're avoiding alcohol before bed, and that you're not staring at screens too late at night (this might help too). And for more general tips on sleep, go to Getting to Sleep with Migraine.
Recent Articles at Headache and Migraine NewsFirst, a special thanks to those who donated to the Migraine Research Foundation last month! There's still time before year-end - just click here.
Say what?! REM SleepResearchers typically divide sleep into two parts - REM (rapid eye movement) and NREM (non-rapid eye movement). Obviously, REM is the time when your eyes are moving!
About 25% of sleep is REM, but you typically cycle in and out over about 90 minutes.
REM sleep is not deep sleep (that's one stage of NREM). Instead, it's the time when you typically dream. Your heart rate and blood pressure are similar to what you have when you're awake.
Better REM sleep helps organize information in your brain. It can improve mood and thinking the next day. But a lack of REM can make it harder to fight disease, and may lead to more pain. It's very important!
Here are some more sleep basics from the Cleveland Clinic.
Thanks for reading! Remember, if you have feedback or ideas for future issues, visit the HeadWay MailRoom. Your password is nomoache.
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