Why time change causes cluster headaches, how to avoid them
BATON ROUGE, La. (WAFB) - Many welcome the extra hour of sleep that comes with Daylight Saving Time ending, but for some people the time change literally causes headaches.
Dr. Tony Johnson with Baton Rouge General said cluster headaches are more associated with time change.
Cluster headache attacks can happen every day for six to eight weeks and then go away in a cluster cycle. Doctors said the theory is that you can actually trigger a cycle by switching the time with the ending of daylight saving time.
“I think the thing is just trying to continue to get the amount of hours that you normally get,” said Johnson. “Of course, we recommend about seven hours or so for adults. For kids, of course, little bit more than that anywhere from nine to 12 hours asleep. For more so for the little ones, more hours of sleep, of course. So I think staying on the sleep cycle, making sure you’re still exercising and just trying to keep your daily routine, even though the time is changing.”
He said to also make sure you’re not eating too late and suggested eating two to three hours before bed.
People with Alzheimer’s and dementia are also vulnerable to sleep disturbances, doctors said. The disruption caused by the time change can exacerbate their symptoms. They often experience disrupted sleep-wake cycles due to cognitive impairments, leading to irregular sleep patterns and daytime drowsiness.
“With the sun going down earlier, that kind of can throw the clock off some,” said Johnson. “So again, I think the most important thing is trying to stay in the routine, whether it’s somebody that has dementia or elderly or if it’s infant or toddler, just trying to stay on the routine that you’ve been doing.”
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