Crowdsourcing: Migraine Aura While Asleep

Hart dreamed he had a visual migraine aura and woke up with a migraine. My guess is it wasn’t just a dream, but he was seeing the aura while asleep. Since an aura originates in the brain, not in the eyes, this seems logical to me, but I can only find one article about it. Based on two case studies, the authors say that geometric patterns from visual auras can be incorporated into dreams. I assume that dreaming you have an aura is a literal, direct incorporation into the dream, rather than the more abstract idea the article mentioned.

I’m really curious about this and can’t test it out on myself (since I have, fortunately, not had an aura outside of that terrible weekend). I have vivid dreams and nightmares during migraine attacks, but don’t think they usually precede attacks, and I don’t have a visual aura at all. So I’m crowdsourcing. Do you have auras in your sleep, either like the typical visual auras you get when awake or bad dreams?



89 Responses to Crowdsourcing: Migraine Aura While Asleep

  1. Amity says:

    I have had that experience. It doesn’t happen often, but it is usually met with me waking up and thinking “well, my day’s shot.” It is weird how it will incorporate into my dream, whatever it may be. I will also have some recognition that I’m getting a migraine in the dream. It’s interesting.

  2. David Skaer says:

    I only have aura migraines. Unfortunately, I’ve only remember waking up with the beginning of the aura (well–probably into it five minutes). I have a technique that stops the migraines, so I thought I was going to have to stay awake and do my technique. I fell back to sleep and never got the headache despite not doing my technique.
    Don’t remember any dream. Sorry about that.


    • Derek Nolin says:

      Please let me know, what is this magical technique that stops your aura migraines?

    • Meech Pinzon says:

      Can you share your technique? I got to a chiropractor for mine but I too also only get aura migraines and I’d love to stop one at the start of the aura.

  3. Syn says:

    My auras the visual aspect is slight, peripheral vision loss and some spots and/or bubbles, sometimes flickering. My auras are basilar so cognition changes, vertigo, perceptual changes, etc. Yes, I have had auras in my dreams. Even some of the visual where everything is flashing in the dream. I also have an odd synesthesia (best word I have for it) with the weather during most auras, and on a few occasions there have been storms, etc, in my dreams and I wake up the aura starts flipping into migraine and the storm comes.

    My auras remain transient throughout a migraine attack, which really sucked during the 3 month status migraine last fall. With the vertigo I will wake up midspin and it will continue seamlessly from unconscious to conscious. Though this is typical in Meniere’s and sometimes MAV so it may not all be strictly migraine related. More on my aura symptoms:

  4. Tony says:

    Let me start by saying that I don’t have visual auras at all and it’s rare for me to have nightmares, also I usually wake up with a migraine, no matter its severity. I have noticed that occasionally I will have a very intense nightmare and wake up with a severe migraine. Usually in the dream I’m aware just before waking that the severity of the nightmare has to do with a migraine. If I dream like this the migraine is usually at a factor 8 or above and I’m incapacitated for up to 72 hours with medication being useless to alleviate the pain.

  5. Syn says:

    I forgot to add that the more severe end of my auras cause me to lose consciousness it ranges from an irresistable urge to sleep and or EXTREME fatigue to flat out fainting. My *sleep* during aura is very specific, almost like lucid dreaming, out of body experiences, what’s actually happening melding with dreams and while this can go on for hours it is never restful.

    Also like Dave I only get aura migraines pretty much at this point, actually I often have extremely disabling auras with no to very little headache at all these days, sometimes upwards of three a day. Which is medically dangerous so it’s under close observation with my neurologist.

  6. Jane says:

    I get auras in my dreams a lot, actually! Just this morning I had a dream I remember only vaguely, but I was about to drive my car when I saw the aura and decided I shouldn’t drive. When I have an aura in my dream, I always wake up and open my eyes to check if I’m having one for real or just dreamed it. Before I wasn’t sure if I had the aura because I was dreaming (I suspect lots of visual stimulant is a trigger for me), or dreaming because I had the aura, but this morning I only saw the dream when the aura was already halfway fulfilled, so I’m leaning towards dreaming because of the aura.

    • Naledi says:

      Hi I started getting auras at the beginning of last year, very strange feeling I must say. I’m taking chronic medication for another illness so whenever I mix my migrane medication I do not sleep at all. Soo I stopped tkng the migrane medication. I do get auras while I’m asleep , way more than 3 . T is the most irritating feeling ever. I have now begun feeling a heaviness in my head nd dizziness . My Neurologist said it was stress caused by exams

  7. Anne. says:

    I have a run of migraines with aura every few weeks, mostly in the night. I see the aura in my sleep and usually wake up half way into the cycle of aura. I have never ‘dreamed’ I was having a migraine – it’s usually started in my sleep. Occasionally I haven’t woken up during it, but I am aware – in my sleep that I am suffering a migraine and not dreaming it

  8. Nita says:

    I have just taken a leave of absence from my job as a substitute teacher because I am having weekly migraine with aura. I will be starting on
    effexor tomorrow. I have had them since I was 12. I had a series of miscarriages in my 30’s, and once during an unsuccessful pregnancy, I had a dream I was having a migraine. I woke up feeling post-migraine, so I assumed I was really having a migraine in my sleep. I never had a migraine during a pregnancy that went to term.

  9. Hannah says:

    This happens to me all the time. I only get migraines with aura (aura phase lasting about 20-30 min), and they often start while I’m sleeping. I’ll usually dream that I’m getting a migraine, and then shortly (I think?) I’ll wake myself up. This worst part about this is that I’ve lost time to take my meds quickly, which is crucial for me (I think it is for everyone) and then the meds won’t work great.

