How do headaches and sleep go together? Like PB and J, baby! One key to managing your headache pain, especially for people with migraine, is to get on a consistent sleep schedule.
Sleep Patterns Can Trigger Headaches
Sleep plays an important role in the body from plasticity in the brain to immunity. Your sleep patterns can be a huge trigger for headaches, especially if you experience migraines. Think about this – your body craves consistency. You might think getting in bed at 8pm some nights or midnight on others is no biggie. Guess what your body’s thinking? It’s stressin’ out! The last thing you need is another layer of stress running rampant on your system. Fun fact – headaches are one of the leading symptoms of chronic stress. Fine…maybe not so fun, but eye-opening for sure. Give your body a break and get on a consistent sleep schedule with a bedtime routine.
Create a Yoga Bedtime Routine
Your body NEEDS to rest and recover from a regular day, but especially if your hormones are unbalanced from high levels of sustained stress and/or you’re experiencing chronic pain. If you’re prone to headaches and you lack a consistent bedtime routine, check out my top 3 tips below to create a sleep ritual that makes you excited to crawl in those covers at the same time each night.
- Write down 3 things that brought you joy during the day. This will help you focus on the positive and de-stress your mind. Keep a journal by your bed to help you remember to do this at night.
- Practice 5-8 rounds of pranayama (breath control) while you’re laying in bed. This helps calm your nervous system and relaxes tension in your body.
- Meditate, meditate, meditate. Yes, its seriously an awesome way to drift off to sleep. Research shows that regular meditation helps you fall asleep faster and stay asleep throughout the night. Want a guided meditation? Get my free sleep meditation here.
Now that you’ve got an idea for your sleepy time ritual, set an alarm for 30 minutes before you want to start it. Use a happy sound or song, so it initiates joy in your brain.This gives you time to unwind before you get in bed. FYI – you should have time to complete your bedtime routine, fall asleep, and rest for YOUR optimal number of hours. If you want to be asleep by 9pm and your routine will take you 10 minutes, set your alarm for 8:20pm.
Getting on a regular sleep schedule is one way to manage your stress and headaches that you can start right now with my Yoga for Sleep classes. Remember, everyone is different. Some people do better with 7 hours of sleep and some with 10, so make sure you’re feeling out what is best for YOUR body. Try out your new bedtime routine for the next 7 days and see how you feel!
With permission, article originally appeared: https://www.loveandasana.com/blogs/love-asana-blog/why-your-sleep-is-essential-for-managing-headaches