Suffering from migraines leads to poor sleep in women experiencing the menopause

A new study in America is the first to confirm a link between a history of migraines and poor sleep is more likely to occur in menopausal women.

Previously a relationship between poor sleep quality and suffering with migraines has been identified, but the association between the two in the menopause transition remains unclear.

woman's hand on face

American researchers analysed over 2,000 premenopausal and perimenopausal women in three different geographical locations who suffered with migraines and poor sleeping habits. They considered potential confounding variables.

Researchers involved in the cross-section study confirmed an association between a history of migraine and poor sleep in premenopausal women.

However, broken sleep and headaches that premenopausal women experience are explained by other factors known to affect sleep in the menopause transition such as, anxiety, depression and body mass index.

Summer Ghaith, Lead Author of the study from the Mayo Clinic of Medicine said: ‘To our knowledge this is the first study to examine the association between migraine and sleep quality in pre – compared to perimenopausal women using validated tools in a large cohort of women across three geographical locations.  

‘Given the rise of both migraine and sleep disturbances during the menopause transition, we were interested to see whether the relationship between the two entities changes as women advance through the reproductive stages, and that it exactly what we found.’

Poor sleep is major problem in the US, costing the economy $411bn every year. Migraines are also costly due to them affecting work productivity and can impair the quality of a woman’s life.

Although both problems increase during the menopause transition, migraines tend to improve after the menopause.

Dr Stephanie Faubion, North American Menopause Society Medical Director and Co-Author of the study said: ‘Clinicians caring for women with migraines should ask about their sleep quality regardless of their menopause status, although management strategies to address poor sleep in migraine suffers may differ depending on menopause status.’  

The results of this study will be presented during The North American Menopause Society annual meeting in Atlanta from October 12-15, 2022.

Photo by Mehrpouya H


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