    But I do really think the aura itself just incorporates itself into my dream, and I guess I’m used to it enough that I typically know in my dream that it means I’m getting a migraine in reality. It just varies on how long it takes my unconscious mind to realize it’s really happening and wake myself up.

  10. PJ says:

    I started having severe migraines 12 1/2 years ago after an electrical shock to my head. I have dreams that I have a migraine and I am in a lot of pain. My husband says that I moan in my sleep. I wake up and I have a horrible migraine.

  11. Stephen says:

    I had this experience this morning, and it’s one of the worst migraines I’ve had

  12. Bertab says:

    I was going to write about persistant migraine aura yesterday but I had a headache. Just a little migraine humor. I had stress/bad dreams last night and woke with a headache. There are three types of dream/sleep aura that I experience…. The first is similar to overlapping shadows, typically in three sections. I’ve seen this since I was about twenty. The second is the geometric pattern, this usually precedes a full blown CH. Then there is the bright white or red lights that incorporate into nightmares. These nightmares are interactive. I am generally in fear of something. I talk during theses episodes and have total recall.
    I hope this helps

  13. Veronica says:

    I have had a few dreams of aura migraines and always wake up in the middle of an attack. I had one last night and have been really under the weather all day today from it. I woke too far into the migraine last night to take my meds to stop it going any further. The dreams I have are very complex and always incorporate me with an aura in it. I find when I wake with it I often cannot believe I am actually in the middle of an attack and take a few seconds to actually realise it is not a dream anymore

  14. Lori says:

    That happened to me early this morning, which is why I am here. 🙂 I googled it to see what other people said about dreaming of having migraines with aura and waking up with one. This has happened to me one other time. I have had migraines since I was six years old, although most of my adult life I haven’t had the horrible pain with them. I always have auras and blind spots, some pain, some nausea, and sometimes I have the migraine “hangover” for more than a day. This morning I dreamed I was having auras and thought, in my dream, “well, shoot, I’m getting a migraine. I’d better take something.” Then I woke up, and I was actually in the middle of a migraine aura. Taking something didn’t help. I had to wait out the full-blown migraine. Only about an hour ago was I able to function halfway normally. That’s when the post migraine euphoria set in. It has, unfortunately, worn off now, and I just have the stupor and fog. I keep having to backspace and correct things in this comment, for example, because I can’t think or type right. And, like one of your commenters above, as soon as I woke up and knew I was having a migraine, I thought, “Well, great! That’s today shot!”

  15. Beverly says:

    I have been having aura migraines in my sleep for years. During this time the intensity of the aura has increased and even evolved. What used to be tesselating diamonds and sparkling lights has become geometric, 3-D, pulsating, rolling shapes with bright, lightening like, strikes of light.
    How do I know? I often wake up and what I used to think was a dream continues in the dark with my eyes open.
    The nighttime aura has become my old friend. I don’t get as anxious when it happens at night as in the daytime.
    I even enjoy the show, sometimes. It’s visually quite stunning. Like taking LSD for the first time.
    I have at least ten migraines a month. I’ve had complete medical and neurological testing. There is no explaination. I just live with it. There is the option of using Botox in my scalp. No thanks!
    I got here by googling “migraine aura at night”. Nice to know I’m not alone!

  16. Lori says:

    Nice to know I’m not alone! 🙂

  17. Mel says:

    I just woke up and found this posting which has been so helpful. I had a dream that I was in class and we had top put on a talent show. I’m way past being in school by the way! Anyway, as the teacher was calling people to the front, I remember having nothing planned. I remember being anxious. All of a sudden, I could see the migraine aura and thought this was not good. As soon as I woke up, I had it. I couldn’t believe it! I only get migraine auras but never in my dreams! This is why I went on the internet to search immediately if this was normal or if it had happened to anyone else. It’s so strange and horrible!

  18. Susanna says:

    I’m interested in this. I was dreaming I was skiing last night but the aura came on as it does, always preceding the pain so ihad to explain to my ski buddies that i needed to sit the next run out as I was half blind and I’d try to shift it with my pills and catch up with them later. I woke up to find I was actually experiencing the aura and had a race to find utterly useless paracetamol (pregnant so can’t take my almotriptan) in the hope I could stave off the worst before it took hold. Managed to get back to sleep but woke in agony 3 hours later. Fascinating it was in my dream though. How weird is that?!

  19. Alycon Pierce says:

    Last night was the first time I experienced an ocular migraine while asleep. My ocular migraines occur a few times a year (usually following eye strain or caffeine intake) and are not necessarily followed by headaches. This time I dreamt I was seeing a solid white “conversation bubble” (such as in a comic strip) off to the upper left, and then I awoke to “see” the zig-zag outline of an ocular migraine aura taking the same outline as that conversation bubble, as it continued to expand outward in all directions. Like the daytime ocular migraines, this one faded away within a half-hour, with no headache then, but a slight one upon rising. Glad to find this posting about others’ experiences with mid-sleep ocular migraines.

  20. Sujata says:

    I’ve had migraines since I was 12 but gradually the frequency has considerably reduced over the years.A stressful job could be a prime reason. Oflate I have started consuming fresh lime with hot water n honey which keeps my system more alkaline n helps cut down these attacks. Yes lemon though citric acid turns alkaline when it metabolises.Aura while sleeping has occurred twice lately but doesn’t both me much. It’s the fear of an attack which bothers more.

  21. Mel1234 says:

    I have had quite a few instances where I’ve dreamed I was having an aura and when I’ve woken it’s either still there or I’m in the migraine phase of the episode. I’ve had aura migraines for 25 years and they can be set off by lights, scents but mostly stress. When I’m particularly stressed I can get them daily. I can’t take most of the meds due to other medical complications and have to resort to codene or paracetamol and rest.

