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What To Do When You Wake Up With A Migraine

Be Cautious About Sleep Aids

Waking up with a HEADACHE or MIGRAINE?

Rosen approves of short-term use of sleep aids medications and herbs that can make you drowsy especially if your sleep becomes fragmented with age.

The over-the-counter natural supplement melatonin works for sleep training, but you have to find what works for you, he says.

That said, he reiterates that he supports only short-term usage of any sleep aid.

Muscle Tension From Poor Sleep Posture

Muscle tension is a leading cause of headaches in general, including in the early morning. When your sleep posture is poor, this can lead to strained or tense muscles, which can trigger a morning headache.

Tension headaches are the most common of the types of headache. They are caused by muscle tension, bad posture, and/or stress. Poor sleep posture or muscle tension can both cause tension-type headaches in the morning.

Stress is another cause of muscle tension and tension headaches. Going to bed with stress on your mind may cause head pain when the sun comes up.

Sleep Apnea And Headaches

People with sleep apnea stop breathing off and on for short periods during the night. Snoring is the symptom most commonly associated with sleep apnea. But sleep apnea headaches are also surprisingly common, Dr. Foldvary-Schaefer says.

We think more than half of the people with sleep apnea have headaches, she says. The classic scenario is that a person wakes up with a headache each day, which goes away within 4 hours.

People usually describe apnea-related headaches as pressing pain that occurs on both sides of the head. They differ from migraines, which often cause pulsing pain on one side or the other and are usually accompanied by nausea or other symptoms. And the good news: Typically when we treat the apnea, the headaches go away, Dr. Foldvary-Schaefer says.

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Serious Morning Headache Symptoms

There are two concerning exceptions of morning headaches that dont fit neatly into the categories I mentioned above. While rare, they are still worth considering, as they may be overlooked:

  • Infections: Any infection involving the lining of the brain causes extreme pain and usually a stiff neck. Because the lining of the brain is called the meninges, we call those infections meningitis.
  • Carbon monoxide poisoning: Carbon monoxide is an odorless, colorless gas that is lethal when inhaled in large quantities. Unvented, fuel-burning space heaters can release carbon monoxide and this might cause you to wake up feeling light-headed and nauseous. If you have these symptoms and you have a space heater at home, and if anyone else in the house has the same symptoms, step outside immediately and consider seeing a doctor.

Develop Good Sleep Habits

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Restful sleep delivers a refreshed feeling in the morning, improved mood, cognitive function, physical energy and perhaps most importantly for chronic migraine patients an increased threshold for pain.

To improve your sleep hygiene consider some or all of the following to start experiencing the benefits:

  • Setup a sleep routine: have consistent bed and wake times.
  • Avoid stimuli before bed: this includes LED lights which contain stimulating light and can negatively affect melatonin production. The TV, phone and computer all emit this light.
  • Temperature control: Keep the bedroom cool. The body falls asleep easier when the body temperature cools.
  • Eat a few hours before bed: give your body time to empty your stomach. Avoid eating sweets or sugary foods before bed that cause large spikes in your blood sugar levels.
  • Exercise during the day.
  • Keep your room dark and quiet.

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How Can I Stop Waking Up With A Headache

A morning headache from time to time probably isn’t reason to worry. But see your doctor if:

  • You get morning headaches several times a week
  • They’re really painful
  • You have other symptoms like snoring or dizziness with them

Which treatment your doctor recommends depends on the cause of your headaches. You may need medicines to prevent migraines and cluster headaches. You can also take a pain reliever first thing in the morning to stop a headache that has already started.

Sleep apnea treatment includes a CPAP machine that pushes air into your lungs while you sleep. Other sleep apnea devices keep your throat open to help you breathe.

If you grind your teeth while you sleep, ask your doctor whether you should wear a mouth guard to prevent you from clenching. Also, try meditation or other relaxation techniques. Daytime stress can contribute to nighttime grinding.

Use pain relievers sparingly and only when you need them. Overuse of these medicines can lead to rebound morning headaches.

To sleep longer, get into a routine. Go to bed at the same time each night and wake up at the same time each morning. Avoid alcohol and caffeine around bedtime because they can keep you awake.

The Link Between Headaches And Insufficient Sleep

If youâre looking for a way to upgrade almost every aspect of your life or just feel better and enjoy yourself more often â improve your sleep. Or if something feels off and youâre just not feeling or performing at your best, poor sleep is probably playing into that in one or more ways. And your health and wellbeing are certainly affected. Letâs take a look at sleepâs role in pain and morning headaches.

Sleep loss increases the production of proteins that cause chronic pain in the body. Because sleep deprivation reduces pain tolerance, it can make what might have been minor cranial discomfort register as a full-blown headache. And insomnia is a risk factor for higher headache frequency .

