The following is a summary of “Investigating the relationship between sleep and migraine in a global sample: a Bayesian cross-sectional approach,” published in the September 2023 issue of Pain by Stanyer et al.
Sleep and migraine are linked in both directions, but the cause is unclear. Researchers conducted a retrospective study using smartphone app data to investigate the relationship between sleep and migraine.
They gathered self-reported data from 11,166 users (18–81 years, mean age: 41.21, standard deviation: 11.49) via the Migraine Buddy application (Healint Pte. Ltd.). The data encompassed various measures, including the timing of sleep migraine attacks and pain intensity. Employing Bayesian regression models, Bayesian regression models predicted the likelihood of a migraine attack occurring the following day, considering users’ deviations from average sleep, sleep interruptions, and hours slept the preceding night among those with ≥ 8 and < 25 monthly migraine attacks on average. Migraine attack occurrence and pain intensity were investigated, which influenced the number of hours slept that night.
The results showed 724 users (129 males, 412 females, 183 unknown, mean age = 41.88 years, SD = 11.63), with an average monthly attack frequency of 9.94. More sleep interruptions (95% HDI [0.11 – 0.21]) and deviations from a user’s mean sleep (95% HDI [0.04 – 0.08]) were significant predictors of a next-day attack. However, the total hours slept was not a significant predictor (95% HDI [-0.04 – 0.04]). Pain intensity, but not attack occurrence, positively predicted hours slept.
They concluded that sleep disruption and deviation from standard sleep patterns are the primary factors linking sleep and migraines.