  22. Linda Kavish says:

    Thank you for proving I haven’t lost it. I woke to an optical migraine after dreaming I was having one, or so I thought, this morning. I don’t have any pain with these but sometimes I feel as if I have a stuffy head afterwards.

  23. Peggo says:

    I am new to this group, but not new to what they used to call “classic migraine.” I am 65, and have been getting them, always with aura, since I was 17. I woke up at three a.m. Today with a doozy of an aura. Took an imitrex, bye bye aura. The aura has always been disabling, zigzag moving wide bands taking over my vision. Driving is near impossible. The aura was a foreboding signal of the impending flaming knife pounding through my eye socket. I recently sought serious treatment for these migraines because they were happening almost daily. I suffered a traumatic brain injury in 2006, which made them much more intense. My doctor was great, imitrex works great, if I time it right, I avoid the pain part. I also learned that migraines are related to seizure disorders/epilepsy. My baby brother Bob died in a gran mal in 1977. My dad’s uncle and three current young relatives have epilepsy and are on medication and also have migraine. I am amazed at what they can do these days. They used to drug you up with Valium for your headache and depakote for seizures. Now depakote is used for migraine too. Hmmm. Relief is nice!

  24. Rosemary says:

    I used to get three day migraines pounding head, vomiting etc but now take feverfew daily and only get ocular migraines without pain. Just 20 min visual disruption with zigzagging patterns. Recently I’ve had these during sleep, waking up during the process. It is not part of any dream. I lie awake in the dark until it subsides and then go back to sleep. I was googling this when I found your page…glad I’m not the only one.

  25. Pat says:

    I am glad to find this website as I just recently started with the “sleep auras” and wasn’t sure what was happening. I have had migraines for years, but this was something new. Unfortunately, he triptan drugs do not work for me and have been using more traditional pain drugs. I am interested in Dave’s comments from last August where he mentions a “technique” that works for him. If Dave is till connected, I would like to know more. Has anyone had success with Dr. Sarno’s Tension Myosistis Syndrome protocols. Let’s keep this conversation going please.

  26. Takis says:

    I just had tonight an aura in my dream which finally appeared to be real. It is really unbelievable, how I was dreaming that I had an aura and realized in my dream that it takes long to go away. This made me possibly more stressed in my sleep and finally I waked up realizing that Aura was live and already ongoing. It got away after 10 min, as it was already big enough. In the morning after 4h, when I got up, while checking my mails a new one started which I had the pleasure to enjoy for 35 min until it dissapeared. This was my 3rd time with aura during sleep. The other two were during very stressful occasions of my life. This time I didn’t have stress , I only couldn’t sleep immediately and took me about 1h until my sleep starts. I suffer with Auras since I was 20years old (now 50) and in last 2 decades I experience only auras without the Headache. As in last year these episodes have increased from 1-2 per year to 10 per year, I am trying to correlate food with auras. I am keeping diary with all episodes. Majority are related with stress in work, fatigue from athletic exercise. However I have seen that eating string beans with patatos and sometimes oat bars, auras have been triggered . I would be also interested in technicques to stop the aura, as I am not using currently any medicine.

  27. Cheri says:

    In my dream last night I had a migraine with aura of lights. I remember not being able to make it stop. I woke with a terrible migraine I can shake.

  28. Sujata says:

    Hi I have been following these email strings as I’ve had migraines since I was 12. Today I am 45. Since the last couple of months I’ve started taking Vitamin B complex/Calcium with zinc & magnesium + Vit D tabs which have helped me considerably in reducing these attacks. My Vit D was at a terrible low of 5. Over the years I never really got it diagnosed. Migraines happen to different people due different reasons. No amount of Tabs for “migraines” really solve the root cause. However do need to point out that deficiencies in Vitamins & Minerals in the body should not be overlooked as a major root cause, Do get them checked.

  29. Naledi says:

    No one has said anything bout their auras being a repeatation” of an AURA. .I’m not sure how to describe this but my auras are always the same.. A flash of an event and than a song , all the time! T’s very strange! And another thing is If I’m gonna have auras I know a few days before that I’ll be having auras for the nxt 3 days or so. If I hv them whilst wth ppl I cannot move or talk although I’m aware that there are people around they seem to be talking from a distance..

  30. dyan says:

    I have had headaches since childhood, some for months at a time, then sometimes only a few bad ones a year. I dream frequently and vividly. A few years ago I started having aura, some with pain and some without. One of the first ones surprised me – I looked up and couldnt see half of my sons face. I started to panic until I saw the familiar oscilating noodle. (That one did end up in a pretty bad headache) This morning I became aware of the aura in a dream, and came awake seeing it. When I opened my eyes it was still there. Got up walked around, had some water and it was still there. I didnt take anything because the last 2 or 3 auras didnt have pain, but went back to sleep. I dreampt about it but I think it had faded away because the imagery in my dream was blurry and not vibrant, oscillating or at all similar to the previous dream. When I woke the second time, after about 45 minutes, it was gone and I only have a dull ache and naseau, so I decided to treat.

