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Posted By : droll - 8/16/2005 11:05 PM
For the last couple of years my worst migraines have come on while I was sleeping.  It seems to occur when I have slept long enough to go into a deep sleep.  If I set the alarm and only sleep for an hour and then get up for 15 minutes or so the migraine doesn't get to bad.  Has anyone else had problems with going to bed with one level of pain and waking up with the level worsened quite a bit?

droll  (AKA Dan)

Posted By : tysmyboo - 8/17/2005 6:45 PM

Hi Dan,

I have the same problem...and lots of others do as well...

I have a tendency to wake up with migraines! I am going to post some info here, just as soon as I find it.


Sara-Migraine/Headache Forum Moderator
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Posted By : tysmyboo - 8/17/2005 6:52 PM


Nocturnal Migraine

Many patients who have migraine will experience their attacks during the middle of the night or early morning hours. This headache often awakens the patient from sleep. 


Recent evidence suggests that these attacks are related to changes in neurotransmitters in the brain during sleep. It is recommended that patients treat the headache when the attack begins, elevate their upper torso (back, shoulders, and head) and rest or try to go back to sleep.


(From The National Headache Foundation-Educational Resources Topic Sheets)

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Posted By : kamari - 8/18/2005 5:58 AM
Good morning
I have also had migraines that wake me  up in the middle of the night.  I have at times fooled myself into thinking that if I go to sleep the headache will go away - only to wake up a few hours later with a migraine so bad it is difficult to get out of bed to take anything for it.  Very often these headaches seem to be more intense than others.
Good luck with finding something that works for you.   


Posted By : droll - 8/18/2005 7:15 AM
Yes, they are very often much more intense than the ones I get during the day. I have already tried elevating my upper torso but it never seems to help. Today my daughter started kindergarten. To make sure I could get out of bed and see her get on the bus I just stayed awake all night. It worked but what a miserable way to have to live!!

droll  (AKA Dan)

Posted By : Pegasis - 8/18/2005 3:12 PM

You stayed up all night?! What a GOOD DADDY!! Did you take pictures?

I'm curious, Dan. Were you able to sleep after she left on the bus? redface

I'm thankful that I do not get this type of migraine during the night. The ones that wake me up during the night are like the ones I get during the day. Some are mild, some are fierce. I will try elevating my upper body next time. Heck, I'll try just about anything if someone says it works for them! Well, maybe if TWO people say it works tongue

Hey, can you tell I'm feeling better?

~~Pegasis yeah

Posted By : Nicky (coquitlam55) - 8/18/2005 7:37 PM
I am having a bout with night time migraines and waking up with them as well. I've heard that sometimes they can be rebound headaches because the medication wears off during the night.
I find that if the weather changes during the night it can trigger a migraine. If I'm worried about something I grind my teeth and that can do it or if my neck is at a funny angle.
Has anyone found a solution?

"Be faithful in small things because it is in them that your strength lies."
Mother Teresa

Posted By : droll - 8/19/2005 7:10 AM
No, Pegasis, I wasn't able to sleep. I have another daughter that is 20 months old and she decided to be my shadow, which is not unusual. I did take pictures and got more of her getting off the bus that night.

Conquitlam, I think you are right about the rebounds. There have been times I have set the alarm to wake up and take more meds. Sometimes this prevents them but sometimes the headache is too bad to go back to sleep:(

droll  (AKA Dan)

Posted By : Pegasis - 8/20/2005 12:31 PM

I remember having my daughter playing let's be Mommy's shadow today. I hope you can get some relief, Dan.

How are you doing, Coquitlam? I saw in another area that you had a pretty rough few days there! I remember days like that. The times when I didn't even want to swallow because even that made the migraine escalate. I had a continuous migraine for over 3 months back in 1998. I will never forget it. The neurologist kept giving me new medicines that were preventives. He told me at every visit that I must be depressed. Because I usually cried. Well, I told him, you would cry too, if you had a migraine every day, all day, and you couldn't get any relief. I begged him to give me something, anything, to make the migraine stop. He finally had me bring in my husband at my next visit so the doctor could give me a shot and my husband could drive me home.

I asked why he didn't do that sooner. He said he was waiting to see which drug he prescribed would be the one that worked best. I switched doctors.

