Soldiers with migraine may sleep poorly

June 23, 2010 at 11:14 PM
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TACOMA, Wash., June 23 (UPI) -- The many soldiers who suffer with migraine may also be poor sleepers, U.S. researchers suggest.

Researchers at the Madigan Army Medical Center in Tacoma, Wash., say 19 percent of soldiers returning from Iraq have migraine, and migraine is suspected in an additional 17 percent of them.

The researchers say despite a well documented prevalence of migraine among the U.S. military, little is known about sleep quality in soldiers with chronic headaches such as migraine and post-traumatic headache. The researchers found treatment can help.

"We found that three months after initial treatment, those with post-traumatic headache reported significantly improved sleep quality and sleep onset than baseline, although their nightmares and interrupted sleep were not significantly changed," study lead author Dr. Cong Zhi Zhao says in a statement.

The study findings, presented at the American Headache Society's annual scientific meeting in Los Angeles, emphasize treatment, including education, can improve headache and poor sleep quality.

"The research sought to determine if treatment for headache and insomnia could improve sleep quality among our patients with post-traumatic headaches," the study says.

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