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Sleep Tips for Migraine Sufferers

By Sara Butler

For a lot of people who suffer from migraines, a good night’s sleep can be elusive. People who live with migraines are, according to the American Migraine Foundation, eight times more likely to have trouble sleeping than other people. Migraines are often triggered by sleep deprivation, which can quickly turn into a vicious cycle of migraines that interrupt sleep but are triggered by lack of sleep. Here are a few ways you can try to break free and find restorative, restful sleep if you suffer from migraines.

Watch the Foods You Eat

The National Sleep Foundation reports that eating a big meal right before bed can interfere with your ability to fall asleep and stay that way, especially if you indulge in fatty, fried foods right before bed. Many people also experience migraines triggered by certain foods as well as skipping meals. If you’re unsure what might be triggering your migraines, you should start a sleep diary that tracks common foods and ingredients you eat and try to connect the dots to see if they may be playing a role in your headaches.

Be Consistent

A consistent sleep schedule that you stick to every day is important -- even on the weekends. You should get at least seven hours of sleep per night, doing your best to go to bed at about the same time and wake up around the same time each day. Don’t think if you lose sleep during the week that you can catch up on the weekend because sleep deficits are difficult to overcome and can trigger headaches.

Relax Before Bed

If you have difficulty turning your mind off at bedtime so you can fall asleep, then try to do something more relaxing before you get into bed. Stress can be a headache trigger and if you’re lying in bed thinking about all the things you need to do or something else that causes stress, you won’t be able to sleep, which may trigger a headache.

Try some stress management rituals before bed such as listening to soothing music, meditating, or taking a warm bath.

Create the Right Environment

Your room should be dark and cool at night. Try to keep screens out of your room (including your phone!) and make your bedroom only for sleeping. The National Sleep Foundation suggests that 68 degrees Fahrenheit is the best temperature to sleep at. You can use a white noise machine or fan to help if you need.

You don't have to be a slave to migraines and let them rob you of sleep. Fight back by understanding what you can do!

To learn more about your health, wellness, and fitness, see your local chiropractor at The Joint Chiropractic in Richardson, Tex.

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