I'm still having migraines, but not too many really bad ones. The ones I'm getting are milder and I'm acting quickly with Advil Liquid gel capsules. It's amazing that I'm getting relief within an hour or two as long as I lie down and rest. I have had a couple of days when I get a second migraine, but again, if I treat it quickly, I can sometimes get quick relief. What a difference.

My blood sugar is still not really under control, but it's so much lower than it was before. Part of the trouble is that sometimes it gets TOO low. They explained that my blood was keeping just about all of the glucose that our organs need. Now that my diet and the medication is helping the sugars get to where it's supposed to be going, my body is being much happier with me. Now it's a matter of getting the proper balance so the blood sugar is at the right level. The news was definetly a shock, but I'm glad to know now. It's only been a couple of weeks and I still need for info. I'm heading for the library today. There are plenty of web sites about diabetes but I need something I can hold in my hand.

~~Pegasis yeah

Posted By : Nicky (coquitlam55) - 8/20/2005 8:32 PM

Hi Pegasis,

I'm glad to hear your doing well and learning to balance your blood sugar. My supervisor suffers from migraines and was diagnosed with Diabetes at the beginning of July. She looks a lot better now that she has learned how to balance her blood sugar but its difficult. I feel for you. For her its meant a whole new lifestyle, especially food.

I'm okay. Two weeks ago I had a tension headache for a week, nothing worked. Finally a drug cocktail of Atavan, Robaxacet and Tylenol with Codeine broke the cycle. I had one day free of a headache. Then on Monday I woke up with a migraine, at least I know how to get rid of migraines. The migraine lasted until Friday. I had one day off and woke up with it again. These migraines were horrible, I haven't had any that bad in a long time.

The side effects from the Topamax have subsided, for the most part. I'm off to the neurologist on Wednesday for my next Botox injections as long as he can guarantee the tension headaches weren't caused by the Botox wearing off. I'm going to discuss my experience with the Topamax with him and the recent difficulty with medications.

This message on Migraines at Night was timely. This week I woke up many times in the night with migraines. Waking up with a headache ruins my day. It takes everything I have not to climb back into bed and pretend that day doesn't exist.

Hopefully next week will be better. yeah

Coquitlam55 (aka Nicky)
"The world is full of suffering, it is also full of overcoming it." --Helen Keller
I try and remember this each day I have a headache that I'm not sure I can overcome.

Posted By : mercyme - 9/20/2009 6:10 AM
I know you haven't posted here in quite a while. But I woke up this Sunday morning with a terrible migraine so decided to get on line to see if I could find any help. This migraine woke me up around 5:30 am and I layed there until 7:00 before finally getting out of bed and making me some coffee. That didn't help but at least I'm up early to get ready for church. I will need lots of prayer to make it through church this morning.

People ask me all the time how do you keep going and do all the things you do with a migraine. Sometimes I think they don't believe I have one, but actually I've dealt with this for so long it's just a part of my life as sad as that is. Even when my migraines are bad I will continue to do most things that I normally do, not always but I do try. I took my little girl to a amuzement park this week and I didn't feel like it but I had promised and I really wanted to get away myself so I didn't let the migraine keep me home. It was very hard, but I endured the pain for her. Every sound of a kid yelling about set my head off but I made it through that's what mattered. The thing about migraines is people can't see it, so they don't understand it.

Hope you all are doing well, and are staying migraine Free,


Posted By : korbnep - 9/20/2009 4:43 PM
Seems like I'm a little late in replying but I wanted to mention the possibility of sleep apnea. Problems breathng while sleeping can certainly worsen migraines. Another possibility could be grinding your teeth.

Just a quick thought.


DX: NDPH, Recovered(?) CRPS
RX: Lamictal, Namenda, Wellbutrin XL, Oxycodone, Oxycontin, Concerta (Methylphenidate), Clonazepam, Rozerem, Magnesium (1200 mg/d), Riboflavin (400 mg/d).

PRN: Ketamine nasal spray, Toradol IM, Celebrex, Haloperidol, Lodine, Zofran, Phenergan, Ambien CR
rarely: Migranal, Thorazine, DHE IM, Droperidol IM, Reglan, Provigil, triptans (Imitrex, Maxalt, Relpax, Zomig, Axert, Amerge)

I can be contacted personally via email at

Posted By : kandyman - 9/24/2009 10:59 AM
I appreciate all the comments here, I have had Migraines for years and the ones I wake up with are the worst. I will definitely be watching this forum to see if anyone has ideas to help ease these. For now, I just get up and take 2 excedrin in hopes it will go away before I have to get up and go to work.

