Waking up with a Migraine: Understanding morning migraine

Waking up with a migraine - What you need to know

Experiencing a migraine upon waking is a common and challenging occurrence for many. This article delves into the reasons behind morning migraine attacks, the impact of sleep patterns, and effective management strategies.

The prevalence and impact of morning migraines

Waking up to a migraine can significantly affect your day. Studies indicate that this phenomenon is not uncommon, often linked to changes in sleep routines and disturbances (Kathryn Watson, 2019).

The science behind sleep and migraines

Migraine attacks are closely related to sleep behaviors. Research shows that sleep duration is typically reduced on nights preceding a migraine, primarily due to earlier awakening (Niederberger et al., 1998).

Furthermore, dysfunctions in arousal systems during REM and NREM sleep phases are also associated with sleep-related migraines (Della Marca et al., 2006).

Characteristics of sleep-related migraines

Sleep-related migraines, defined as those occurring during sleep or upon awakening, can lead to increased migraine-related disability and severity, as well as a higher dependence on symptomatic drugs (Gori et al.). However, migraines do not significantly affect sleep duration, quality, or fragmentation the following night (Vgontzas et al., 2020).

Managing morning migraines

Regularly waking up with migraine symptoms calls for tracking and professional consultation. Understanding your sleep patterns and how they correlate with migraine occurrences can aid in developing effective management strategies.


Morning migraines, while challenging, can be managed with a better understanding of the relationship between sleep and migraines. Recognizing triggers and consulting healthcare professionals can help in developing a personalized approach to managing these conditions.

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