Sleep in Patients with Chronic Migraine

Chun Pai Yang, Shuu Jiun Wang*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articlepeer-review

49 Scopus citations


Purpose of Review: The biological and pathophysiological interaction between sleep and chronic migraine (CM) remains to be fully elucidated. In this article, we provide a narrative review of the literature on sleep disturbance and CM, highlighting recent advances in sleep research and insights into mechanisms that could mediate a role of sleep disturbances in migraine chronification. We discuss the potential for cognitive-behavioral insomnia therapy (CBTi) as an intervention for CM with comorbid insomnia. Finally, we propose a model of the mechanisms underlying the interactions among sleep physiology, maladaptive migraine-coping behaviors, and coexisting factors which contribute to sleep disturbances in CM based on conceptual models used in sleep research. Recent Findings: Insomnia is the most common sleep complaint among patients with CM. CM patients experience more frequent and severe insomnia symptoms than patients with episodic migraine (EM). It has been suggested that sleep disturbances may predispose individuals to migraine attacks, which may affect the pain-processing trigeminovascular system and thus play a role in migraine progression. Encouraging but limited evidence suggests that management of insomnia via behavioral sleep therapy may reverse CM to EM and possibly prevent migraine chronification. Summary: Migraine has a complex relationship with sleep. The use of objective sleep study such as polysomnographic microstructural sleep analysis and actigraphy could help connect sleep disturbances and processes related to CM. Future longitudinal studies should examine whether effective behavioral treatments such as CBTi can reverse migraine chronification.

Original languageEnglish
Article number39
JournalCurrent Pain and Headache Reports
Issue number9
StatePublished - 1 Sep 2017


  • Chronic daily headache
  • Chronic migraine
  • Insomnia
  • Sleep disorders


Dive into the research topics of 'Sleep in Patients with Chronic Migraine'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this