Migraine and Sleepio

Does anyone out there have a problem with migraines and how are you managing the sleepio routines? I have the worst headache right now and I'd love to crawl into bed! So I thought I'd start this thread, to keep myself up a bit longer! Poor sleep and migraines seem to go hand in hand. I'm just not sure how to follow SR and QHR when I'm in such pain.

Posted 1 Mar 2013 at 11:22 AM
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  • Sleepio Member

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    Graduate

    hello, not sure if i have replied to this or not or replied in a different place – anyway just some thoughts…i haven't had actual migraine for a little while now, maybe 6 months or so, but i am wary of those early morning headaches that threaten to turn into one, usually if i can catch it at that early stage i can do something about it, so these early morning get ups for me are really tricky – lack of sleep plus the worry that my headache might turn into a migraine. Thinking about this and trying to decide what's best when i am feeling desperately tired and a bit emotional too is hard! I have had my headaches checked out by the GP and they are likely to be hormonal, used to get regular migraines on the first day of my period and now (I am 51) think they are most certainly menopausal. I am on holiday at the moment (Not away but on holiday from school where i work) and i usually have a bit of a sleep catch up and so it's really counter intuitive not to do that now. Not sure what sort of state i would be in though if i was having to go to work. How do people do this – as in manage the rest of their lives with sleep restriction? I get the theory, no pain no gain etc but in practice how long can people get by with such little sleep at this particular phase of the programme?

  • Sleepio Member

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    Graduate

    Hi wendy,

    I know it seems counter intuitive to not catch up on your sleep while on your break from work however it does make sense in the long run. You would be potentially undoing all your hard work so far. And that would make this whole process longer than it needs to be. However I can understand why you would want to. I know it's very tough to do this program when working and yet many have.

    As far as the morning headaches go, as your sleep gradually improves, you will most likely have them less often. Try to keep that in mind. This is only temporary. I would suggest you stick to your SW as best you can, and manage the headaches also as best you can. I kind of think that in this process of improving one's sleep, headaches are likely one thing that's hard to avoid. Hopefully most will not evolve into migraines but you will manage any that do as best you can even if that means going to bed. I understand completely where your coming from in wanting to avoid a migraine. Two years ago I went cold turkey off all pain relievers, gravol and migraine meds in an effort to detox and start with a clean slate with a new prophylactic. It was hell! But all for a very good reason. I knew this was the only way. It paid off but took several months before I was ready to try a new med and then another few to know the new med was helping. You can do this and as hard as it is, you'll get through.

    anniem

  • Sleepio Member

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    Graduate

    Struggling along with almost daily headaches since April 22. Had a few days without. Taken way too much Zomig, more than I am supposed to. Hoping that things will improve soon.
    anniem

  • Sleepio Member

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    Felling your pain anniem. I know you have so much going on at the moment apart from the wedding. Just go with the flow even if it means taking more meds just to get you through this stressful time. For a migraine sufferer, often the fear of getting one and being incapacitated for the big event can be a self fulfilling prophecy. Be kind to yourself, take time out for relaxation, do all the breathing exercises you have ever learnt, have some gentle walks and exercise and worry about reducing meds after the wedding. Feel the strength and support from all your fellow sleepio friends. I now we're virtual but the friendship is very real. Take care X

  • Sleepio Member

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    Thanks Nancy.
    What worries me is I might be heading for MOH again which would be such a shame after having struggled to reduce my migraine meds down to only 5 a month. I've already taken 12! So with each headache, I'm checking my diary to figure out if it's “safe” to take another or is it too soon. Usually the latter. I've spent much of the past 5 weeks in pain as a result. And the meds are not a sure-fire fix hence there's no guarantee that just because I take them if I need to, that I'll be okay, today or on the big day. It's amazing to me the feeling that overcomes me as the headache worsens (I say headache because some evolve into a migraine and others don't, even though according to the diagnostic criteria, I have chronic migraine). The mood just plummets, it's an effort to talk to anyone, I'm irritable and short-tempered, everything becomes an effort, my eyes can barely focus and I'm squinting. I look like an old lady with a permanently furrowed brow. I can just see that even if I do get through the wedding okay, and I'm sure I'll manage – we have all been there, pusing ourselves through! afterwards, I'll need to endure more pain just to reduce the frequency of meds. You can't win!
    I shouldn't complain. There're a lot worse things in life than migraines. Now just seems to be particularly difficult for me. My younger daughter arrives tomorrow and as much as I love her and am looking forward to her being here, just having her here changes the game so to speak. Must focus on the positive!!
    anniem

  • Sleepio Member

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    Graduate

    I really sympathise with every word written, they could have been my own words. The irony of having rebound headaches, when they tablets don't always work in the first place. Sending you many, many angels, to help you, not just endure but enjoy.X

  • Sleepio Member

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    Thanks!

