Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations

Behavioral Link Between Insomnia And Tension-type Headaches

Date:
February 25, 2009
Source:
Rush University Medical Center
Summary:
Using sleep or napping to cope with chronic pain caused by tension-type headaches could lead to chronic insomnia according to a new study. The study found that napping to relieve headache pain could serve as a behavioral link between headache and sleep disturbance.

Using sleep or napping to cope with chronic pain caused by tension-type headaches could lead to chronic insomnia according to a new study by researchers at Rush University Medical Center. The study, published in the February 15 issue of the Journal of Clinical Sleep Medicine, found that napping to relieve headache pain could serve as a behavioral link between headache and sleep disturbance. 

Related Articles


The study compared a group of 32 women who were confirmed to have tension-type headaches, as classified by the International Headache Society System, to a control group of 33 women who experience minimal pain.

Eighty-one percent of the women in the headache group reported going to sleep as a way of managing their headaches; this method was also rated as the most effective self-management strategy for pain. 

Principal investigator and lead author, Jason C. Ong, PhD, assistant professor of behavioral sciences at Rush University Medical Center, said the extent to which the headache sufferers rated sleep as being an effective method for coping with pain was somewhat surprising.

“Insomnia is a common complaint among headache sufferers. While napping may relieve pain, it may also decrease the brain’s need for sleep at night, leading to reduced ability to initiate and maintain sleep at night,” said Ong.

The study found 58 percent of those with tension-type headaches reported sleep problems as a trigger of headaches compared to 18 percent of those who only suffer minimal headache pain. Similar studies have found that sleep disturbances, which include difficulty falling asleep or staying asleep, have been identified as a risk factor for developing chronic headaches.

Women in the headache group also reported a significantly higher rating of pain interfering with sleep compared to the control group. No significant differences were found between the groups on use of medication to relieve headaches.

Ong encourages further behavioral treatment studies to examine alternative coping strategies for pain that do not involve sleep. He notes that clinicians should be sensitive to the dilemma of managing pain and sleep disturbances.

In addition, the study concludes that medical experts should assess daytime napping behaviors among individuals who report insomnia and headaches. Such an assessment may be important for developing behavioral sleep interventions.

The study involved 65 women recruited from undergraduate psychology courses at a university located in the southeastern U.S. The average age of members of the headache group was 21.9 years, while the average age of the control group was 18.9 years.

The average time since the first headache of any type was 9.4 years for participants in the headache group, with an average of 8.11 headache days per month. Participants reported an average of 12.2 tension-type headaches over the past year, and 2.1 tension-type headaches in the past month, with a median duration of 2.0 hours. The average tension-type headache intensity rating using a 0-to-10 scale was 5.6. Six participants in the headache group also met criteria for migraine disorder.


Story Source:

The above story is based on materials provided by Rush University Medical Center. Note: Materials may be edited for content and length.


Cite This Page:

Rush University Medical Center. "Behavioral Link Between Insomnia And Tension-type Headaches." ScienceDaily. ScienceDaily, 25 February 2009. <www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2009/02/090215151753.htm>.
Rush University Medical Center. (2009, February 25). Behavioral Link Between Insomnia And Tension-type Headaches. ScienceDaily. Retrieved January 25, 2015 from www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2009/02/090215151753.htm
Rush University Medical Center. "Behavioral Link Between Insomnia And Tension-type Headaches." ScienceDaily. www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2009/02/090215151753.htm (accessed January 25, 2015).

Share This


More From ScienceDaily



More Mind & Brain News

Sunday, January 25, 2015

Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations


Featured Videos

from AP, Reuters, AFP, and other news services

How Technology Is Ruining Snow Days For Students

How Technology Is Ruining Snow Days For Students

Newsy (Jan. 25, 2015) — More schools are using online classes to keep from losing time to snow days, but it only works if students have Internet access at home. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com
Weird Things Couples Do When They Lose Their Phone

Weird Things Couples Do When They Lose Their Phone

BuzzFeed (Jan. 24, 2015) — Did you back it up? Do you even know how to do that? Video provided by BuzzFeed
Powered by NewsLook.com
Smart Wristband to Shock Away Bad Habits

Smart Wristband to Shock Away Bad Habits

Reuters - Innovations Video Online (Jan. 23, 2015) — A Boston start-up is developing a wristband they say will help users break bad habits by jolting them with an electric shock. Ben Gruber reports. Video provided by Reuters
Powered by NewsLook.com
Amazing Technology Allows Blind Mother to See Her Newborn Son

Amazing Technology Allows Blind Mother to See Her Newborn Son

RightThisMinute (Jan. 23, 2015) — Not only is Kathy seeing her newborn son for the first time, but this is actually the first time she has ever seen a baby. Kathy and her sister, Yvonne, have been legally blind since childhood, but thanks to an amazing new technology, eSight glasses, which gives those who are legally blind the ability to see, she got the chance to see the birth of her son. It&apos;s an incredible moment and an even better story. Video provided by RightThisMinute
Powered by NewsLook.com

Search ScienceDaily

Number of stories in archives: 140,361

Find with keyword(s):
 
Enter a keyword or phrase to search ScienceDaily for related topics and research stories.

Save/Print:
Share:  

Breaking News:

Strange & Offbeat Stories

 

Health & Medicine

Mind & Brain

Living & Well

In Other News

... from NewsDaily.com

Science News

Health News

Environment News

Technology News



Save/Print:
Share:  

Free Subscriptions


Get the latest science news with ScienceDaily's free email newsletters, updated daily and weekly. Or view hourly updated newsfeeds in your RSS reader:

Get Social & Mobile


Keep up to date with the latest news from ScienceDaily via social networks and mobile apps:

Have Feedback?


Tell us what you think of ScienceDaily -- we welcome both positive and negative comments. Have any problems using the site? Questions?
Mobile iPhone Android Web
Follow Facebook Twitter Google+
Subscribe RSS Feeds Email Newsletters
Latest Headlines Health & Medicine Mind & Brain Space & Time Matter & Energy Computers & Math Plants & Animals Earth & Climate Fossils & Ruins