Do you know why dark rooms and no sounds help calm your migraine? Do you even wonder why that’s what needs to happen otherwise your head could explode?
Studies have shown more and more, that migraines sufferers get changes in the midbrain and that this area of the brain can be responsible for migraines.
Structural alterations of the brainstem in migraine.
Migraines are a massive pain and living with them is debilitating. To restrict your lifestyle and worry that things you’re doing might lead to a migraine is no way to live.
Have you ever wondered why during a migraine the only solution is to go into a dark room and sleep? That after a good sleep your migraine will improve.
The thing with migraines is that it’s all about input into your brain. When we talk about input, we mean things like, stressors, loud noises, bad foods, screen time etc. The more input that goes into the brain, the more excited the brain can get. It’s important for the brain to detect input or stimuli, but it’s also important that it doesn’t get overwhelmed by this input.
The brain of a person that suffers with migraines is more sensitive that someone who doesn’t. If a non- migraine person went out into the sun (bright light), they would find it very bright, and adapt to the light by constricting pupils etc, the stimuli that went into the brain would eventually adapt to. As a result, the bright light would no longer be perceived as being so bright.
A person who suffers with migraines generally already has a very sensitive brain. If they were to go out into the light, their brains would perceive it a bright but generally wouldn’t be able to adapt as well. What often happens is that their brains may never adapt properly and continue to be stimulated. This is what can lead to a migraine.
The area of the brain that seems to be most affected by this kind of stimulation is your midbrain. The midbrain is responsible for vision, hearing, motor control, sleep and wake cycles, alertness and temperature control.
So, if you’re a migraine sufferer and you receive too much input from your environment, then you may trigger a migraine. By going into a dark room that is quiet, all you’re really doing is reducing stimuli into the midbrain which can then help your brain calm down.
If you’re a migraine suffer and would like to make a difference to your migraines. I mean actually do something for them, then here are my gold standard tests to see if your migraines may be coming from.
You will need a partner or someone to help.
- While you’re lying down get someone to click their fingers or clap their hands next to your ear. They shouldn’t react. If you notice any kind of flinch, then this could be a sign of an overstimulated brain.
- The next test is all about your eyes ability to track up and down movement. Get a partner and keeping their finger about 30 cm from your face, get them to move their finger up and down at medium pace. Your partner should take note of how smooth your eyes followed their finger. It should be 100% smooth. If the movement is at all bumpy then this could also be a sign of a midbrain over excitation.
If any of these tests actually were positive for possible over excitation and you suffer from headaches or migraines, please contact us and we can organise a time for you to be properly assessed.