headacheBothered by one or more head-pounding migraines per month? You may inadvertently be triggering more headaches by having an erratic sleep schedule, shorting yourself on sleep and/or sleeping too long, say Missouri State University pain researchers. In their new study, they found that a lack of zzz’s, oversleeping or changing your bedtimes and wake-times (for instance, sleeping in on the weekends) triggers the production of proteins that are linked to activity in the trigeminal nerves—a pathway that runs from the brain stem to head and face and plays a major part in migraines—and proteins involved in the initiation of chronic pain.

The easy fix: Aim for 7 to 8 hours of sleep per night. And stick to a strict bedtime routine—try to go to bed and wake up at the same time every day of the week.

Banish migraines with 2 natural supplements
As a longtime women’s health journalist, I have the skinny on which supplements are proven in studies to work. Here are the supplements I personally use to combat migraines and which have cut the number of my monthly migraines by half and reduced their intensity. Expect to see results about one month after you start taking them:

*  100 mg. of coenzyme Q10 three times daily: This vitamin-like substance refuels drained energy cells, which is believed to be a migraine trigger.
One to try: Swanson Co-Q10, 100 mg., 100 softgels, $7.89, amazon.comMy Hormonology

* 200 mg. of magnesium daily: This key mineral has been shown to stabilize blood vessel walls, minimizing painful migraine expansions and contractions.
One to try: Vitamin Shoppe Magnesium Citrate, 200 mg., 100 tablets, $6.99, amazon.comMy Hormonology

 

[photo: Migraine Chick]