Everyone around us seems to smile at the thought of brighter, longer days accompanied by wonderful things like blooming flowers and the Easter Bunny. But let’s admit it, some of us have mixed feelings as daylight saving time approaches. First, we have to wear sunglasses even when we’re inside; so longer, sunnier days don’t exactly make us jump for joy. More importantly though, migraines tend to be on the rise around the time that we “spring forward”. So if you have noticed this about yourself you are definitely not alone.

Both sleep and weather are associated with migraine patterns and both change at this time of year (see https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/29399051 ). Too much or too little sleep can cause us to have more migraines. More migraines, in turn, can wreak havoc on our ability to sleep. It can be a vicious cycle to be avoided at all costs. During daylight saving time, the effects of the time change and an hour of lost sleep can last for at least a week or more. One creative way to try to minimize these effects on people with migraines is to go to bed/wake up 15-20 minutes earlier each morning as your schedule allows, and slowly acclimatize yourself to the change. This way we avoid the full physical effect of an hour difference all at once on a single day.

Weather changes have been associated with an increase in migraines and other chronic pain conditions for years (see https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/28244179). This time of year often marks a change in the weather, along with a change in our clocks. Unfortunately, unless you’re planning a nice vacation, there is no way to escape the weather. The moral of this story is: take it easy on yourself at this variable time of year. Try to keep the things you can control as stable as possible, and surround yourself with supportive people.