Insomnia and Headaches

By Annette GallagherAugust 8, 2014No Comments

Do you have problems staying asleep or falling asleep in the first place? Insomnia affects millions of people in the US every year for different reasons, but one of those reasons could be headaches and migraine. If that wasn’t bad enough, headaches can also be worsened by poor sleep patterns, so for many sufferers, it can seem like a cruel, never-ending cycle. Treating these headaches is a critical step towards ending this cycle.

Are You Suffering from Headaches and A Sleep Disorder?

Insomnia and poor sleep patterns can present themselves in many different ways. Perhaps you are worried about something and it is keeping you awake. It may be that you have always been a light sleeper, or you have obstructive sleep apnea which can result in your airways getting blocked and causing you to wake often during the night.

Headache can be a presenting symptom of insomnia and research has shown that headache sufferers are more likely to have sleep problems.

Whatever the reasons for your poor sleep and accompanying headaches, the good news is that we may have the solution here at National Headache Institute.

Is Poor REM Sleep Causing Your Headaches and Migraine?

When we sleep, we move between periods of deep, sleep (non-rapid eye movement) and REM sleep (rapid eye movement), also known as the dream sleep state. REM sleep episodes occur around 4-6 times a night and this is when we are most likely to dream. Research has shown that migraines tend to occur in direct correlation with the number of REM periods experienced during the night.

A migraine can occur directly after REM sleep and studies indicate that patients who did not have enough NREM sleep were more likely to suffer from depression and other psychological disorders.

How to Get Help for Your Insomnia Headaches

The treatment you receive for insomnia headaches largely depends on the order in which things occur. For example, if your headaches are caused by lack of sleep, the first step should be to tackle the reasons why you are not sleeping. If your lack of sleep is being caused by headaches and migraine, it makes sense to eliminate the reason for your headaches first.

Our headache experts will give you a thorough and professional diagnosis so that we can recommend the perfect course of treatment.

Get Expert Diagnosis and Treatment at National Headache Institute

Dr. Payman Sadeghi is the co-founder of the National Headache Institute. He studied medicine at Nordestana University and finished his Internal Medicine internship and Neurology residency at the University of Texas. Dr. Sadeghi has completed an electromyography super fellowship as well as many epilepsy and neuroimaging fellowships. At his residency in Neurology at the University of Texas Medical Branch Dr. Sadeghi gained extensive experience diagnosing and treating headache and migraine patients. That residency, along with Dr. Sadeghi’s medical curiosity and his varied clinical experience, has made him a specialist in headaches and their treatment.

Dr. Sadeghi was also a clinical assistant professor during his time at the University of Texas. He is a member of the American Headache Society, the National Headache Foundation and the American Academy of Neurology. Dr. Sadeghi is fluent in English, Spanish, French and Persian.