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bibliography * The PainScience Bibliography contains plain language summaries of thousands of scientific papers and others sources, like a specialized blog. This page is about a single scientific paper in the bibliography, Alstadhaug 2007.

Insomnia and circadian variation of attacks in episodic migraine

updated
Alstadhaug K, Salvesen R, Bekkelund S. Insomnia and circadian variation of attacks in episodic migraine. Headache. 2007 Sep;47(8):1184–8. PubMed #17883523.
Tags: headache, sleep, head, head/neck, pain problems

PainSci summary of Alstadhaug 2007?This page is one of thousands in the PainScience.com bibliography. It is not a general article: it is focussed on a single scientific paper, and it may provide only just enough context for the summary to make sense. Links to other papers and more general information are provided at the bottom of the page, as often as possible. ★★★☆☆?3-star ratings are for average studies, with no more (or less) than the usual common problems. Ratings are a highly subjective opinion, and subject to revision at any time. If you think this paper has been incorrectly rated, please let me know.

This study of 1869 incidents of migraine clearly showed that “sleep obviously protects against [migraine] attacks rather than provokes them,” while a whopping 29% were actually caused by insomnia. I don’t know about you, but anything that protects against migraine attacks is good and I don’t want to lose much of it.

~ Paul Ingraham

original abstract

OBJECTIVES: To assess the influence of insomnia on the 24-hour temporal pattern of migraine.

BACKGROUND: Migraine attacks have been reported to occur in a harmonic (monophasic) or a biphasic 24-hour cyclic manner, and in some studies to have preponderance in the morning hours. The influence of insomnia on the circadian pattern has not been evaluated.

METHOD: Based on a previous study of the circadian variation in migraine, an explorative data analysis was made to compare the circadian pattern of insomnia-related migraine attacks to the circadian pattern of migraine attacks not related to insomnia. If the patients reported difficulties in falling asleep and/or maintaining sleep the night prior to the reported attack or the night the attack occurred, the attack was defined as insomnia-related. Relapses were not counted as distinctive attacks.

RESULTS: Sixty-eight female migraineurs (mean +/- SD age: 35.5 +/- 7.0) prospectively recorded 1869 migraine attacks. Five hundred-and-thirty-three attacks (29%) were insomnia-related. Insomnia-related attacks had a biphasic temporal pattern with one peak in the morning hours and one peak after noon. They had a preponderance in the morning hours compared to attacks not related to insomnia (t= 3.27, df = 62, P= .002). In 79% of attacks insomnia was experienced prior to the headache.

CONCLUSIONS: Episodic morning migraine is associated with insomnia. The cause and consequences of insomnia in migraine is not clarified, but sleep obviously protects against attacks rather than provokes them.

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This page is part of the PainScience BIBLIOGRAPHY, which contains plain language summaries of thousands of scientific papers & others sources. It’s like a highly specialized blog.