Friday, January 9, 2009

Sweet dreams for fewer migraines

If you've ever had a migraine, you know they're debilitating. I get them. When they come, my vision gets squirrely, my thinking gets fuzzy, and all I want to do is sleep. I'm completely useless for as long as one chooses to stick around.

I've tried the pharmaceutical options, and while they worked, I always wished that there was a natural solution. For me, that solution came with changing my work situation, moderating caffeine intake, stress management, and incorporating yoga into my activity routine. When I found this article, I realized that I've also been better to myself when it comes to sleep, and not cutting myself short in that department. Maybe that's part of the reason I rarely have migraines anymore.

The scientists in this study gave a 3 mg dose of melatonin to 22 children who complained of regular migraine or tension-type headaches. By the time the study was over, 3 months later, 2/3 of the subjects reported a decrease in headache frequency of 50%, and 4 subjects reported having no headaches at all.

Of course, you can go out and buy some melatonin. But what I'd recommend, first of all, is taking a good hard look at your sleep habits. Are you giving yourself at least 7 hours of sleep a night? Or are you hooked on late night TV? Are you sitting in bed with your laptop surfing the net when you should be dreaming?

It's an easy solution for a serious and unpleasant problem. Take care of your head--and your head won't have to hit you where it hurts to get your attention.

Miano S, Parisi P, Pelliccia A, Luchetti A, Paolino MC, Villa MP. Melatonin to prevent migraine or tension-type headache in children. Neurol Sci. 2008 Sep;29(4):285-7. Epub 2008 Sep 20.

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