HealthDay News — Women with chronic migraine (CM) report significantly more days with naps than healthy controls, and nap duration is associated with headache severity, according to a study published online March 23 in Behavioral Sleep Medicine.

Jason C. Ong, Ph.D., from the Northwestern University Feinberg School of Medicine in Chicago, and colleagues examined the association among headaches, nap, and nocturnal sleep in 20 women with CM and 20 age- and sex-matched healthy controls. Participants completed self-report questionnaires, electronic diaries, and wrist actigraphy during a four-week period.

The researchers found that compared with the control group, the CM group reported significantly more days with naps during the study period (25.85 versus 9.03 percent). Analyses within the CM group demonstrated significant associations for greater headache severity with longer nap duration and for longer nap duration with lower sleep efficiency.

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“Although the findings provide support for the association between headache severity, naps, and nocturnal sleep disturbance, it does not establish causality since this was not an experimental design,” the authors write. “The present findings cannot rule out that CM sufferers were resting rather than actually sleeping during naps, that there were other potential reasons why they were taking naps, or that there were other potential causes of nocturnal sleep disturbance.”

Several authors disclosed financial ties to the pharmaceutical, weight loss, and other industries. One author disclosed ties to Big Health Inc., which developed and maintained the sleep diaries used in this study.

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