Poor night of sleep increases migraine risk, study finds
(NaturalHealth365) Researchers have investigated the link between sleep and migraine headaches. A study published in Neurology revealed that insufficient sleep length or low-quality sleep with minimal random eye movement (REM) is linked to migraine headaches.
Though previous studies revealed a link between low-quality sleep and a higher chance of a migraine, there is hope that it might be possible to shrink the window of opportunity for migraine attacks.
Study explores link between poor sleep and a higher risk of migraines
The researchers referenced above enrolled participants in a study in which daily diary entries were made to detail energy and mood levels, including sleep hours. Study participants also logged information about their quality of sleep. The researchers analyzed possible migraines triggers by tracking numerous daily metrics.
The study results revealed those who perceived a lower quality of sleep the previous night had a 22% higher chance of a migraine headache the next morning. Study participants used electronic diaries and mobile phone apps to record personal information. Such tools were used to record emotional states throughout the day. Emotional states include stress, energy, mood, and anxiety.
In total, 477 people were involved in the study, with the youngest participant only 7 years old and the oldest 84. It is also worth noting that the number of women in the study was nearly double that of the number of men. Previous studies primarily focused on women.
Study participants provided information about their perceived sleep duration and quality and donned actigraphy monitors that resemble watches to quantify sleep length, wake times, and disruptions. Moreover, they reported migraine attacks and the timing of those attacks over two weeks.
The role of circadian rhythms in migraine headaches
The study authors noted that the results emphasize the causal relationship between circadian rhythms and headaches. Circadian rhythms are the 24-hour cycles of waking and sleeping. Such rhythms shape the body’s processes, including one’s state of alertness, hunger, temperature, and fatigue.
Altering circadian rhythms shapes how one feels during the day. Disrupting such rhythms also plays a part in the development of memory problems. The data shows half of those saddled by migraines have circadian patterns related to headaches. Moreover, headaches tend to occur at the same time.
Researchers insist that the continued study of how sleep plays a role in migraines will make prevention easier across posterity.