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472570 tn?1274685887

sleep positions and migraines

I've had frequent migraines for over 20 years.  In the last 5or more years I've been getting burning pain on the pressure point on my head when I lie on my back . It always turns into a full blown mega migraine that doesn't respond to alot of medications I have.  Sometimes whilst in this position I would have a very bad dream and wake up with the burning sensation.  I have been sleeping on my side for several years now and it shows on my face.  And now I am getting migraines just from the pressure of the pillow even when I am sideways, Is anyone else having migraines because of they way you sleep?  I am taking Humira and  my migraines have worsened since I started taking this type of  medication but it keeps my rheumatoid arthiritis in check and me functioning so I don't want to switch or stop using it. When I get these burning migraines, I always emit a stale oniony smell which is embarrassing. I have different migraines  and this burning migraine is the only one that causes the odor. It always reminds me of the commercial of the frying egg and "this is your brain on drugs..."  My head has that sort of tingling, popping sensation and pain. It always encompasses the crown of my head like a helmet. I have had this type of migraine for a week now, in varying degrees.  Another trigger absolutely guaranteed to start a migraine of this sort  is  reading or sending texts on my cellphone, even for just a minute.  I am also  no longer able to enjoy a favorite pastime, reading,
3 Responses
875426 tn?1325528416
Since a car accident, I don't like to lay very long on my back with a pillow, so I typically don't use one except on my side.  And I can give myself a headache just by laying on my side too long in one position.  I have TMJ osteoarthritis and muscle problems.  Have they ever run an MRA/MRV on your head?  When was the last time you had a regular brain scan?  Have you had your eyes checked lately to make sure eye strain is not part of the problem with reading?
768044 tn?1294223436
Hi bobby38,

Reading triggers my migraines too, especially when I am looking down at the book to read. It's really frustrating.

I have to use a cervical pillow (the kind that fits the shape of the neck) or else I wake up with migraines. If I fall asleep in a chair or even lying down on the couch, I will always get a migraine! But, if my head is cradled properly, then sleeping doesn't tend to trigger my migraines.

When I wake up from a migraine, they are usually the most painful migraines that I get. I normally use Zomig Nasal Spray (a triptan) for my headaches, and sometimes I will also use Naproxen (NSAID), Metoclopramide (antiemetic), and Hydromorphone (pain killer) depending on the severity of the migraine; but for my morning migraines, I have to use Imitrex Injection (triptan) and I always have to use the Hydromorphone (pain killer). Depending on what medications you have already tried, you may want to speak to your doctor about a faster-acting triptan or a stronger pain killer for your extreme headaches that don't respond to your regular medications.

Since your migraines are so often triggered by head/neck/back position, I agree with SurgiMenopause that you should have some scans done to make sure that there is nothing structurally wrong (it is possible for malformations or injuries to cause symptoms like this). Try to get an appointment with a neurologist and ask if you should have a CT Scan or an MRI on your brain and upper spine.

Keep in touch! Let us know if you find anything that helps you with these position related migraines. Thanks!

-marilee
Avatar universal
I have migraines and headaches and the position of the pillow sets it off. Its either to high and it puts pain in my neck or to low and its uncomfortable. Light and music set them off also. Laying on my back helps but its uncomfortable. I feel that laying on your strong side helps the migraine that's why I lay on my right side. Its confortable fetal position and it helps
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