National Migraine Centre
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Do your sleep patterns trigger migraines?

I tend to get migraines just about every single weekend, and I'm not sure what I can do about them. I think it might be something to do with how much sleep I'm getting. During the week I tend not to sleep very well, and will wake up in the morning feeling tired. Then at the weekend I try to catch up on sleep, which then - as far as I can tell - leads to a migraine. I've tried setting my alarm so I don't oversleep, but it doesn't work - I still get the migraine. It seems that I can't get a good night's sleep without it triggering a migraine. Does anyone else have experience of this? If so, do you have any ideas what I can do about it?

2 Replies


This is so common and you have guessed right, its the lie-in that most likely does it. Migraine heads are particular sensitive to any change in routine. So even though you think catching up on sleep will improve things, actually keeping your weekend pattern the same as your weekdays would be really beneficial (although I am sure you would far rather sleep-in!). Another trigger could be lack of hydration and low blood sugar levels as you wake up. Have a slow release snack before bed and plenty to drink throughout the day so that this is not adding to your chances of having an attack. If you have addressed these three things and still get migraines every weekend on waking, I would suggest you come to see one of our doctors who can talk to you about treatments that you could try. All the best!


There is also the weekend migraine effect. You maintain your stress levels all through the week then when you allow your body to relax, sleep in etc... those changes kick in the migraine. It one more gift for migraine sufferers when we can have a day or two off we have to suffer. You could try waking up early taking something then going back to sleep for another hour that is how I had to spend every weekend. Just be careful of the rebound effect.


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