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Migraine Information (Home) > Migraine and Headache Causes > Sleeping Problem and Headache

Sleeping Problem and Headache: Managing Sleep

People suffering with insomnia may simultaneously develop other symptoms such as headache, back pain or other discomforts. The difficulty in falling asleep, staying asleep and interrupted sleep is a major problem. People generally do not recognize it, if it is a short term problem and experienced only for a few nights.

Once headache or migraine develops due to insomnia, people are at higher risk and often experience more disruption and less efficient sleep. This poor quality of sleep and headache and migraine while waking, may cause change in mood, behavior and energy.


  • Patients suffering with insomnia and headache and migraine may find it difficult to follow their routine activity.
  • Patients may experience occasional headache as well as chronic headache.
  • Headache or migraine may cause difficulty in falling asleep, staying asleep and interrupted sleep.
  • Sleep disorder is also associated with tension or migraine headaches.
  • Migraine headaches can also be occurred if you have taken a short sleep or too much sleep.
  • If you are suffering from snoring disorders (sleep apnea), you may also suffer from headache migraine due to sleep disorders.
  • If you are suffering from cluster headaches (headache in cycles), your cluster headache might have been developed from sleep disorder.
  • The other pains reported from sleep disorders are back pain, people suffering with arthritis especially osleoarthiritis of hips and knees, heart problems, gastrointestinal problems and psychological problems.

Managing Sleep

The patients rarely address sleeping disorders associated with migraine headaches. Some psychological and behavioral therapies should have been tried to achieve and manage sleep.

  • Patients should relax mind and all kind of stress before taking sleep.
  • Patients should try to change behavior and attitudes towards headaches and migraine from insomnia.
  • Avoid excess food before bed.
  • Consume only light and healthy food before bed.
  • Try to take sleep at the same time every day and also try to wake up at the same time daily.
  • Avoid coffee, tea, cola drinks and chocolate in the evening.
  • Avoid alcohol and cigarette.
  • Avoid laziness, if you are unable to sleep, get out of the bed and try to take sleep after some time.

You should carry out light exercises daily and these exercises should be carried out in the supervision of qualified doctor.
Avoid over the counter medicines for managing sleep or headache. You should contact pain specialist or sleep specialist.

Identification of Cause and Treatment

  • The cause of migraine should be identified and if treated with medicines, should not have an adverse affect on your sleep.
  • When migraine headaches and sleeplessness disorders occurs simultaneously, you may require the combinations of both. NSAIDs (non steroidal inflammatory drugs) are generally prescribed for treating migraine and antihistamine for insomnia disorders.
  • If you are taking over the counter (OTC) medicines for migraine headache or medicines for sleep, and if these medicines are not helping you, you should seek medical help or you should contact to a specialist.
  • These over the counter medicines are aimed to relieve migraine and sleep disorders.
  • NSAIDs should not be used for long terms as these medicines may cause constipation and other stomach related problems.
  • Histamines have some sedative effects and side effects of these medicines include dry mouth and throat related problem. Histamines should not be used for more than 10 days and elderly people should take histamines under the supervision of doctor.
  • Hypnotics, a prescribed drug is helpful for treating insomnia and is very effective. The currently available hypnotics have fewer side effects and are also less addictive.
  • Hypnotics should have been prescribed for not more than one month, if prescribed for a longer duration should be taken only under the supervision of doctor.
  • Your doctor should have been told about all the prescribed or non-prescribed medicines you have taken for sleeplessness or migraine headaches.

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VISITOR COMMENTS on "Sleeping Problem and Headache ":

Moggy said,
31st December 06
Hey, i have trouble in fulling asleep & once i do fall asleep trouble in waking up - i usually drink alot of tea about 6 cups on average a day - could the amount of tea i have been disturbing my sleep?? (aaisha_mirza@hotmail.com)


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