How long should I be sleeping for?

Whilst everyone needs a slightly different amount of sleep to function properly, most adults need around 7–9 hours of good quality sleep a night.1,2


Not enough sleep

A lack of sleep has effects on our brain's ability to function and it can cause all sorts of issues such as low mood.

So, can not getting enough sleep leave us with a headache? Yes - research has shown that those who slept an average of only six hours tend to have significantly more frequent and severe headaches than those who got a longer sleep.3

Too much sleep

Whilst not getting enough sleep is well known to trigger headaches, perhaps surprisingly, sleeping too much may also have an effect. Getting up at the same time each day, including weekends, can help set your internal body clock and improve your sleep quality.

Relaxing before bed

Reduce Screen Time: The rise of the use of electronic handheld devices from e-readers to smartphones, screen time before bed has been making it increasingly hard to fall asleep. As well as reducing sleeping times the light-emitted from these devices may affect your circadian rhythm (your pattern of sleep and awake).

Relax before bedtime: For example, take a warm bath or read a book. You can also try relaxation exercises such as meditation, mindful breathing or conscious relaxation (relaxing every part of your body from the toes up).

Organise Your Thoughts: Try dedicating 30 minutes of ‘worry time’ well before bed – then when you are going to sleep you can remind yourself all your worrying has been done already!

Have some warm milk: Obviously, having a caffeinated beverage before bed can keep you up at night, but a nice warm cup of milk contains a sleep enhancing amino acid.

Why not try these tips tonight and over the next week? You may start to see a difference in the quality of your sleep.

If you are experiencing headache despite trying these tips for sleep improvement, pain relief medication may be required to help relieve the pain. Ibuprofen is one such pain reliever medication. It acts by alleviating pain, fever and inflammation, and is the active ingredient in Nurofen. Nurofen provides temporary relief of pain associated with headaches (including migraine and tension headaches), as well as sinus pain, period pain, back pain and more.