Can my Sleep Cause Headaches?
Disordered sleep, poor sleep quality, and insufficient or excessive sleep duration are known
triggers of primary and secondary headaches. Given this, it is plausible that improving sleep will subsequently reduce headache activity. Sleep problems and headache possibly co-occur as a result of the dysregulation of shared brain regions, i.e., issues with sleep trigger headaches, and headaches can lead to poor sleep. Research has shown that sleep disturbance may worsen pain symptomatology, as well as decreasing the effectiveness of central pain inhibitory processes. They found that two days of stress or inadequate sleep were associated with higher incidence of headaches, and conversely, two days of lowered stress and adequate sleep acted as a protective factor. Logically if dysregulated or disrupted sleep leads to headaches, improving sleep should reduce headache frequency and/or intensity. And whilst sedative/hypnotic medications play a role in the management of certain sleep problems, where the aetiology of the issue is psychophysiological, such as insomnia, psycho-behavioural interventions are the initial treatment of choice.