Posted By : korbnep - 9/24/2009 8:39 PM
Taking Excedrin in the middle of the night might not be such a great idea. It has a sizable dose of caffeine and will probably interrupt your sleep. If you really need it for headache relief try just taking tylenol and aspirin (excedrin w/o caffeine).

DX: NDPH, Recovered(?) CRPS
RX: Lamictal, Namenda, Wellbutrin XL, Oxycodone, Oxycontin, Concerta (Methylphenidate), Clonazepam, Rozerem, Magnesium (1200 mg/d), Riboflavin (400 mg/d).

PRN: Ketamine nasal spray, Toradol IM, Celebrex, Haloperidol, Lodine, Zofran, Phenergan, Ambien CR
rarely: Migranal, Thorazine, DHE IM, Droperidol IM, Reglan, Provigil, triptans (Imitrex, Maxalt, Relpax, Zomig, Axert, Amerge)

I can be contacted personally via email at

Posted By : bectan - 9/25/2009 8:12 AM
Having migraine at night is really bad because you can't sleep well and are constantly tired. In the morning it is always bad but during the day it is getting better. Somehow there is nothing I can do about it. It is really bad and I hope this will be better prospectively.

Posted By : g kay - 5/3/2010 1:42 AM
Over the last few months I began waking in the wee small hours with screeching headaches. I got into a cycle of taking too many pain killers as it was the only way to sort them out. Very frustrated (and tired) I looked all over the internet for similar stories and found all sorts of causes : jaw clenching, diet/food triggers, tumours, sleep apnea, neck out, eyesight, bad sleep posture yada yada yada. I would like to report that I have now found the cure for these screechers.... A 440mg magnesium/calcium tablet at breakfast, and another one at bedtime. I've now reduced the dose to one bedtime tablet every night or alternate night - YIPPEE I'M FREE! At the same time I reduced my daily intake of sugar and empty carbohydrates. It's worth a try. If it doesn't work for you - please make sure your Doctor knows your situation.

Posted By : mercyme - 5/3/2010 7:00 AM
I have daily chronic migraines. I often wake up with a migraine in the mornings and sometimes up in the middle of the night I will get one and I know it's going to be bad if I wake up in the middle of the night with one. I'm still battling these terrible headaches everyday. The neurologist hasn't been able to help me so now I'm seeking a headache specialist. I don't live in a large city so I'm probably going to have to travel if I get to see one. I live in Northeast Tennessee. Hope you are all pain free today. :)


Posted By : Duane777 - 5/14/2010 9:33 AM
When you get migrains often, your brain may be lacking L-lysine, zinc, and magnesium. These ingredients help control the loss of calcium and excess glutamate in the brain. You may be missing selenium, a powerful antioxidant that helps protect the brain cells from destructive free radicals and can even help reverse their effects. A good supplement that may rid you of your headaches is called Neuro-Boost. If you google, you should find it.

I hope you found this information useful.

Posted By : mercyme - 5/18/2010 7:34 PM
Thank you Duane, I will look the website up tonight. Have had another migraine today along with neck pain. I appreciate any help I can get!

Blessings ~ Cindy

Posted By : Vee721 - 8/1/2017 9:17 AM
This is an old post, but I actually did find a cause, and a way to help. My worst migraines always started when asleep and were underway by the time I woke up. I never ground my teeth or had tmj, but it turns out I was clenching my teeth for years. When you clench, you irritate the trigeminal nerve by compressing it. I found out I was clenching by accident when I had a toothache. Once I made the connection, I tried mouthguards, hypnosis, drugs, nothing worked.
Then I found a biofeedback headband for migraines and teeth grinding. I wear it every night. It makes a tone if I am clenching, and you need to train yourself to stop clenching when you hear it. (After a few months of wearing it every night, I stopped clenching without waking up) I have not had an overnight migraine since I started wearing it. It's called SleepGuard and it's FDA registered.
The website is
Hope this helps someone else.

Post Edited (Vee721) : 8/2/2017 5:55:50 PM (GMT-6)

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