  • Sleepio Member

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    Graduate

    I have no idea why my post, that clearly states that I do not suffer from migraines, has been placed here. I asked for a new discussion to be opened but the powers that be seem to be under the impression that all headaches are the same & “merged” my post with this discussion.
    I apologise to all migraine sufferers on behalf of the Admin Team who think all headaches are the same.

  • Sleepio Member

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    Graduate

    @onezerodark, just wanted to let you know that I see your post here. I agree it deserves its own discussion topic because I've heard people refer to these types of headaches here and they are very different than migraine.

  • Sleepio Member

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    Graduate

    I am just starting week 5 and I have been quite pleased with the program. I am still very sleepy during the day, but I am sticking with the program as prescribed. I have to literally catch myself during the day since I can easily doze off. I usually fall asleep at bedtime, but I often awaken after 3 hours or so with a migraine. This is why I am doing program. Migraines can be quite mild or more serious. I don't like to take meds, (I was taking too many) hot showers and stretching sometimes help. But, all this, of course, affects my sleep efficiency. Any suggestions regarding working with migraines would be appreciated.

  • Sleepio Member

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    Graduate

    I see your message was posted some time ago, but, if it is still relevant, I could offer a few suggestions (I do research in migraine). Keep everything as regular as you can: eat little but often, avoid food triggers (chocolate, cheese, red wine, citrus fruits, stuff with tyramine in it), avoid visual triggers (stripes, flicker), try to keep bedtime times regular, really don't reach for medication too often: you risk medication overuse headache, and/or, with triptans, about half get rebound headache. If you are one of those you risk prolonging your migraine for days rather than getting it over and done with. It's as if the migraine is still lurking there (in the brain stem) and waits for the triptan to have dissipated, and then pops out again. And again, and again, as long as you keep taking the triptans (or others, presumably). There is research on this: look up migraine and triggers and visual triggers and research, it will bring up some work. You could even think about getting involved by volunteering in a trial: doing something proactive can help with anxiety about the headaches because you are doing something about it rather than just dreading the next attack.

  • Sleepio Member

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    Graduate

    I know this is a very old post, but in case anyone stumbles back upon it -- I'm a f.lux user which means my computer turns to an oranger light when the sun goes down and I really love it! It's helped so much with my migraines and with sleep.

  • Sleepio Member

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    Graduate

    Hello, migraineur here! I know that a regular sleep pattern is important in controlling migraine, and the fact that I've had sleep problems since age four hasn't helped much. I'm on week 4 of the Sleepio program and it is helping with falling asleep initially. But sleep restriction and having to stay up past the point of feeling like I need to go to bed is not playing well with my head. When I do have a migraine, lying down and closing my eyes, napping if I can, helps the meds work much better than staying awake. At night it's no problem. In the day, though, I might end up napping a couple of hours, and that's exactly what the Prof says NOT to do. I did yesterday anyway because my brain was screaming “SLEEP NAO!” and it took me longer to fall asleep last night. Not sure if it was because of the nap or because of a fancy bottled drink I had when we went out to dinner -- the drink turned out to have a little caffeine in it, which was only in small type on the back label. But anyway, staying up past the point of feeling sleepy just because it's not my scheduled bedtime can trigger head pain which can explode into a full migraine. That sleepiness may be prodrome and I need to pay attention to it.

  • Sleepio Member

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    Graduate

    Did you find f.lux yet? If not, you can find it for your computer here: https://justgetflux.com

    There's also info there on how to get it for your other devices.

  • Sleepio Member

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    Graduate

    I also want to add that it's September, it's the beginning of fall term (I teach at a community college), and the world is full of migraine triggers right now: adjusting to a new schedule, days of meetings, “Peak Week” for asthmatics (high pollen count which can trigger asthma attacks and many of us migraineurs are also sensitive to), stress of prepping for a new school year, and rapidly changing weather patterns. I'm ready to trade in this head for a new one.

  • Sleepio Member

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    Session 5

    Glad I found this thread, I get migraines but thankfully not with very painful headaches, however I tend to feel woozy, heady, nauseous and have 'brain fog'. Unfortunately, after night 1 of sleep restriction I woke up with a migraine (just a coincidence, not cause), and I would usually sleep it off but I didn't want to fail at SR on day 1! So I had a 15 min nap in the morning and 15 min nap in the afternoon instead. Day 2 of migraine I felt really awful in the morning so I did actually go back to bed and give myself an extra 1 1/2 hours of sleep which helped. However now I feel like a failure at SR! This is day 3, I'm still not 100% but got up at 7am as planned and am trying not to go back to bed, feel very tired.