  31. Fiona says:

    Hi – this is the best information I’ve received on what’s been happening with me. I started with the ocular migraines last year – the small circle made up of zig zag black and white lines in my vision that grew and grew for about 20 mins and where it was I couldn’t see. After the 20 mins I would get a dull headache – not as bad as I would call a migraine. This happened a few times (first time freaked me out till researched), then nothing for months. About 6 weeks ago I woke up and I thought there was a creature moving rapidly up the wall, I soon realised that when I moved my eyes to focus on it – the ‘creature’ moved in exactly the same way and I realised it was an aura – this thing was like a weird circle with what looked like legs coming out of it. Frightened the life out of me. For a few days after that – the aura was different, each time, I’ve had what looks like a spinning cactus, a chandelier, a snowflake and other blobs, one looked like a cartoon squiggle (black). Can’t believe I’m actually typing this, but hope somebody will have had a similar experience, it does sound similar to Beverly above. I don’t recall an aura in my dreams, but my dreams are so vivid when I’m waking up with the auras. I have a dull headache but nothing to speak of. If anybody has similar would be grateful for any more info – as I say – it’s just when I wake up now and disappears when I fully wake and focus. I have been researching for weeks and was reading an article about something to do with the type of sleep you’re in when the migraine comes on – not sure if that could be anything, but I look forward to any information/advice. I went to my doctor not long after it started – he referred me to a specialist optician who said vision all fine so now back at the doctors on Thursday. I would be grateful for any info from anybody who wakes with similar weird auras. Thank you.

    • Chas says:

      I have these same things. They disappear as soon as I awake and get focused as well. I had a brain injury in 1975 with visual migraines that started not long after. These (also) dream related plus sleep related aura’s have just started in the past 2 months. I visited the doctor yesterday and had no real answer except to see an optomologist. I feel your pain and it debilitates people like me to be able to sleep. Did you ever find the cause or how to prevent it ? I’m afraid this is going to be one of those “have to deal with it” issues. I asked my Doc about anti-seizure meds but declined to put me on one.

  32. LF says:

    I just woke up about 30 minutes ago with an ocular migraine. All I ever have is the aura, no pain ever. These weird acephalgic migraines started for me on May 4th of this year, and I seem to have them a lot. But this was the first time I actually dreamed I was seeing an aura, and woke up with my eyes still closed and could see it, then opened my eyes and could still see it. My auras start with me only seeing half of things, and then I get a zigzag, rainbow colored, vibrating shape like a “C” in my vision that continues to grow until it’s gone. Today it was quite large by the time I woke up. My dreams were very vivid early this morning, and were about my mother in law lying and making my husband look like an idiot, and then someone I knew was in jail and escaped. Not sure if this helps anyone, but I’m so thankful to know I’m not the only one to experience this freaky phenomenon!

  33. Mike says:

    I dreamed last night someone shined a bright light on me. After that I was dreaming I was placing a license plate on a car for someone but I couldn’t see the holes. At that point I saw the zigzag and knew I was having a migraine. It woke me up and I ran to take immatrex and Aleve. I woke up in the morning with a slight headache. This was my second aura this week.

  34. Louise Smith says:

    I used to get terrible migraines very often – some periods they would be daily and would wipe me out for most of the day. Over the past few years though, the pain and nausea I used to get from a migraine have almost gone. I still get pain but either would describe it as a mild migraine or severe headache. I have always had aura’s, and they usually last for about 10-20 minutes, during which time i have to keep my eyes closed and wait for them to pass. The pain comes after that – although i tend to take pain killers as soon as the aura hits so the pain is masked. More recently (2 occasions I can remember within the last year) I have had an aura whilst dreaming and then woke up with a headache. In fact, it happened last night. On both occasions, the headache i had when i woke up was pretty bad and i felt nauseous and tired. its not pleasant having an aura whilst dreaming, its not pleasant having them whilst awake, but at least when awake i can close my eyes and not see anything. When dreaming your eyes are shut but you are still visualizing stuff which is probably what makes me feel sick.

  35. Matt says:

    I also just woke up in agony after dreaming about getting a migraine, it felt early on in my dream and my alarm for work woke me. They don’t usually hurt this much. My dreams were extremely vivid all night. The last thing I remember was someone plugging cables into my brain. I’ve dreamt of getting a migraine in my sleep at least 3 times in the past and always amazed that my dream was true. I’m 33 now.
    Probably shouldn’t have eaten all that cheese and chocolate before bed.

  36. Walt Clark says:

    I have had many aura migraines during sleep and while dreaming I was having aura then actually waking up in an ocular episode. These dreams incorporating me having aura usually cause the most severe migraines for me and the day is ruined feeling sluggish with unilateral pain on forehead. I have been having aura migraines for over 12 years . I keep a detailed log of each episode also detailing triggers that may bring on the onset. The triggers can vary from person to person my most frequent cause is low blood sugar (hypoglycemia). My migraines may
    also be set off by flickering lights ( reflection from snow or water and fluorescent bulbs. The causes of migraines is not known but the sudden constriction of blood vessels which reduces blood flow to the eye is the most confirming reason for migraine auras.

  37. John Hatfield says:

    I wake up knowing I have had a migraine in my sleep because, after I have woken up, if I cough or sneeze, I get the characteristic sharp pain in my head. As the day progresses I feel generally rotten and depressed which is the symptom I get anyway after a day-time migraine. It takes two days to clear.
    With an awake migraine, I get the symptoms described but usually no conventional headache – but with an aura of course.

  38. Chrissa says:

    I just had my first night migraine with an arua. I was having a very stressful dream and noticed I was getting one. As others, my thought was “great, my day is shot”. I woke up and the zigzag pattern was still present. I’ve had migraines with arua since I was 17 (16 years now) and have noticed a change in symptoms over this time. When I was in my 20s I had aura without the pain. After the visual episode, the foggy fatigue would set in. Since I hit 30, these have progressed into pain as well. I’ve tracked them for awhile now and I noticed an increase in frequency while pregnant and while I’m under high stress. Though, I haven’t been able to pinpoint any other direct triggers. The migraine is bad but the anxiety after that I deal with for days or even weeks, is the worst. I’m always on high alert that I’m about to get another. In my line of work, Realtor, having an episode while with clients is very hard to explain and I’m very embarrassed. The past 2 years, I was only getting attacks about every 6 months but recently I’ve started to have them about once a week. I know I’m under a lot more stress lately but that has been subsiding more and more lately but the migraines have not. I am glad I found this post and feel more comfortable knowing I’m not alone.

