If an individual is prone to having migraine then a bout with insomnia will almost surely trigger an attack. Conversely, having migraine almost always leads to insomnia. It is definitely one vicious cycle for migraine sufferers.
If a person finds it hard to fall asleep, stay asleep or fall back to sleep if awakened then it can be concluded that he is suffering from insomnia. The inability to sleep is often exacerbated by the headache and the abdominal pain that often accompanies migraine attacks.
The Journal for the American Headache Society published a study back in 2005 that discussed the links between poor sleep and migraines. Majority of the research participants reported some form of sleep problem and more than half blamed the onset of migraine to sleep disturbances at least some of the time. Close to half of the participants said that they sleep six or less hours per night. People who sleep for a few hours only experienced more frequent and severe migraine attacks than those who got more sleep. These individuals are also more likely to suffer from transformed migraines or daily headaches that tend to wake up sufferers. Among the participants, 75% said that the pain forced them to sleep while 85% of them said that they chose to rest or sleep because of headache pain.
Both insomnia and migraine are linked to serotonin deficiency. Serotonin is a neurotransmitter that is believed to play an important role in regulating sleep, mood, vomiting, appetite and body temperature. The substance is manufactured in the gastrointestinal tract and the central nervous system and then stored in the blood.
People with insufficient levels of serotonin suffer from one of many forms of gastric disorders. This is probably why many migraine sufferers also experience stomach problems before or during a migraine attack. Lack of serotonin is also most likely the cause of the condition known as abdominal migraines.