Migraine patients often complain of sleepiness, a problem that manifests both during and outside an attack, may impair the quality of life and can lead to potentially harmful situations. Findings from an uncontrolled study suggest that a high percentage of migraineurs experience excessive daytime sleepiness (EDS). We investigated EDS in a case–control study on 100 patients with episodic migraine and 100 age- and sex-matched healthy controls and also assessed sleep quality, anxiety and depression. Although it was found that EDS was more frequent in migraineurs than in controls (14% vs. 5%; odds ratio 3.1; 95% confidence interval 1.1–8.9), the frequency was lower than previously reported. EDS correlated with migraine disability, sleep problems and anxiety. EDS in patients with migraine probably stems from the full constellation of headache–sleep–affective symptoms resulting from the complex clinical burden of the disease.