A single cluster headache may last from 5 minutes to several hours. They frequently begin at the same time and are more common between 9 PM and 9 AM. They may disrupt sleep as they are more likely to occur during Rapid Eye Movement (REM) sleep. Episodes of cluster headaches may last from 2 to 12 weeks. Episodic cluster headaches are followed by a headache-free period of at least one month. Chronic cluster headaches can last for years without a headache-free month.
• Maintain a regular sleep schedule. Avoid napping.
• Do not smoke or use alcohol.
• Avoid solvents, such as gasoline or oil-based paints. These products can trigger a headache.
• Avoid glare and bright lights.
• Avoid or be cautious of high altitudes, the reduced oxygen can trigger cluster headaches.
Am I at Risk
Cluster headaches occur more frequently in men than in women. They most commonly occur between the ages of 20 and 40.
Risk factors or triggers for cluster headache:
• Heavy alcohol drinking
• Poor sleep patterns or sleep apnea
• Hormonal changes
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The iHealthSpot patient education library was written collaboratively by the iHealthSpot editorial team which includes Senior Medical Authors Dr. Mary Car-Blanchard, OTD/OTR/L and Valerie K. Clark, and the following editorial advisors: Steve Meadows, MD, Ernie F. Soto, DDS, Ronald J. Glatzer, MD, Jonathan Rosenberg, MD, Christopher M. Nolte, MD, David Applebaum, MD, Jonathan M. Tarrash, MD, and Paula Soto, RN/BSN. This content complies with the HONcode standard for trustworthy health information. The library commenced development on September 1, 2005 with the latest update/addition on February 16, 2022. For information on iHealthSpot’s other services including medical website design, visit www.iHealthSpot.com.