Headaches and sleep quality have a vast and complex relationship. That’s why The Insomnia and Sleep Institute of Arizona is home to quadruple board-certified neurologist Dr. Vimala Sravanthi Vajjala, a neurologist who focuses on headaches, facial pain, and epilepsy as these conditions relate to sleep. Her board certifications include Neurology, Epilepsy, Headache Medicine, and Clinical Neurophysiology. Dr. Vajjala completed her residency in Neurology at Rutgers University, followed by a fellowship in Clinical Neurophysiology/Epilepsy at Barrow Neurological Institute as well as a fellowship in Headache and Facial Pain at the University of Arizona. She is one just only 750 board-certified headache specialists in the country who is board-certified in Headache Medicine by the United Council of Neurological Subspecialties, and an even smaller number of board-certified headache specialists who actually completed formal fellowship training in headache and facial pain.
If you struggle with headaches, including migraines, seeing a sleep expert like Dr. Vajjala, who specializes in the association between this type of pain and sleep can be the first step on your journey towards management of your condition. But what exactly are headaches, and how is sleep a factor?
There are many types of headaches, but migraines are perhaps the most well-known. Headaches are classified into either “primary” or “secondary” headaches depending on the underlying cause. Primary headache disorders typically include migraines, trigeminal autonomic cephalalgias, and tension-type headaches. Secondary headaches are caused by another condition that triggers them, activating pain-sensitive structures in the head or neck. Secondary headaches are not very common, but can be serious and even life-threatening. They can be caused by many different conditions, including tumors or masses in the brain, hemorrhagic stroke, or inflammation of blood vessels.