  39. L. Singer says:

    I get a migraine with aura about six out of seven nights. It usually comes about two to three hours after I fall asleep. I wake from horrible nightmares and a super bright aura. If I close my eyes in th dark, all I can see is the bright white flipping and spinning aura.

    I’ve tried every available prophylactic except Botoxl I’m getting a CAT scan next week and then will try Botox.

    I miss sleep. I miss feeling rested. And I take way too many Imitrexes.

    I’ve never read of anyone else who has this.

    • Chas says:

      L. Singer: If you don’t mind, did you have your CAT and was anything found ?! I was almost tempted to ask my Doc about having one but I need to see the eye Doc before to rule anything else out. Mine happen within the time frame that yours do and I have no problems with this during the day, except when I have the visual migraines at daytime but this is at longer time frame than the “sleep” ones I have now. All of us have physical problems and I wish we didn’t but I guess it’s because we’re human. Thanks for your time.

  40. Shell says:

    I wish I could say no. I’ve always woken up with a migraine until last night which is why I’m online. Even though I’m two doses of zomig later and squinting right now – it scared me.
    I don’t have visual dreams. My dreams read like storytelling with the occasional picture or color. Last night, it was like a light show then lightning hit one side of my head. Scared me.

    • L. Singer says:

      I can say that the migraines aren’t an indication of anything like a tumour. Botox had no effect. I’m almost desperate enough to try getting my ear pierced. I used to love sleep.

  41. Naomi says:

    I just had an aura while taking a nap at about 3pm. It was different, like a orange light going through my right eye and the light pulsing down my optic nerve into my brain, in the dream. Woke up with massive ocular migraine and its still there, only on the right side. Its the first time it happened while I was asleep. Usually my vision splits, visible with both eyes, and looks like a clear line of crystals in a zig-zag pattern.

  42. Theresa Froese says:

    My experiences start like this; I’m asleep, always, I start having lightening fast dreams, jumping from subject to subject, then quickly turn to strobe lights. That wakes me up. My ears will be ringing very loudly and I’m having major visual disturbances. All geometric designs, all strobing. Everything is flat like I’m in a 2D state. It lasts anywhere from a minute to 30 minutes. It never turns into a migraine.

  43. L. Singer says:

    Mine are similar but I always have a migraine. Last night’s was particularly painful.

  44. Karen says:

    I am a silent migraine sufferer. I used to be a full blown migraine sufferer, having to get to the hospital after waking with them. I’d get a shot of fenigrine and stadall, get home to sleep it off. For some reason in my 53rd year of life those migraines stopped. In 2007, my first silent migraine happened when I was home alone. My legs became num and the numbness moved up my body. I found my phone and called my husband. By the time he arrived I could not talk or move. Because we only lived a block from the hospital, he took me in. I stayed in this state for a good 2 hours. I was flown to Mayo in Rochester, Mn. By the time I got there I had regained feeling in my extremities and could speak. Because I did not present as a life or death case, they sent me home at 11:30 that evening just as my husband arrived.
    Since then, I have my silent coming out of a nap. I am paralyzed from the neck down and cannot speak. These last anywhere from 30 min. To an hour. It’s a completely draining experience and I am worthless the next day, almost like a hangover with no pain. This latest one was two days ago. I’m finding these experiences are becoming farther apart.

  45. Jackie says:

    July 14 2017 started mine 2 years ago first very scary rushed to opticians , ok migraine with aura , had 1 the next year then slowly increased to now 2 in a week , last 2 just before bedtime 11oc pm 12.oc pm , one before that while sleeping 2pm , I do have a slipped vertebrae in neck and they did start when that started to be a problem, just feel very heady after muzzy and tired 😴, interestingly I usually wake up 2 times in the night and sleep restlessly, but when have them before bed sleep straight through like a log ? Obviously knocks me out . I too have looked at food but not sure that makes any difference maybe feeling tired contributes , and eye strain, perhaps but really don’t know , don’t take any medication for them , noticed just before and after stomach bit more upset then usual . So good to know not the only one , and feel for everyone who has these. Wishing all a little respite.

  46. Dr Larry Arnold says:

    I am an individual who suffers from permanent aura, but that does not mean I cannot have particular auras on top of the background norm. I often experience extreme auras when waking, and sometimes as last night I have awoken suddenly from a dream I recall, that clearly incorporated elements of what I was experiencing on awakening. If I fall back asleep, the bad dream immediatly recurs, I can’t rid myself of it, so I have concluded over time this is all due to experiencing specific auras in my sleep, they are often accomplanied by a particular kind of tactile aura too, and increased tinnitus.

  47. Mollie says:

    This happens to me every time, except when having the dream that I have a visual arura it wakes me up while I still have the arura and I get up go take medicine and go back to sleep. It happens either once a month or every other month. But it is the same th8ng every time I dream I have a migraine or can’t see in my dream I wake up shortly after, turn on the light and sure enough I have the visual arura warning.

  48. Ang says:

    yep, I had an aura wake me from sleep as well yesterday morning and found your article while doing research for people who have migraine auras while they sleep. I have been dignosed with Chornic Migraines. Lately I have only have only a few days with no pain in a month. It is exhausting. My stomach can not handle taking any kind of pills prescription or over the counter. Some of them also cause migraines. Been trying natual alternitives on my own because all the doctors want me to keep trying to take prescrptions until I find one that works. I am sick of the side effects. They just make the problem worse. Still fighting a migraine as I type this.

