How to Sleep with a Migraine

by Sehrish Vulvox ABC

Migraines are a debilitating and painful type of headache that can be caused by a variety of factors, including stress, diet, and genetics. They can often lead to difficulty sleeping, which can exacerbate the symptoms of the migraine. If you are one of the many people who struggle to sleep with a migraine, you may be wondering what steps you can take to get a better night’s rest.

Understanding Migraines and Sleep

Before we delve into how to sleep with a migraine, it’s important to understand the relationship between migraines and sleep. Migraines can disrupt your sleep in several ways, including:

• Making it difficult to fall asleep

• Waking you up in the middle of the night

• Causing you to wake up feeling tired and groggy

Sleep disturbances can also trigger migraines, creating a vicious cycle of pain and sleeplessness. Therefore, it’s important to develop good sleep habits to help manage your migraine symptoms.

Tips for Sleeping with a Migraine

Here are some tips for sleeping with a migraine:

  • Create a Sleep-Conducive Environment

Creating a sleep-conducive environment can help you fall asleep faster and stay asleep longer. This includes:

• Making sure your bedroom is cool, dark, and quiet

• Investing in a comfortable mattress and pillows

•        Removing any electronic devices that emit blue light, such as smartphones and tablets

Practice Relaxation Techniques

Relaxation techniques can help reduce stress and tension, which can worsen migraines. Here are some relaxation techniques you can try:

• Deep breathing exercises

• Meditation

• Progressive muscle relaxation

• Yoga or gentle stretching exercises

  • Use Essential Oils

Essential oils such as lavender and peppermint can help relieve the symptoms of a migraine and promote relaxation. You can use these oils in a diffuser, apply them topically, or inhale them directly.

  • Take a Warm Bath

Taking a warm bath can help relax your muscles and reduce tension. Add some Epsom salt to your bath to help relieve pain and inflammation.

  • Use Acupressure

Acupressure is a form of traditional Chinese medicine that involves applying pressure to specific points on the body. This can help relieve pain and promote relaxation. You can try using acupressure on your temples, forehead, and neck.

  • Consider Medication

If your migraine symptoms are severe, you may need medication to help manage them. Talk to your doctor about what options are available to you. Some medications, such as triptans, can also help promote sleep.

  • Stick to a Sleep Schedule

Establishing a consistent sleep schedule can help regulate your body’s sleep-wake cycle and promote better sleep. Try to go to bed and wake up at the same time every day, even on weekends.

Using comfortable bedding

Invest in comfortable bedding that feels good against your skin and helps regulate your body temperature. This can include soft sheets, supportive pillows, and a comfortable mattress. Keeping the room at a cool temperature: Many people find it easier to sleep in a cool room, so consider keeping your bedroom at a temperature between 60 and 67 degrees Fahrenheit.

Practicing relaxation techniques

Another way to promote better sleep with a migraine is to practice relaxation techniques that calm your body and mind. Some popular relaxation techniques include:

  • Deep breathing

Taking slow, deep breaths can help reduce stress and tension in the body, making it easier to fall asleep and stay asleep.

  • Progressive muscle relaxation

This technique involves tensing and releasing different muscle groups throughout the body, which can help you feel more relaxed and calm.

  • Using medication

If your migraines are severe or interfering with your ability to sleep, you may want to consider using medication to manage your symptoms. This can include:

  • Avoid Triggers

Identifying and avoiding triggers can help prevent migraines from occurring in the first place. Some common triggers include:

• Certain foods and beverages, such as chocolate, caffeine, and alcohol

• Stress

• Changes in weather

• Bright lights or loud noises

How Migraines Disrupt Sleep

Before we dive into tips for sleeping with a migraine, it’s important to understand how migraines can disrupt sleep in the first place. There are several ways that migraines can impact sleep, including:

  • Difficulty falling asleep

Many people with migraines find it difficult to fall asleep due to the pain and discomfort they’re experiencing. This can lead to tossing and turning, which can make it even harder to drift off.

  • Waking up in the middle of the night

 For some people, migraines can cause them to wake up in the middle of the night, interrupting their sleep and leaving them feeling even more exhausted.

  • Feeling groggy and tired upon waking up

Even if you do manage to get some sleep with a migraine, you may wake up feeling groggy, tired, and less rested than you would like. This can make it difficult to start your day on the right foot.


Sleeping with a migraine can be a challenging task, but by following these tips and tricks, you can improve your chances of getting a good night’s rest. Remember to create a sleep-conducive environment, practice relaxation techniques, and stick to a sleep schedule. If your migraine symptoms persist, be sure to talk to your doctor about what options are available to you.

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