Visit our Location
205 Main Avenue Norwalk, CT 06851
Give us a Call
(203) 840-0000
Send us a Message
Opening Hours
Mon – Fri: 9AM-1PM & 3PM-6PM
Saturday: By Appointment Only

Exploring the Connection Between Sleep Problems and Pediatric Migraines

Exploring the Connection Between Sleep Problems and Pediatric Migraines

There’s nothing quite as heart-wrenching as watching your child breakdown from the pain that is seemingly impossible to control. If you’ve ever thought, “what the hell is happening to my baby?!” then this article may be helpful for you. I’ll explore the link between sleep disturbances and pediatric migraines, identify a few health concerns, and provide ways you can help your child get and stay better.

What You Should Know About Childhood and Adolescent Migraines

Migraines in children are common and can be silent or ferociously painful in several ways. Here’s some research about pediatric migraines that’ll help you understand the condition better:

  • Infantile colic was a problem in children with migraines.
  • Mothers with migraines are 2.5 times more likely to have an infant with colic.
  • Fathers with migraines are two times more likely to have a colicky baby.
  • Boys aged 7 to 10 years can experience more migraines sooner than girls (until puberty, when girls tend to get more)
  • Food allergies lead to leaky gut syndrome, and leaky gut causes migraines. This is the biggest problem in most migraineurs.

How is Sleep Connected to Pediatric Migraines?

A 2008 study found that children with migraines are twice as likely to suffer from OSA (obstructive sleep apnea) than children without migraines. Researchers found that more than half (56%) of children with migraines suffered a sleep-related breathing disorder in that study. Children who got less sleep, took longer to fall asleep, and had shorter REM cycles reported severe migraine pain. 

What Happens When Your Child Doesn’t Get Enough Sleep?

Anyone who’s tried to wrangle a child into the car after a few nights of terrible sleep knows how a lack of it feels, but it doesn’t just cause irritability, crankiness, and a lot of tearful screaming. It also affects your child’s ability to learn and retain information in school and at home. Sleep deprivation lowers their pain (and patience) threshold, so symptoms are exacerbated. Further, sleep disturbance can cause conditions like:

  • Bruxism (teeth grinding or jaw clenching)
  • ADHD
  • Learning disabilities
  • Psychiatric problems like depression and anxiety
  • Obesity

A Few Ways You Can Help Them

It can be summed up in one word: routine. There may be an allergy at play that’s making life difficult, and I would urge you to keep a close eye on food and drink, as these are the primary concerns in children with migraines. However, creating a sleep routine will be the ultimate support. That means going to bed and waking up at the same time every day (including weekends) and creating a practice they do every night and morning. Involve them in the process. Ask what they’d like to do and make a calendar or set timers. Here are some ideas to add to your routine:

  1. Drink a small glass of warm water an hour before bed.
  2. Take a low dose of melatonin for a few nights. Melatonin is made naturally in the body, so this should be used just to help on rough nights.
  3. Take a warm bath or shower 30 minutes before bed.
  4. Keep the lights dim for 1-2 hours before bedtime.
  5. Limit noise and screen-time two hours before bed. Try not to let them have more than two hours of screen time a day. Interact with them: read a story, cuddle, color, or do something relaxing.
  6. Use aromatherapy by putting a diffuser in their room. Oils like lavender and peppermint can help them relax.
  7. Keep the bedroom clean, cool, and dark.

Sleep is the body’s natural state. It is necessary for survival and good health. A lack of it can be problematic for both adults and children. It has no bias – no matter who you are or what you do, your body will break down if you don’t sleep. In the development years of childhood and adolescence, sleep deprivation can alter their life’s path and make becoming a productive member of society more difficult. I want to help. If you need support, have questions, or want to know more about me, please reach out through social media or my website.  You aren’t alone.



American Academy of Sleep Medicine: Link Between Migraines and Sleep Disorders in Children

PubMed (Headache): Pediatric Headache and Sleep Disturbance

Springer Link (Current Pain and Headache Reports): Pediatric Migraines and Academics

JCSM: Sleep Disturbance in Pediatric Intracranial Hypertension

Why Do Some Get Sick and Others Don’t?

Pasteur Was Wrong. “It’s Not The Seed. It’s The Soil”

Conventional Western medicine is based upon the tenets of germ the theory. It’s the basis for the use of antibiotics and vaccines. The germ theory states that certain diseases are caused by the invasion of the body by microorganisms (seeds), organisms too small to be seen except through a microscope.

The French chemist and microbiologist Louis Pasteur (1822-1895) is given much of the credit for development and acceptance of the theory.

The germ theory was partly shaped around Pasteur’s idea that the human body is sterile and devoid of any germs. According to the germ theory there are fixed, external germs, which invade the body and are the direct cause of a variety of separate and definable diseases.

However, there is another theory called the terrain theory, which believes that it is not the “germ” that determines disease, but rather, the state of our internal health (the host).

What If Pasteur Was Wrong?

Pasteur’s friend, the physiologist Claude Bernard (1813-1878), argued instead for the importance of balance in the body’s internal environment – what he called le milieu intérieur“ or terrain theory.

The terrain theory initiated by Claude Bernard and later built upon by Antoine Bechamp (1816-1908), claimed there was a healthy terrain which could handle various pathogenic (disease causing) microorganisms that were encountered. Béchamp’s research revealed that our bodies are, in effect, are “mini ecosystems.”

