by Nesreen Suwan, M.D.
Many Americans suffer from insomnia, the inability to fall asleep or maintain sleep. Lack of sleep can be caused by many medical conditions, and it may cause daytime sleepiness, lack of concentration, depression, headaches and immune system dysfunction.
It is a known fact that there is a relationship between headaches and insomnia. The relationship is bidirectional, meaning it works both ways, and multifaceted.
Some types of headaches occur exclusively during sleep, and they are called hypnic headaches. They may awaken patients from sleep. It is important to identify hypnic headaches because they are treatable and should be distinguished from other types of headaches that may awaken patients from sleep as well. Patients with cluster headaches cannot fall asleep to begin with, and if they sleep, they may wake up with severe cluster headaches and may not be able to go back to sleep. Morning headaches may be related to migraines or headaches related to brain tumors.
Just as headaches adversely affect sleep, lack of restorative sleep may cause headaches. As you can see, the relationship is complicated and is not resolved by simply taking Tylenol and sleeping pills. An extensive evaluation by a specialist is clinically warranted.
Dr. Suwan is a board-certified neurologist, board-certified in pain medicine and sleep medicine with extra certification in headache medicine and Botox treatment. She operates the Advanced Headache and Fibromyalgia clinic in suburban Lisle. Dr. Suwan is a highly recognized headache specialist and nationally known speaker in her field.For a consultation, please call 630-420-8080 or visit http://controlchicagopain.com
When You Can’t Sleep
As Featured In Glancer Magazine, May 2012