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Migraines affect REM sleep

People with migraines might get less REM sleep, which is important for thinking and memory

According to a new study, people who have migraines may get less quality Rapid Eye Movement (REM) sleep— the stage of sleep that involves the most brain activity and vivid dreams— than people who don’t have migraines. REM sleep has been shown to be important for learning and memory function.

In their meta-analysis, researchers looked at 32 studies, involving 10,243 people, who completed a questionnaire to rate their own sleep quality. Overall, adults with migraines scored worse on the questionnaire than people without migraines.

When looking at children with migraines, the data showed that kids get less total sleep time than children without migraines, but they fall asleep faster than children without migraines. One possible explanation: Children with migraines may fall asleep more quickly than their peers because they may be sleep deprived.


  1. Stanyer, E., Creepy, H., Nesbitt, A., Holland, P. R., Hoffmann, J. (2021). Subjective sleep quality and sleep architecture in patients with migraine: a meta-analysis. Neurology. doi: 10.1212/WNL.0000000000012701. Retrieved from