    I guess my question is, when the migraines strike in future can I sleep them off as I usually do or will that ruin my sleep pattern? Sleeping feels like the only way to heal myself. I can't take migraine medication because of allergies. As far as I'm aware I usually sleep ok in the evening after I sleep or nap in the day because of a migraine, as I seem to need extra sleep.

    Right now I think I might wait a bit longer for my next session with the Prof so I can have a full 7 days of SR without migraine interfering.

  • Sleepio Member

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    Graduate

    Hi Hippychick! Welcome to Sleepio and well done reaching session 3 and the sleep restriction.

    A couple of things:
    You can take your time going to the prof for the next session – there is no rush – this is YOUR programme ;). No one else can sleep for you – do it in your own time.

    Many Sleepios come to the programme thinking everything will be fine and dandy once they are through the six weeks, but sadly it takes a long time to sort out our poor sleeping habits especially ones we may have lived with for a long time!

    I’m sorry you get horrid migraines – glad they’re not the painful variety but still, they’re not nice. One thing I know is that the psychologist doctors who come to the Live Sessions every Wednesday say that if you are unwell, you need to sleep.
    The difficulty is your migraines are not just one-offs – it seems like you get them a lot, which will be interfering with your sleep and maybe the programme but all is not lost 80))

    You probably already have, but I wonder if you have sought more ‘natural’ migraine remedies?
    Sometimes a change in diet is good and gets rid of them eventually.
    Please be assured, you are not failing if you aren’t able to stick to SR every night when migraine headaches are waking you etc.
    Short naps can be helpful whilst you have the migraines, but it might be a help for your night time sleep if you can cut it down to one in the afternoon or wherever you feel you need it the most? The problem can be whatever habits we get into – our brain wants to keep them.

    Well done getting up at your rise time – just take things easy and keep out of bright light for the day, if that’s a trigger.
    Look at diet. I know chocolate, cheese and alcohol are triggers for my BiL who has horrendous migraines.
    Try to go to bed and rise at the same time each day when there are no migrain problems.
    Stick to QHR if you wake for longer than 15 minutes (guesstimate, don’t clock watch).

    You will get through the day and 7.00 am is not such a bad start to a day ;)
    Remember: You’re not alone here – we have all come to Sleepio with problems – you are addressing yours now. Be kind to yourself today and whenever the migraines occur.
    If you need to chat again, click on my name and you’ll get taken to my profile page where you can leave a message .

    Best sleepio wishes – migraine-free!

    Kurly ;

  • Sleepio Member

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    Session 5

    Thanks Kurly, your comments are helpful and appreciated. I am following the QHR but this led to me not getting enough sleep last night. I know it's all in a good cause so will stick with it! I have made some really positive changed and the quality of my sleep in the first part of the night is definitely improved since starting the Sleepio course so I am feeling hopeful :)

  • Sleepio Member

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    Graduate

    I have suffered with headaches and migraines for many years. Originally monthly migraines where I would have 2-3 days of not being able to do much, then post menopause they’re all over the place. I would be taking tablets (prescribed/Anadin Extra) for 80 days in a year. Since trying a plant based diet (since Jan 2020), they have quartered! I’ll keep going. When I had a wonderful treat of an afternoon tea last year (not plant based), I had several headaches the following few days.
    Needless to say my sleep has been bad for many years too. I am in week 3 of the programme and only had one headache so far. So, really hoping that this programme will not only improve my sleep, but also reduce my headaches further.

  • Sleepio Member

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    Graduate

    I started having migraines when prescribed a low oestrogen pill after my second child. I was taken off the pill, but was stuck with the migraines! They are mainly food related, all foods found by a (very) slow process of elimination. Cheese was the first, which improved things for a few years, then chocolate, red wine, and the final one was caffeine.
    So Anadin might not be a help with migraines, as it contains caffeine!
    They were also triggered by hormones, (!) as they improved after the menopause, and got worse when I was prescribed HRT.
    If you're having a plant-based diet, you might have eliminated several of the most common triggers already, but you could still be having hormonal fluctuations. Soya mimics oestrogen, so might be an added complication! And stress could also be a trigger, so getting less stressed about sleeping would definitely help!
    Complicated!!

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