  49. Susie says:

    Listen to this. My migraines with auras started when I was about 17 and 50 years later I still have the damn things. Yes I am 67 and altho at this age I basically have just a once or twice a week 20 minute aura with no nausea or headache pain I did get woke up this morning at 4a.m. with razzle dazzle. This is like the third time in all those years. Was having some kind of a dream but nothing dramatic. Sure don’t know why I had it as I didn’t do anything out of my normal lifestyle . But does ANYBODY seem to know what’s going on here? I’ve been waiting for years for some kind of a collective answer to this problem and nobody no doctors no specialists can seem to nail it. But here is what I wanted to tell you all: from Dec 2016 to July 2017 I was on warfarin for a dvt episode and never felt better! Slept like a baby and never once had any kind of migraine symptom. No auras. No blackout blind spots. Nada. Weird.

  50. Susie says:

    Oh yeah and I should add that after I was taken off warfarin within a weeks time guess what. They’re back….

  51. Libbey says:

    I just woke up today at 4:30 a.m to use the restroom and was halfway through an ocular migraine with the aura. I did not incorporate it into my dream but I was having a pretty vivid dream when I woke up.

  52. Jack says:

    Have had 3 of them while sleeping and 2 very late at night 12oc 11.30 pm , other wise day times no special reason , I do have bad circulation and raynards maybe connected but also have slipped disc in neck , hard to know, but sympathetic to all I’m 61 started them 3 years ago , thanks for sharing helps

  53. Perla says:

    SO helpful to see that I am not alone. My light-induced migraines started Mother’s Day 2017 when I was looking at Mother’s Day cards at the store. Th ere were some cards with sparkly jewels and the bright lights shining off these were enough to set off auras (zigzag, lightning and blind spots) for 20 minutes then major migraine when they went away.
    I know to look away whenever there’s bright lights, wear sunglasses a lot and have Blue light filter on my phone.
    Now this morning I wake up from my sleep to the aura (flashing zigzag that gets bigger and bigger) and dull headache… but I was asleep!! There wa no light on my dreams to trigger it! Obviously I am powerless in preventing these now… I strongly believe this is a neurological/brain thing… perhaps inflammation in the ocular nerve? I do suffer from fibromyalgia, Hashimoto’s, and RA…. Inflammation-galore! We need research done…..

  54. I get lots of visual disturbances from migraines. I started having them in my preteen years with a white half circle aura blocking out the filed of vision. As time progressed, and now I’m 47, the aura become very defined: Sharp cornered zigzag, with multiple bright colors (sometimes it reminds me of a Mexican fiesta going on), sometimes I can count out the colors of the rainbows. It is interesting to see how this comes on: For me, acidity is the number one cause of onset of my migraine. I see a very small, clear, faint zigzag coming on only on one side of my eye (but then again, if I close my eyes the aura is still there…my brain is not giving up). As the minutes go by, the aura is getting closer to me – at least that’s how it seems and it is becoming brighter and more intense in color.
    I’m lucky to have a chiropractor in my household as he can adjust my neck and the pounding headache does not end up happening. If I can’t get adjusted, I reach for my baking soda to cut down on the acidity in my stomach and go lay down. Most of the time this works, but sometimes I am not able to avoid the 3 day pounding headache.

    Few times I did have dreams with visual migraine. Unfortunately by the time I realized and jumped up, the pounding headache has already set in.
    Sometimes when I go to bed, a few minutes later I start seeing the aura creeping up on me. I just rearrange my neck position, pay attention to the aura shape and color and I fall asleep.

    Last three mornings in the row, I woke up with an aura. This has me concerned as I have never experienced this before.

  55. andrea bat says:

    Last night I had an aura during my dreams, I kept flipping between consciousness and unconsiousness . It was sort of like lucid dreaming, i was self aware, my thoughts were clear and authoritative, i was very aware of the aura that behaved strangely , it took the shape of a scorpion and would keep shifting shapes.
    very weird. I woke up as if I had been hit my and electromagnetic storm.

  56. Kenneth S Schaeffer says:

    This morning, I just had a jagged zig-zag pattern in the left side of my vision – the kind that kicks off an aura/migraine – but it was in my dream. I even said to the other person in my dream “I’m starting to get a migraine.” When I awoke, the jagged line pattern was exactly the same shape and in the same place visually as it was in my dream.

    This fascinates me. I always thought the pattern was a visual disturbance, but this proves (to me at least) that the patterned disturbance is not to our vision, but to our perception. It disturbs the part of our brain that perceives what we see as well as what our minds conjure up when our vision is not in use.

  57. Libbey says:

    To Kenneth: I’m not so sure it’s strictly perception versus visual sight, but more like your brain is a powerful thing.
    For me, I think my brain was having a vivid dream to keep me occupied while my migraine with aura was happening. However it did not incorporate the migraine. On purpose? I only know it happened because I had to get up to use the restroom.
    I’m not sure, but perhaps your brain merely incorporated a visual problem to your perception/conscious even in a sleep state. Have you never incorporated a song into your dream? I used to have a radio alarm and would frequently sleep through it because my brain would incorporate the sound into my dream. I think it’s probably the same type of thing.

  58. hi there guys. how comforting to know i am not alone. i know many people who suffer migraine with no aura but none with. i get the aura without pain sometimes 3 a week then maybe 3 a month. i have tried every food elimination known to man and have been totally stressed and not had one and on the other hand have been really calm and got one. twice this week have dreamt i was in middle of aura and woke to see the end of the light show. mine started at menopause and still going in my 60s. i haven’t had any diagnostic tests as apart from the zig zags i feel healthy and energetic. it was suggested to me the cause could be non physical but realise most people would think me looney tunes so won’t go there but curious if anyone else has considered this possibility.

