Sleeping on it: 3 tips for getting more rest with migraines

If you have migraines, one of the most often recommended remedies is sleep.

Dark room. No noise. Cold air. Sleep.

I’ve had my share of spending days hidden in the bed covers, blinking open my eyes every few hours in pain and then falling back asleep.

Sometimes it helps. I’ll wake up drowsy and feeling like I lost a good fistfight.

One of my dogs, Pudge, has no problem with rest.

One of my dogs, Pudge, has no problem with rest.

Lately, sleep has been hard to come by. Our little J is sleeping close to 5 hours at night, but he’s not napping during the day very well, so the adage of “Nap when he’s napping” isn’t helpful.

My husband has been so great in letting me have a few nights of uninterrupted sleep, but for a migraneuor, that isn’t always enough.

And that’s frustrating because it should be.

But maybe your energy is sapped during the day by work, by school, by a new baby! So even 6-7 hours isn’t enough.

When I’m tired, the dizziness is worse. It’s that drowsy feeling you have when you wake up, the “cobwebs” people say they shake off in the morning— only these stick around all day.

Here are three tips to get more rest this week:

  1. Go to bed earlier.

Lately, when the house is finally quiet and all my boys have gone to bed, I’ve taken the time to cross things off my to do list. Sometimes I just take the few minutes to read or watch one uninterrupted episode of “Oz.” So this week I’m trying to take the extra 30 minutes to wind down in bed. Forget the lists or little things and give myself just a bit more sleep.

2. Give your brain a break.

I keep a detailed journal of my day-to-day symptoms with vestibular migraine. I’ve kept one since 2015, and lately because the dizziness has returned, I’ve taken to analyzing ever bit of these notes for clues for relief. I’ve read through numerous studies and message boards, and that in itself is exhausting (and sometimes disheartening). I’m giving myself a pass on trying to decode my brain this week.

3. Ask for help.

We have a newborn and most of the time I don’t feel like supermom. What is already a tough job is made tougher with the dizziness, and I’ve had to rely more on extra help. I’m getting better about asking my husband to pick up dinner instead of me cooking or asking him to change a lightbulb in the bathroom instead of me, struggling with vertigo, trying to climb a ladder and look up to do it myself. I never minded getting these things done in the past, and it’s been hard to ask for help, but I’m working on it.

How do you work in extra rest?