When an individual’s internal ecosystem becomes weakened (dis-ease)—whether due to poor nutrition, toxicity, stress, trauma, or other factors—it changes the function of the microbes that are naturally present in the body, producing disease.

In other words, microorganisms only become pathogenic (cause of disease) after the host’s cellular “terrain” has been compromised.

The renowned 20th century French-American microbiologist René Dubos (1901-1982) agreed with Bernard’s terrain principle: “Most microbial diseases are caused by organisms present in the body of a normal individual. They become the cause of disease when a disturbance arises which upsets the equilibrium of the body.”

Modern research validates the terrain theory with numerous studies showing how a healthy terrain can repel certain disease processes, including viruses, bacteria, and even ulcers.

For instance, consider the study In Science, which looked into immune responses to Heliobacter –a germ/pathogen, strongly associated with ulcers, chronic gastritis, stomach cancer, and other gut issues.

The researchers looked at what happened to mice when samples of the bacteria were introduced into their guts under differing conditions. They found that introducing it into healthy mice raised in a nearly germ-free environment, caused no harm.

But when the same type of bacteria was introduced to the gut of an unhealthy mouse with colitis (inflammation of the colon), it caused an immune threat response by causing the gut inflammation to even become worse.

Humans are mostly microbes/germs, over 100 trillion of them. These viruses, bacteria, and other microbes outnumber our human cells ten to one. The majority of these microbes live in our gut, particularly in the large intestine. The bacteria in the microbiome help digest our food, regulate our immune system, protect against other bacteria that cause disease, and produce vitamins including B vitamins B12, thiamine and riboflavin, and other needed vitamins. The microbiome is essential for human development, immunity and nutrition. The bacteria living in and on us are not invaders but beneficial colonizers.

Researchers who study the microbiome point out that under optimal circumstances, exposure to microorganisms educates the immune system “from the moment we are born”—and that “correct microbial-based education of immune cells may be critical in preventing the development of autoimmune diseases and cancer.

Diminished microorganism diversity in the gut has been associated with a variety of conditions including “allergies, diabetes, obesity, arthritis, inflammatory bowel diseases and mood disorders.

The presence of germs does not constitute the presence of a disease. Germs or bacteria have no influence, whatsoever, on live cells. They are not the cause of the disease, any more than rats, flies and maggots cause garbage. Flies, maggots, and rats do not cause garbage but rather feed on it. You normally don’t find rates in a clean environment. However, rats are common in garbage-plagued areas.

Rudolf Virchow, father of the germ theory, stated in his later years, “If I could live my life over again, I would devote it to proving that germs seek their natural habitat–diseased tissues–rather than causing disease.”

We do not catch diseases. We do however, invite them through our choices in what we eat, drink, and think, our daily habits, and lifestyle. These choices, day in, day out year after year, create our internal environment and the state of our health! Healthy choices typically are rewarded with a healthier terrain. Poor health choices, over time, create the environment for disease.

Functional Medicine

Functional medicine doctors recognize that certain germs trigger unwanted infections. These germs include cold, flu, herpes, mono, and other viruses.

But rather than blaming the germ, functional medicine focuses on the underlying health of the host or their terrain.

The goal of functional medicine is to optimize and restore balance to the body’s own self-healing mechanisms to prevent or overcome disease.

I believe optimal health is created through maintaining a healthy diet, ongoing health habits (exercise, prayer, mediation, hobbies, etc.), genes, environment, emotional and physical stress, and nutritional status-all determines the health of our terrain and resistance to dis-ease.

God Gave Us The Ability To Be Self-Healing Dynamos

Humans are born with an innate, inborn healing system. We don’t have to think about mending a broken bone, healing a cut finger or fighting off a virus.

Our body is equipped with the chemicals and genetic instructions needed to stay healthy. Genetics, environment, emotions, stress, diet, daily habits, and lifestyle all play a role in determining the state of our health. But the healthier our terrain, the less likely we will be vulnerable and attract disease.

What do you need to do to have a healthy terrain?

  • Drink at least 64 ounces of water a day.
  • Stay well hydrated.
  • Avoid sugar it compromises your immune system.
  • Avoid stress.
  • Get plenty of rest. Consistent deep restorative sleep is crucial.
  • Eat healthy. Avoid “junk food.”
  • Laugh often.
  • Stretch or gentle exercise on a daily basis.
  • Stay connected to family and friends. Pick up your phone and give them a call.


The BEST thing you can do to reduce your risk of COVID-19 infection is to avoid coming in contact. And practice super vigilant hygiene-frequently wash your hands any time you go out in public.

Please know that stress can compromise your immune system and sabotage your terrain.

Second, on the list is to remain calm. Don’t stress out, it will only lead to more stress and a weakened immune system. Meditate, pray, do easy stretches and exercise daily. Turn off the news and watch a funny movie or “oldie.”

As my mom would always say “this too shall pass.”

Third, address any underlying health issues with the appropriate nutrients. Take  good multivitamin, digestive enzyme, probiotic, etc.

A strong immune system and healthy body is your best defense against COVID-19 or any illness.

By the way its said that Pasteur renounced his germ theory on his death-bed, saying that “Bernard is right. The microbe is nothing. The environment is everything.”