  59. Al F says:

    I’ve been having migraines with flashing geometric patterned auras prior since I was about 12 years old. I am lucky that my headaches are often not that bad, but I do get lots of nausea and feel stiff in my neck and shoulders. I woke up today feeling nauseous and stiff and crappy but I didn’t know why. Then I coughed and realized there was a little migraine there. Only then did I remember that I dreamt about a classic aura for me last night, except in the aura was a particularly big, bright and yucky one. Googled it and here we are. Interesting. It does seem to make sense that as auras are neurological, we could “see” them in our sleep.

  60. Susie says:

    Hey I have had migraines triggered by auras since I was 17. I’m now 67 and basically just have a 20 minute aura with hardly any headache. And not nearly as frequently as when I was younger. Just like alot of you I tried and tried to assess what the heck was causing them . Just never came up with a consistent probable cause. So now and within the last ten years my thinking is…..its a necessary thing. Something within my body physiology gets out of whack and maybe these auras gets things back on track. I don’t know. It’s just a thought and it helps me to forget about them and move on. Que sera sera….

  61. Libbey says:

    Hey everyone, I wanted to let you know my doctor figured mine out: it was caused by the excessive estrogen I had from my birth control (nuvaring). I had used that method of birth control for years and suddenly got the migraines so I didn’t believe my doctor when it was suggested it was the cause.
    Decided had enough and changed to progesterone only. No more migraines for three months now and I was having at least one a month.
    Maybe a difference for me from neurological to chemical reasons – I woke up with an aura and migraine but didn’t have it in my dream.
    Thought I’d share in case an over abundance of estrogen is also your problem.

  62. Sherry says:

    I had an aura while sleeping last night. I just decided to sleep through it. I was having a very stressful dream when it happened. I had two other while sleeping but woke up to find the exactly where I left off while sleeping. I am 64 years old and have been having auras since I was 25. When I get them I usually get them 2 or 3 days in a row and this happens every 1-2 months. Slight head ache. The worst part for me is my concentration and thinking is messed up. Usually have a dull head ache. I am glad this log is here. It feels comforting to know I am not alone.

  63. Dave says:

    Started at approx age 20 getting migraine with aura. Thought I was going blind. After 20 min of aura , I had a terrible headache. Worst I ever had. Today, 52 years later, I still have not figured out the cause. Get about 15 to 22 per year. After reading this site, I realize it could be much worse. Don’t think mine have anything to do with stress. Now believe the body builds some chemical. When the level gets too high, migraine. I think it was Leslie who suggested this. I have had auras at all times of day and night. Taught 12 years before having one in the classroom. Don’t think mine are stress related. Migraines run in my family. I will list my observations: auras occur anytime (day or night), diet can precipitate an attack, no food or drink always causes a headache. Thus, the problem. I have tried to avoid certain foods, but it seems I get a headache every so often anyhow. Think it’s body chemistry. Please excuse poor spelling. Just had a aura. Fuzzy thinking. Found formal with codeine about 35 years ago. Only medicine that stops the headache. If I got a many migraines as many people, this would not be an option. Addiction would be very likely. 1 or 2 migraines a month is no problem. I used to fear these headaches. Now, they are an inconvenience. My doctor said the headaches will be less severe and less numerous as I age. So far (age 72), no change. Guess I still have the body of a 20 year old. Humor helps. Hope I am able to help someone out there.

  64. Jack says:

    Thank you dave yes same here started 5 years ago , then nothing for a year now sometimes 2 a week sometimes 1 every few months no reason that i can tell had a few while asleep in middle of night others all times of day night at first very frightening didn’t want to go far in case , didn’t want to drive far now just stop wait to pass , aura the worst part for me i can deal with head and fuzzy couple days im 62 years old so started late always had heads but think more to do with hormones or lack of after full hysterectomy at 40 years old, now not sure maybe makes sense chemicals, although at time started vertebrae in neck has slide forward and pinches nerves think may of contributed just nice to know we are not alone in this condition thanks

  65. Tracey Clifford says:

    I have these, I actually see the auras in my dream, I then wake up and realise it’s actually happening. I do wonder how many times this has happened but I’ve not actually woken up and not felt right the following day. I don’t always get a bad headache but that depends on which side the aura arches towards.

  66. Jax says:

    Yes exactly same had a few while sleeping then woken while in the middle of one scary but have just gone back into really deep sleep heavy and heady in the morning at first frightening but somehow get used to them never nice and feel drained after sometimes both eyes other just one side thanks for sharing it definitely helps to know not alone take care jackie

  67. Jax says:

    Has anyone had one then couple hours later another as it’s first time I’ve had it happen usually only had one in any one day.been having migraine with aura last 5 years

  68. Mebegebo says:

    Interesting. An aura presents to occlude the brain created visual experience in a dream. We experience visual scanning and saccades during dreams just as we experience them with visual sensory stimuli from interacting with the world while awake. This must mean that the source of the aura is between the dream input and our processing of it. But it’s all happening in our brain.

    • Kimberly Bujold says:

      The aura starts in the cortical part of the brain and it is an electrical disturbance call CSD… cortical spreading depression. It’s a wave that moves across the cortical part if the brain and it moves at 2 to 3 mm per minute. I’ve had these since I was 10 and I’m now 44 and believe hormones are a big factor in these migraines.

  69. Christina says:

    Glad I found this board! I got my first migraine after a day at the beach when I was 18. Then none until I started birth control in my mid twenties, went off they went away. Then I had a few in my late twenties during a stressful job. Then I had a few during my two pregnancies/weaning two years ago. Now I’m 35 and for the past 4 months they have suddenly started becoming at least a weekly occurance. Last night I got an aura in my dream as I was talking to someone and kept my eyes open bc I sort of had the sense it was a dream then I suddenly awaked with the aura continuing. The headaches are not usually that bad. I put an ice patch (order these online, they are a cooling gel sticky patch) on my head, take two Advil and can usually manage though I feel hungover and have chills all day. It helps to hear others have had this and this condition for so long bc honestly I’m so scared of it meaning something worse is going on than just these episodes.

