Waking with Migraines despite uninterrupted sleep?

Ask the Clinician Health Pro
  • Full Question:

    I have suffered with migraines for 20 years.  I have attended three headache clinics.  I know the food/beverage migraine triggers and completely avoid them.  I get a full night of uninterrupted sleep.  Here is my problem:  I wake up nearly each morning with a migraine.  What is causing them?  How can I avoid this pain? Gloria.


    Full Answer:

    Dear Gloria;


    Even uninterrupted sleep can be poor quality sleep. It's also possible that you wake during the night and don't know it. The most common triggers for waking with a Migraine are sleep issues:

    • too much sleep
    • too little sleep
    • disrupted sleep
    • poor quality sleep
    • irregular sleep schedule

    Have you and your doctor discussed your sleep? If not, you should. Many people really have no idea they're have sleep issues until a doctor asks the right question. There's information on this in our video Migraines, Headaches, and Sleep.

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    If it turns out that a sleep issue is not the problem, then identifying your triggers should still be a priority. Unfortunately, there's no magic answer for what your trigger might be. There could be a trigger in your bedroom environment or any number of other issues.


    Have you asked your doctor for help with this? If your doctor isn’t able to help you, it may well be time to consult a Migraine and headache specialist. It’s important to note that neurologists aren’t necessarily Migraine and headache specialists. Take a look at the article Migraine and Headache Specialists - What's So Special? If you need help finding a Migraine specialist, check our listing of Patient Recommended Migraine and Headache Specialists.


    Good luck,
    John Claude Krusz and Teri Robert



    To review other questions from our Ask the Clinician Column,
     browse the Ask the Clinician archives.


    If you need help finding a  Migraine and headache specialist,
     visit our listing of Patient Recommended Specialists.



    About Ask the Clinician:

    Dr. Krusz is a recognized expert in the fields of headache and  Migraine treatment and pain treatment. Each week, he and Lead Expert Teri Robert, team up to answer your questions about headaches and  Migraines. You can read more about Dr. Krusz or more about Teri Robert.


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    Page copy protected against web site content infringement by Copyscape© Teri Robert and J.C. Krusz, 2010.
    Last updated August 24, 2010.

Published On: August 24, 2010