Thursday, June 24, 2010

Lack of Sleep Linked to Migraine

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According to research presented at this week's 52nd Annual Headache Society Meeting in Los Angeles, sleep deprivation leads to changes in the body that are known to trigger migraine attacks. The researchers said previous data has established a connection between quality of sleep and migraine attacks. Knowing this they developed a model of sleep deprivation to study the levels of protein that reduce the threshold of nerves involved in pain transmission during a migraine attack.

They found that being deprived of rapid eye movement (REM) sleep caused an increase of the proteins that initiate and sustain chronic pain.
“So little is known about the biological mechanisms that underlie how certain factors trigger a migraine attack,” said David Dodick, M.D., president of the AHS. “This is important work and this Missouri State team should be applauded for beginning to shed light on an area desperately in need of investigation.”
Migraine experts, including my specialist, stress the importance of quality sleep of an adequate length of time. Many migraineurs (myself included) struggle with this and need to come up with strategies for addressing the issue. A recent Somebody Heal Me article can give you some ideas of where to start: Sleep Hygiene for Migraineurs.

REM Sleep Press Release (PDF)
Lack of REM Sleep Linked to Migraine

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DISCLAIMER: Nothing on this site constitutes medical or legal advice. I am a patient who is engaged and educated and enjoys sharing my experiences and news about migraines, pain and depression. Please consult your own health care providers for advice on your unique situation.