Migraines Cause Sleep Disorders in Children

Florence Cardinal Health Guide
  • I've always suffered from migraines - the blinding auras, the excruciating headaches. I remember when I was a child, about ten or twelve, riding my bike home from school while suffering a migraine. It was a three-mile ride, and the aura became so terrible that it seemed the road was spit in two, with one side higher than the other. I ended up sitting on the side of the road, waiting for my dad to come looking for me. Mom was sure I had a brain tumor.


    The migraines continued all through my life, even to the present. They made my life miserable at times, but maybe I was luckier than some. Research has shown that children with migraine headaches often also suffer from sleep disorders, including sleep apnea. I have, in the past, had bouts of sleep paralysis and nightmares. Could they be connected to the migraines? I'm sure it's possible.

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    "Sleeping problems can exacerbate the problems migraine causes on a child's health and may hinder a child's performance at school," study author Dr. Martina Vendrame of Temple University in Philadelphia, said in a prepared statement. "Parents and doctors need to be aware of the strong likelihood of sleep disorders in children with migraine and seek appropriate preventions and treatments."



    The study showed that children who suffered from migraines were nearly twice as likely to suffer from sleep apnea as those who didn't were. They had frequent arousals from sleep that led to sleep deprivation and problems in school and other areas of life.


    It must be remembered that children are just as prone to sleep disorders as adults. As well as sleep apnea, children can suffer from insomnia and REM disorders. Other sleep disorders found more frequently in children than adults are enuresis (bedwetting,) bruxism (teeth grinding) and nightmares and sleep terrors.


Published On: April 20, 2008