I see many people here who wake up with painful migraines already underway - migraines that develop overnight or early morning. I wanted to share my story and how I got some help.
My overnight migraines were the worst - they never responded to medicine - and I tried all of the medicines, both abortives and preventives. I would wake up with bad pain on the side of my head, and it would explode from there.
These migraines originally started years ago, maybe a few times a year, then every month, then every week, and they would last 3 to 4 days. They always started at 2, 3, 4 in the morning.
Then earlier this year I finally realized I was clenching my teeth during REM sleep. Clenching (unlike grinding) doesn't damage the teeth, so there was no evidence of it on your teeth. But when you clench, you compress the trigeminal nerve, which leads to migraines. And I had apparently been doing it for years. I tried OTC mouthguards and they did nothing. My dentist said there was a special mouthguard for clenching and TMJ (temporomandibular joint pain) that would cost over $700, but I truly hate mouthguards and how they make your mouth feel.
I found an FDA registered device called SleepGuard. It's a headband with sensors to tell if you are clenching (when you clench or grind your teeth, you can feel it all the way to the temples - it follows the path of the trigeminal nerve) The device sounds a tone, and you use it like biofeedback so that when you hear the tone, you stop clenching. If you don't stop, the tone gets louder and will wake you up. This sounds horrible, but nothing is more horrible than a migraine so I thought why not.
The device will also give you a reading in the morning to tell you how often you were clenching. When you first use it, you turn the volume off to get a baseline reading. When I did that, the reading said I was clenching over 80 times a night - yikes! And I had no idea I was doing this.
It took a lot of getting used to (and you have to work with the volume, the sensitivity settings, and do visualizations during the day) but after a few months, I have actually stopped most of the clenching.
Best of all, I have dramatically reduced the overnight migraines. In 3 months, I have had one overnight migraine, and I had been waking up with them every week before this. For me, this is amazing.
The headband is not cheap, it's $400. But over the years, I have spent so much on medicine and doctors and other things that didn't work.
If you want to read more, the website is mysleepguard.com/solution/how-it-helps/migranes/
This can also be used during the day at a desk or watching TV to stop clenching or grinding.
This won't help everyone, and it's not a like a pill that you get it and you're cured. You really need to work with it. Also, I still sometimes have gotten some migraines during the day due to weather or stress, but the worst ones were the morning/overnight ones and those have now stopped.
I hope this can help someone else.