  70. Lori says:

    Jax, yes, I have had multiple aura episodes in one day — usually no more than two, but I have had three in a day a couple of times. At least once in my sleep I had the migraine twice, so I probably had two episodes while sleeping, but of course I can’t know that for sure. Usually if I have more than one migraine with auras in a day, I am completely out of it to the point of being almost nonsensical in my speech for a day or two.

  71. Kevin says:

    I’m 42 and have got migraines with an aura and sometimes just the aura without a migraine but feel unwell afterwords for a day. These started about 10 to 12 years ago and just in the past few months started happening in my sleep/dreams. Majority of mine start after I have been driving. I can tell a difference in the way I feel before I get the aura. sometimes after driving I get the feeling for a little bit and I’m afraid I’m going to get the aura but don’t, thankfully. I wonder what it is about driving that triggers it. Anyone else with similar experiences and Driving? Sometimes I will get them after strenuous cardio workouts too. I feel like maybe it’s a change in blood pressure or heart rate or something that’s going on in my body but wish I knew what the cause was .

  72. Nattie says:

    I’m so glad I found this. I had an attack last night but I didn’t realize until after I woke up. I dreamed telling my friend that I’m having a blind spot and then we got into a car and I don’t remember the dream anymore but I woke up feeling very uncomfortable and with extreme vertigo. I think I simply slept right through the aura… that was at 3am now it’s 10am and I still feel terrible and weirdly enough I still feel as if I’m going to get an attack. I am 21 years old and my migraines have gotten more frequent since I turned 18 and had my first one. And even though they happen quite often, I never get used to them and I get super anxious every time, whether it’s night or day. If anyone knows a good way to calm yourself down or help with the migraine anxiety, please do share!

  73. pixie says:

    hey nattie. i get anxious each time i have a migraine aura. i have found that magnesium powder has helped big time going from 2-3 auras a week to 1 every 1-2 months now. i am 70yo and suffering with auras for many many years. tried just about everything and this is the only thing that has worked for me. it’s worth a try.

  74. Deborah Ward says:

    Have had several auras in my sleep that wake me up and i take ibuprofen extra strength and i stay awake till its over usually around 20 mins and it stops

  75. smp_yael says:

    ive had migraine attacks since 2012 when i was 14 and in dec of 2019 i had a seemingly normal dream, but suddenly an aura appeared. I woke up anxious and got more so when i realized the exact same aura shape was still in my vision and still expanding.

    my auras last for about 30mins before the intense pain and confusion creeps in.

  76. Susie says:

    Auras followed by such intense headaches they’d make me vomit started out when I was 17. Now I am 68 and I still get those darn auras. No headaches. After all these years probably have only had a half dozen while sleeping. Most occur before noon some later on in the day. And very very rarely a pair. Soon as one is done (30 minutes) another follows. Believe auras are brought on by stress caused by chemical/hormonal changes in the body. Gotta force my limbs to somehow relax. Slip my wings on and fly fly away. Best of luck everyone….

  77. Sarah says:

    So glad to come on here and see this thread. I started having migraines about 5 years ago. I am 38 years old, healthy female. I only get migraines with aura, my 1st one was so severe I thought I was having a stroke. Also, since these migraines began my memories in general are much more vivid and intrusive. Last night I went to sleep and bizarre memories of my childhood home and neighboring areas were flooding through my head and I couldn’t shut them down. I do not remember what the dream was but I woke up feeling very off. Almost as though I was floating. I went into the bathroom and felt as though I was in a trance. I forced myself to go right back to sleep because it was making me very anxiety ridden. I woke up this morning with all of the feelings of a migraine hangover. Dull headache behind my eyes, nauseous, exhausted. Finding this thread made me feel definitely as though I have managed to have one in my sleep.

  78. pixie says:

    hey there guys. such interesting posts. i have come to some kinda conclusion these auras may be part of a cleansing process. it still has the experts baffled and in divided camps. also i read there could be a connection with EHS (exploding head syndrome) that in recent years has become a legitimate medical issue. also tinnitus and neck/spine problems. we are still scratching the surface as to how the body really operates and is interconnected.

  79. Andy G says:

    I get the aura in my dreams. It manifests just the same as getting one whilst awake; I see the aura as part of my vision

  80. Bill says:

    I will wake up at 3 am, after dreaming about the aura. Outside of sleep, I only see it if my eyes are closed. (Although i had one instance when half of one of my eyes turned off, Dr. Told me i had an eye stroke… but could find no evidence of plaque build up in my artories… ) If I go back to bed I will wake up later in extreme pain and nausea. If I stay awake and walk there will be little to no pain or nausea, I will just get the hungover feeling.

  81. Judy DiMizio says:

    I have had Auras for years usually beginning with spaces missing in my vision and leading to silvery jagged waxy lines initially that were just on one side of my vision in one eye and later almost encircling my entire vision. I usually have them in my right eye but twice have had them in both eyes but at different times in the same day. I have only had them in my sleep twice. I. Find taking Co Q 10 has lessened the frequency from monthly to just a few in the last year. I think lack of sleep or alcohol increases their tendency. I am 67 and have been having these for the last 10 years. In the beginning only a few a year until the last few years then quarterly and finally monthly. If anyone has any info about treatment I would be interested. I have had an MRI with no abnormalities. I only have a dull headache after and rarely get extreme headaches.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *


This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.