Current Neurology and Neuroscience Reports

, Volume 8, Issue 2, pp 167–175

Sleep and headaches

  • Jeanetta C. Rains
  • J. Steven Poceta
  • Donald B. Penzien


Sleep has long been recognized to both provoke and relieve headache. Epidemiologic research has associated sleep disorders with more frequent and severe headaches. Chronic daily, awakening, and morning headache patterns are particularly suggestive of sleep disorders, including sleep-related breathing disorders, insomnia, circadian rhythm disorders, and parasomnias. Snoring and other indicators of sleep-disordered breathing are the most commonly studied and are particularly salient because of the potential for headache to improve or resolve with treatment of sleep. In addition to sleep disorders, clinical research correlates specific headache diagnoses (eg, migraine, tension-type, and cluster) with chronobiologic patterns and sleep processes, implicating common anatomic structures and neurochemical processes involved in the regulation of sleep and headache. Evidence strongly supports screening for sleep disorders by headache practitioners. Headache management should identify and treat sleep disorders that may improve or resolve headache.


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Copyright information

© Current Medicine Group LLC 2008

Authors and Affiliations

  • Jeanetta C. Rains
    • 1
  • J. Steven Poceta
  • Donald B. Penzien
  1. 1.Center for Sleep EvaluationElliot HospitalManchesterUSA

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