Migraine on waking up.: I am 60 years... - National Migraine...

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Migraine on waking up.


I am 60 years old and in recent years have started having migraines several times especially a month. Most of the time ever I get the aura first and if I take migraleve tablets I am able to control it. However in recent months on two occasions I have woke up, between 5 and 6 am with a migraine in full flow, aura and severe headache. I find that I have to confine myself to bed in a darkened room with ear plugs as light and sound are both accentuated. Should I be visiting my doctor or is there any other precaution I can make to prevent this from happening?

10 Replies

Hi Goslingnest,

I am 63 years old, and I started waking up with migraines a few years ago. Now I'm getting migraines at 5 am about 2 to 3 times a week. I've stopped taking propranolol and topiramate, but that hasn't helped. I've started taking Benadryl, an antihistamine at night, and I think that is working. It's too soon to tell. Best of luck getting rid of your migraines!

Hidden in reply to liseanne13

Thanks for your reply. I suppose that the antihistamine helps you to sleep, sleep deprivation being a possible cause of migraines. Interestingly Benadryl is not recommended for anyone over 65, does anyone know why?

Trust that it works for you.

Gambit62 in reply to Hidden

purely a guess but it is an anti-histamine and they can cause problems with B12 absorption


as you get older your ability to absorb B12 also decreases so could be the double wammy effect ... but as I say that is a pure guess

it is quite common for migraines to actually strike in the night and wake you up - mine are hormone related (presume that isn't going to be a factor for you given your age).

Posting link to symptoms of B12 deficiency as migraine like headaches are one of the symptoms and your age makes it more likely that you are starting to have problems absorbing B12 and other vitamins and minerals, just in case other things ring a bell


would suggest that you discuss with your GP anyway.

If B12 looks like a possibility I'd also recommend taking a look at the PAS forum - pinned posts etc on HU


liseanne13 don't know if you are aware of the possibility of B12 deficiency.

liseanne13 in reply to Gambit62

Thanks for the info, will discuss with GP!

I've always suffered with migraines on and off ever since I can remember. I had to come off HRT because of them. It took a while but eventually they went and were replaced by headaches either on waking or they would wake me up. The only way I could get rid of them was to take a Naramig. I then started to get auras without pain. I came to this site and Mary F and a couple of others advised me to go to my Doctor as auras without pain can be associated with strokes. I went to my Doctor and she prescribed Asprin which I have now taken for about six or nine months. I have had ( i think ) two headaches in that time which were caused by late nights. I am 73. I think if you experience new things especially as you get older it never hurts to get advice from your Doctor. I have to thank Mary F and the couple of other people who gave me such good advice. I hope this helps.

What strength asperin do you take?

Hi! I just take a 75mg tablet but it certainly does the trick. Make sure you get advice from your Dr before taking it as it's not always good for everyone.

Ive suffered with migraines since menopause & am now in my mid- 60s & retired . So many different things.. e.g. weather changes !..trigger my migraines that it would be impossible to exclude them all consistently so for me its a case of "managing" them . One of the worst things for me when I was working was that 4 a.m. feeling when you awoke & realised that a migraine had already started or was brewing for no particular reason . It doesnt happen so often now that I I routinely take 5mgs amitriptyline early evening, but when it was happening a lot & I was struggling to keep going in a job with considerable responsibilities my GP suggested it might be linked to blood sugar being at its lowest at that point in the human body's diurnal cycle - (so long after evening meal , breakfast still a couple of hours ahead ). She suggested I ate a couple of plain biscuits/ crackers just as I went to bed & kept a couple of bix/crackers by bed to eat during night if I happened to wake up .I found this did help.

I have found that going for long periods during the day - (when Im busy or enjoying myself & havent noticed time passing )- without eating is a major trigger for my migraines, so the fluctuating blood -sugar issue is definitely one I try to manage to reduce migraine frequency.

Hi Goslingnest. I am sorry you are suffering. I am also in my 60's and wake up with headaches. Mine started in my twenties and have evolved over the years. They used to be triggered by hormones, foods, stress, and weather. Now neck problems, strong sweet odors, and seasonal allergies set them off. I also have vertigo and degeneration of my cervical spine. I saw an ENT this week and he said my headaches are coming from a pinched nerve in my neck. I totally agree since I usually wake up feeling like someone kicked me in the back of the head on one side. He set me up with a pain management doctor who will do a nerve block on that nerve. I am praying it helps me because living with head pain everyday is not a good way to live. I'm telling you my story because I wonder if you might also have cervical spine degeneration that could be causing your headaches. As I am sure you know, spinal degeneration and arthritis are pretty common at our age. Google cervicogenic headache for more info. I'll let you know if the nerve block helps. Best wishes for healing and good health.

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