Headaches, Migraines Ruining Sleep? Longtime Neurologist Offers Top Tips
Google searches indicate people are facing serious quality-of-life disruption
CHANDLER, ARIZ.—Recent analysis of Google Trends searches shows that headaches and migraines disrupt the daily routines of millions of people.
In the United States alone, Google Trends indicates that people look for the term “headache” most frequently in the evening hours, with those searches peaking between 2 and 4 a.m. (see Figure 1).
Figure 1: Google Searches for “Headache” in Late March 2023
Similarly, searches for “migraine,” a more severe type of headache, spike in the early morning. Of interest, though, is that these queries do not drop off like those for “headache” (see Figure 2). This speaks to the all-consuming nature of migraines and their interference with quality of life.
Figure 2: Comparison of Google Searches for “Migraine” and “Headache” in Late March 2023
Sleep deprivation, regardless of the source, can take a significant physical and mental toll. When headaches or migraines are known contributors to sleep deprivation, it’s important to pursue possible solutions to the problem.
Neurologist Offers Ways to Address Headaches, Migraines
Starting that process requires knowing how often, and perhaps why, a person suffers headaches or migraines, says Dr. Andrea H. An, medical director at Neurology Associates Neuroscience Center in Arizona, who holds more than 20 years’ experience as a neurologist. An recommends tracking headache frequency and potential causes with the help of a paper diary or smartphone app.
“Document what you’re eating or drinking when you have the headaches,” An says. “This can help to find a pattern that can lead to effective interventions. For example, some headaches are caused by dehydration, so knowing what triggers them is useful for those cases where it can be determined.”
Recording the number of headaches or migraines will deliver critical insights into next steps for sufferers and their doctors.
“If you are experiencing chronic headaches — typically considered more than 10 headache days per month — you really should see a neurologist about pain management,” An says. “While most headaches are benign, meaning they’re not from a tumor or other dangerous condition, it’s a quality-of-life issue. There’s no need to suffer with debilitating pain."
In those cases, Botox injections often provide relief, especially for migraines.
“Treatment with Botox continues to be the gold standard,” An says. “Botox works by disrupting the pain signals before they reach the brain.”
Meanwhile, to An’s point that most headaches pose little threat to overall health, a good neurologist likely will want to conduct brain imaging anyway, “to rule out major problems like tumors that would need to be addressed right away,” An says.
If, however, headaches or migraines occur infrequently and aren’t too disruptive, people can try other measures.
“For those who are experiencing occasional, one-time headaches, over-the-counter drugs like Tylenol, ibuprofen and Excedrin Migraine can work well,” An says.
Journalists working on articles about headaches or migraines are welcome to use Dr. Andrea H. An’s quotes from this press release. Alternatively, contact Kelly Teal at firstname.lastname@example.org to arrange an interview.
About Neurology Associates Neuroscience Center
Neurology Associates Neuroscience Center specializes in the conditions and disorders linked to brain and spinal abnormalities. Neurology Associates takes patient care beyond typical boundaries, incorporating a truly holistic approach that encompasses imaging, psychiatry, neuropsychology, physical therapy, naturopathic medicine, counseling, cognitive rehabilitation, and more. Neurology Associates is staffed by neurologists with different areas of focus, a psychiatric nurse practitioner, a doctor of physical therapy, naturopathic physicians, clinical psychologists, physician assistants and nurse practitioners. Neurology Associates, established in 2015, has two Arizona locations: one in Chandler and one in northeast Mesa.