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Triggers: Lack of Sleep?


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Hey Everyone,

Brief preface: Episodic sufferer diagnosed earlier this year, only had one cycle that was aborted by a Prednisone taper. Haven't had a second cycle yet. 

I've done some very brief research on on the impact of poor sleep & clusters. In general, there appears to be some sort of correlation, not to be confused with cycling in and out of REM triggering an attack.

I'll define "poor sleep" as being tired, laying in bed, wanting to sleep, but simply cannot fall asleep, ultimately getting only 2-3 hours per night for several consecutive nights, which is exactly my situation for the past 3 nights. I've had some bad nights of sleep here and there throughout my life, but this week is an exception.

There have been no recent major changes or life events to look back at and say, "Yep - THAT'S why I can't sleep". I would say my stress and anxiety levels are no greater than the many months preceding my inability to sleep. Anecdotally, this may fall under the category of episodic insomnia..? As a result, I'm noticing an increased frequency of low-level headaches or possibly shadows, however, I can't distinguish if the pain is from the cluster realm or just an "I need sleep" headache. The pain is not unilateral, nor am I exhibiting the other telltale signs of a cluster.

Anyhow, I've read a lot of your posts regarding lack of sleep or poor sleep quality being a trigger. I'm curious to know that, if you're impacted by this type of trigger:

  • Does it start a single, standalone attack for you or does it start a full on multi-day/week cycle?
  • Have you noticed lack of sleep serve as an indicator of an impending cycle?

I don't have much personal cluster-history to pull from, so ANY input or personal experiences on the topic would be appreciated, thanks in advance!

PFW All!

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I'm chronic, so can't address your questions about triggering episodic periods. But, from what I gather, they happen when they happen, and not sure if anything can trigger them, per say.

When my clusters were bad, the lack of sleep was a big trigger for individual clusters. I had figured out that I could have 1 late night a week. 2 late nights, or worse, 2 back to back, and I was sure to get hammered by clusters and/or migraines the following day or two. Then, of course, I'd find myself being over tired from the attacks, which would bring on insomnia. 

It could quickly become a downward cycle to Hell.

Shadows are a real pain as well. They are really good at zapping your energy, and making one over tired when they do try and sleep. 



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