Tags: Behavioral Pain Relief, Chronic Pain, Cognitive Behavioral Therapy for Insomnia, Sleep Health
There have been many studies done regarding migraine sufferers and sleep. It’s not just the hours of sleep, but the quality of the sleep that is an important factor. Chronic daily headache sufferers almost always report non-restorative sleep. The bottom line: Our brain needs downtime to rest and repair.
The migraine sufferer can use behavioral changes for restorative sleep, helping to minimize the severity and frequency of their migraine headaches.
Here are some tips for restorative sleep to prevent migraine headaches:
- Drink enough water in the evening, especially before bed. It’s the longest time we go without fluids and the brain needs to be hydrated. Dehydration is a common trigger for migraine.
- Balancing the blood sugar is very important. Don’t eat just carbohydrates in the evening, as it this will not maintain your blood sugar all night. The blood sugar could get too low during that period. Since most people don’t eat in the middle of the night, the body needs to regulate this by releasing cortisol, which helps to increase the low blood sugar. High cortisol levels lead to non-restorative sleep. A balanced diet of protein, carbohydrate and fats is best to keep the blood sugar stable.
- Take some time to disengage and unwind before trying to sleep. Calm down and relax about an hour and a half before you go to bed. If you plan to get to bed at 10 p.m., don’t still be doing the laundry, vacuuming or working on the computer after 8:30 p.m. Beware that a really good book or movie also might keep you engaged and not prepared for sleep. Reading something boring, meditating or listening to quiet music is better than doing something engaging.
- Don’t watch an intense drama, thriller or even the news just before bed. You carry this to bed with you and it’s what the subconscious mind has to process all night. Remember, the subconscious mind never sleeps!
- Your last thoughts of the day just before falling asleep should be good thoughts. Notice what you are thankful for, what went well today, or dream about what you want and pretend you are already there. These are better thoughts than going through the list of things you have to do tomorrow, thinking about what when wrong today, or what you didn’t get done.
There are many lifestyle, nutrition and psychological modifications that migraine sufferers can make to effectively reduce the frequency and severity of their migraine headaches. Oftentimes, this means they don’t need to rely so heavily on daily prescription medication to prevent attacks. It is empowering for a migraine sufferer to take some control in their life and not feel at the mercy of their headaches. For more information on our summer Mind Body Medicine Network’s webinar series featuring “The BEST clinical webinars in Mind Body Medicine in the World,” please take a look at the following:
Starting on June 24th, join us for “Effective Self-Regulation Clinical Strategies for Restorative Sleep Recovery,”with Linda Cammarata, RN and Ed Glauser, LPC. Clinicians will learn how CBT for Insomnia, clinical hypnosis, natural sleep rhythms, yoga, mindfulness, exercise, nutrition, spiritual practice and other somatic practices can help clients and patients have more restorative sleep. Through teaching self-regulating behaviors, clients and patients can experience anywhere from a 100-200% increase in pain threshold with lower rates of obesity, diabetes, anxiety and depression. To join us for this highly engaging, participatory, and evidenced-based webinar, please go to the following link to register at: http://mindbodymedicinenetwork.com/Webinars.html
You are also welcome to take advantage of a FREE sneak preview of our July 29th webinar on “Control the Migraine,” by clicking on the following link. Discover tools and strategies to control your migraine headaches and reclaim your life. This FREE webinar is being presented by nurse practitioner and migraine expert Bonnie Groessl on May 31st, 5 p.m. EST/4 p.m. CST/3 p.m. PST at: http://controlthemigraine.com/ (accessed only through Bonnie’s website)
Ed Glauser, M.Ed., N.C.C., LPC
Owner and Clinician
Mind Body Medicine Network, LLC, http://mindbodymedicinenetwork.com/Webinars.html