Something that migraine sufferers have to be really careful about is getting enough sleep. Fatigue and tiredness is a major contributing factor to many sufferer’s attacks, and so any disruption to sleeping patterns can have horrible repercussions.
Unfortunately for migraine sufferers whose work involves a lot of travelling, this can be a real problem because many people find sleeping in hotels, even really nice hotels, can be troublesome. Dropping off in itself is hard, but even when you do get some shut-eye you can wake up the next morning still feeling exhausted. Curious as to why this might be, some scientists did some digging and they think they’ve identified the problem.
Research from Brown University has shown that when we sleep somewhere new, one half of our brain in unable to shut down. Our subconscious is kept alert in case there are unknown dangers that we’ll need to deal with that may be associated with this new environment (late night revellers returning maybe…).
The researchers from Brown University identified that the area which stayed wakeful was in the left hemisphere (which controls the right side of our bodies). They did this by playing noises into the right ears of sleeping participants and then the left ears. Participants woke more often when the music was played to their right ears.
Sadly, as of yet the researchers have not come up with a solution to this problem. However, now that there is at least some evidence that we don’t sleep well in new environments migraine sufferers can at least take this into account when making plans. Perhaps this might mean getting extra sleep the night before staying somewhere new. Also a good idea if possible would be to avoid sleeping in lots of new places several nights in a row; stay for a few days and enjoy exploring somewhere new.
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