Electronic Theses and Dissertations

Date of Award

1-1-2011

Document Type

Dissertation

Degree Name

M.A. in Psychology

Department

Psychology

First Advisor

Todd A Smitherman

Second Advisor

John N. Young

Third Advisor

Stefan E. Schulenberg

Relational Format

dissertation/thesis

Abstract

Migraine is a commonly-occurring primary headache disorder that is often comorbid with many conditions, including depression, anxiety, and sleep disorders. Previous research has shown that sleep problems are common among migraineurs, with insomnia being the most prevalent. Insomnia in migraineurs has many possible causes, including inadequate sleep hygiene, or participating in behaviors that are not conducive to sleep. Modifying sleep hygiene behavior has been shown to be effective in reducing migraine intensity and frequency, but research characterizing the specific sleep hygiene behaviors of migraineurs is limited. The present study sought to identify problematic sleep behaviors and their association with episodic migraine so as to inform the development and refinement of behavioral sleep interventions to reduce migraine frequency, intensity, and disability. The present study also explored anxiety and depression and their relation to migraine, sleep hygiene, and insomnia among college students, a population of interest because of their high rates of migraine, sleep disturbance, and psychological comorbidities. The sample consisted of 323 college students with a mean age of 19.28 years (SD = 3.38), with 84 (26%) meeting ICHD-II criteria for episodic migraine and 8 (2.5%) for chronic migraine. Episodic migraineurs reported significantly poorer overall sleep hygiene compared to controls (Sleep Hygiene Index M = 38.24 [SD = 6.71] v. 36.54 [SD = 6.06], p < .05). After controlling for symptoms of insomnia, anxiety, and depression, which were significantly higher among migraineurs, however, these differences were rendered nonsignificant. Among episodic migraineurs, linear regression analyses showed that poorer sleep hygiene significantly predicted headache-related disability but not migraine severity or frequency. An argument is presented that sleep hygiene is less important among episodic than chronic migraineurs, and directions for future research are discussed.

Concentration/Emphasis

Emphasis: Clinical Psychology

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