Hello, and thank you for your willingness to answer questions. I wake up with a migraine at least two or three days a week. Can you tell me why? Thank you so much, Angela.
The answer to your question lies in determining what’s triggering your migraines. If you don’t know what your migraine triggers are, working to identify them would be extremely helpful. See our video, How to Identify Migraine Triggers, for more information.
Waking with a migraine very often indicates that the trigger is a sleep issue. There are several sleep issues that can be very strong migraine triggers, including:
- too much sleep,
- too little sleep,
- disrupted sleep,
- poor quality sleep, and
- an irregular sleeping schedule.
It’s recommended that people with migraine get up and go to bed at the same time every day, including weekends and holidays. It’s important to note that people often think their sleep quality is fine when, in fact, it isn’t.
If you haven’t already discussed this issue with your doctor, please do, and ask about a sleep study. A sleep study can be very helpful in identifying sleep issues so they can be addressed.
Do you consume much caffeine during an average day? If so, it’s also possible that your trigger is caffeine withdrawal.
Thank you for your question,
Dave Watson and Teri Robert
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We hope you find this general medical and health information useful, but this Q & A is meant to support not replace the professional medical advice you receive from your doctor. For all personal medical and health matters, including decisions about diagnoses, medications and other treatment options, you should always consult your doctor. See full Disclaimer.
© David Watson and Teri Robert, 2016.
Dr. David Watson is a UCNS certified migraine and headache specialist and the director of the West Virginia University Headache Center. Dr. Watson takes a special interest in migraines, cluster headaches, and tension-type headaches. He strives to stay up-to-date on current research and treatments and regularly attends continuing medical education conferences. “Dr. Dave” is also very active in the migraine community, taking part in and leading advocacy efforts to benefit the entire community. He is the founder and chairman of the board of Runnin’ for Research, a nonprofit organization that helps interested patients and doctors set up races in their areas to raise research funding for headache disorders. He’s also a regular participant in the Alliance for Headache Disorders Advocacy’s “Headache on the Hill” event and is co-secretary of the American Headache and Migraine Association. You can follow Dr. Watson on Twitter.
Teri Robert is a leading patient educator and advocate in the area of migraine and other headache disorders, and has been writing for the HealthCentral migraine site since 2007. She is a co-founder of the Alliance for Headache Disorders Advocacy and the American Headache and Migraine Association. She received the National Headache Foundation’s Patient Partners Award for “ongoing patient education, support, and advocacy,” in 2004 and a Distinguished Service Award from the American Headache Society in 2013. You can find links to Teri’s work on her web site and blog and follow her on Facebook, Twitter, StumbleUpon, Pinterest, LinkedIn, and Google+.
Do you have questions about Migraine? Reader questions are answered by UCNS certified Migraine and headache specialist Dr. David Watson, and award-winning patient educator and advocate Teri Robert. Questions may be submitted via our submission form. Accepted questions will be answered by publishing the answers in our Ask the Clinician column. For an overview of how we can help and questions we can and can’t answer, please see Seeking Migraine and Headache Diagnoses and Medical Advice.