Do you suffer from splitting headaches that bring your normal life to a standstill? If so, you will probably do anything to avoid them. And knowing better how to sleep with migraine may be one of your main concerns. Could weighted blankets reduce your migraine and help you sleep better, waking up more refreshed?
According to the American Migraine Research Foundation, 37 million Americans are affected by migraines every year in the United States – WHO rates migraine as the third commonest disabling condition. This means nearly a quarter of American households have someone suffering from a migraine. And that includes children, where the diagnosis can often be missed. Migraines may attack rarely – or almost every day. Surprisingly enough, around 85% of people who get migraines are women.
But you can avoid many migraines, and the key is knowing how to fall asleep with a migraine.
When is a headache a migraine?
If you have a severe headache with a throbbing, pounding feeling it could be a migraine. Typically, the headache is located at the front or to one side of your head. You might feel sick or vomit, and you may be ultra-sensitive to light, as well as to sounds and sometimes smells.
In around 25% of migraine sufferers, there will be a visual disturbance or aura which might be a blurring of vision, or “cotton wool” vision, loss of half the visual field, or brilliant zigzag lines. This is a warning not to drive! For another 15-20 %, the aura could be a particular smell or taste or increased sensitivity to sound. Tingling or slurred speech may also occur.
The old advice to “go out and get some fresh air” does not work for the migraine sufferers. They just want to retreat into a darkened, quiet room and be left in peace. They want to know how to sleep with a migraine since this type of headache can last anything from 4-72 hours.
Major migraine triggers
Different people might be susceptible to different triggers, but here are some of the most common ones:
A lack of sleep headache
One of the most common predisposing factors in migraine is a headache from not sleeping enough. Migraine can act as a warning to you to look after your body, so try to get regular sleep.
According to the Migraine Research Foundation, you are twice as likely to suffer from insomnia if you have chronic migraine (i.e. more than 10 headaches a month). And should the headache start while you are asleep, you may miss the best time to take any medication – which is usually at the very start of feeling pain.
It is important to ensure that your bed is comfortable, the pillow at the right height to support your neck – and you may find well-designed weighted blankets to be of great help.
We all meet stress in our daily lives – but unwinding at the end of the day is essential. A migraine may be a warning for you to slow down. And the urge to close your eyes to help relieve headache signals the need to reduce your levels of stress and alertness. When you feel threatened, your body produces more cortisol. This enables you to meet the challenges with your body on high alert – raised pulse, persistent and deeper respirations, blood flow to your muscles, and a super-active brain.
When you finally get to bed, you need your body to refresh and recuperate. If your cortisol level remains high there can be serious health problems. The calming effect of a weighted blanket will help to reduce high levels of cortisol and increase levels of the neurotransmitter serotonin that will help you get the rest you so desperately need.
Other ways to reduce stress include meditation and yoga, muscle relaxation techniques (you can do these in bed if you wish). Many people find exercising helpful in reducing stress and giving your mind a chance to wind down.
Certain foods to avoid
Missing a meal lowers your blood level of glucose – and that can trigger a migraine. Certain foods may be followed by a headache, and caffeine is a common culprit in keeping you awake as well.
Another substance to be wary of is any food containing tyramine. You will find this in cured meats, smoked fish, and pickled herrings. Alcohol can bring on a migraine in susceptible people.
But there are many variations, and once you know what sets off your migraine, you can try avoiding it. You can also find more related information about a healthy diet for better sleep here.
Knowing the source of your migraine is important. Some medications, for example, can induce a migraine – and this includes some sleeping pills.
We are all unique and there are other triggers that you may find, once you are looking out for them.
How to cope with migraine
· Sleep – a lack of sleep causes migraine and ensuring a good night’s rest is key to reducing the number and severity of your migraine attacks.
· Find your best sleeping position under the Aricove weighted blanket to help you get better quality of sleep.
· Stress – if you are lying in bed, night after night, with our thoughts twisting and turning in your mind, you need to consider taking steps to reduce your stress.
· Regular exercise - is healthy, helps reduce stress, and will help you sleep better.
· Diet – avoid dietary triggers, such as alcohol, caffeinated beverages, foods high in tyramine or histamine.
· Your individual triggers – monitor what your body doesn't react well to… and try to avoid them.
How To Sleep Better With A Migraine
The lack of or poor-quality sleep causes migraines in many people. Knowing how to get better sleep with migraine will reduce your stress levels, and is key to reducing the severity and frequency of migraine attacks. Taking the time to adjust your lifestyle a little, to look after yourself better, will pay healthy dividends.
It might be worth investing in the cooling bamboo weighted blankets from Aricove to calm your stress levels down and help you to relax. It will make falling asleep a headache a lot easier. The gentle, Deep Touch Pressure Stimulation helps to lower your stress, alertness and prepares your body for deep and restoring sleep. And it just feels so good!