Sleep Management with Migraine Buddy
While stress, food or menstruation are often implicated as the top culprits, recent studies suggest that if you want to manage your migraine effectively, you can pay more attention to your sleep. In short, you need to get enough sleep, but definitely not more than that.
Everyone feels better with adequate sleep, and miserable otherwise. But the importance of a good night sleep goes well beyond this “feel good” factor. From improved performance at work to a healthier weight, studies have shown sufficient sleep can do wonders; and for us who suffer from migraine, it is of vital importance.
If you have a pattern of waking up with a migraine in the morning, it is a telltale sign that your sleep habit is a likely cause.
Many patients know that insufficient sleep is a powerful migraine trigger. But more sleep is not necessarily a good thing either. In fact, while an optimal amount of sleep (around 7 to 8 hours per night) was found to reduce migraine frequency significantly, both lack of sleep (below 6 hours) and oversleeping (8 hours) are associated with more frequent and more painful migraines. So one approach to avoid severe migraine is to know how long you should sleep every night.
To form a better sleep habit, you can start by tracking your sleep and migraine pattern to see the correlation. A paper diary would do the job, but Migraine Buddy is surely a much better option.
This app does not only have you record your migraines, but it also has the automatic sleep detection capability to track your sleep habit as well. The time and duration of your sleep will be detected and stored in the system, which is used to compare your sleep and migraine pattern. It tells you how much you sleep everyday on average, and how much sleep you had the night before your migraine.
Let’s take a look at the example below. Our app tracks the duration of your sleep before migraine days and non-migraine days. If you have fewer hours of sleep than usual the night before a migraine day, it is likely that lack of sleep is the culprit. Then you may want to consider going to bed earlier. If you notice the opposite pattern, in which you have migraine after longer night sleep, especially during the weekends, then you may want to avoid sleeping in.
Of course duration is not the only factor in sleep-related migraine. Our app also allows you to see, in the “My Calendar” screen, the time you go to bed and wake up every day. By tracking the timing consistently, you can recognize some pattern. (For example, you may have migraine the next day if you go to bed too late).
It is advisable to track your sleep pattern for at least one month to recognize the correlation between your sleep habit and migraine pattern. After that, you may want to take certain actions to have better sleep hygiene. The followings are some options you can consider:
- Avoid using electronic devices right before going to bed
- Go to sleep and wake up at regular time every day, even during the weekends.
- Exercise in the morning or afternoon, but not too close to your bed time at night.
- Avoid caffeine in your diet, especially in the evening.
- Have dinner at least 3 hours before bedtime.
- Follow the sleep pattern that gives you the least number of migraines according to your Migraine Buddy records.
These habits, when adopted appropriately, can improve the quality of your sleep and reduce your migraine frequency.
We are excited to help you track your sleep and migraine pattern. Download the app here so that you can improve your sleep hygiene as soon as possible!