The mechanisms of sleep are not fully understood, but we do know that sleep supports proper functioning of the glymphatic system, which helps clear the brain of protein waste products and is most active during sleep. Thatâs why sleep can have a therapeutic role in terminating a headache, and getting sufficient sleep â and keeping sleep debt low â is protective against headaches.

Sleep debt is the amount of sleep you owe your body â as compared to the sleep your body needed â over a 14-day period. Paying it down and keeping it low to reduce the risk or severity of headaches starts with good sleep hygiene.

Sleep hygiene is the upkeep of behaviors that impact the way you sleep. Here are some guidelines for improving yours:

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Why Do You Keep Waking Up With A Migraine

Migraine affects nearly 40 million people in the United States each year, and if youre one of them, you know that theres no such thing as a good time for one to appear. But theres something particularly discouraging about waking up with one. Along with acute or throbbing head pain, a morning migraine can bring other symptoms, such as nausea and full-body fatigue, that make it difficult to get up and start your day.

Unfortunately, a 2005 study published in Headache found that waking up with headache and other migraine symptoms is common for people who have migraines. Here are some of the reasons experts believe an early-morning attack can happen, and how you can treat them when they do.

Bleeding In The Brain

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When blood touches the very sensitive lining of the brain, called the meninges, it can cause headaches so severe that they are often described as the worst headache of your life. Importantly, because this lining is sensitive, the headache worsens very rapidly. Doctors will likely ask how quickly the pain came on. Since most headaches start gradually , a headache that reaches maximum intensity within one hour causes concern for bleeding in the brain. This is why headaches caused by bleeding in the brain are often called thunderclap headaches.

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Bad Dreams And Waking To A Migraine

Ever have that dream where you are in crazy Los Angeles traffic and need to be somewhere but cant get there and then you wake up to a migraine? Out in the desert outside of Phoenix or Las Vegas and its crazy hot and you cant get cool or water and you wake up to a migraine?

A few days ago I saw a social media post where a woman was discussing the night before a migraine. She reported that she knows a migraine is coming on when she has bad and vivid dreams the night before. Her thought was that the dreams were a preview of sorts and that the process of the onset of a migraine caused a restless night of sleep before the pain hit in the morning. Im thinking that the egg came before the chicken rather than the other way around.

Many of us have long known that stress is a big migraine trigger. Stress brings along a great many reasons for us to feel like a migraine would be related- high blood pressure, emotional worrying and tight muscles. Many migraine patients go about extensive measures to reduce stress and to avoid stressful situations. Acupuncture, meditation, anti-depressants, and beta blockers are all used by migraine patients to reduce and avoid stress. Patients do these things because they often work, and they consciously know that by relaxing and reducing stress, it is less likely that they will experience migraine pain.

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Avoid The Nightmare Of Waking Up With Headaches

Waking up with a headache is a terrible way to start the day. If it happens often enough, getting to the root cause of the problem will likely become a top priority. The first question? Is it a sleep problem or a headache problem?

If you have a history of chronic headaches, you might decide that a headache disorder could be to blame for your morning misery. But what if poor sleep is contributing to your headaches?

If youâre a person who rarely gets enough sleep, you might suspect that sleep deprivation is causing the headaches. But what if itâs your aching head thatâs keeping you from getting the sleep you need?

Getting caught up in this loop of uncertainty, one thing becomes clear: youâre dealing with a sticky issue. One way to approach this type of chicken-and-egg problem is to focus on each issue separately.

  • Improve your sleep hygiene to find out if meeting your sleep need helps keep morning headaches at bay.
  • Seek medical advice to help treat or prevent your chronic morning headaches.

But considering the foundational importance of sleep to overall wellness â and the significant cognitive, physical, and emotional repercussions attributed to sleep deprivation â the first order of business should be adjusting your daily habits to improve your sleep.

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What Causes Hypnic Headache

We dont fully understand what causes hypnic headache. Its likely that it involves the hypothalamus. The hypothalamus is the part of the brain that is responsible for a range of bodily functions including body temperature, thirst, sleep cycles, blood pressure and heart rate. There is a need for more research into the causes of hypnic headache.

Snoring And Sleep Apnea

Why Do I Wake Up With a Headache Every Morning?

While your bed partners snoring may cause you to get fragmented sleep, your own snoring is a risk factor for chronic daily headache. Snoring is often a sign that you have sleep apnea.

Sleep apnea is a potentially serious sleep disorder in which breathing repeatedly stops and starts. Snoring loudly and feeling tired after a nights sleep are warning signs for sleep apnea.

People at risk for obstructive sleep apnea are usually overweight and have a short neck, Rosen says.

With central sleep apnea, on the other hand, the brain doesnt tell the breathing to drive at night. The problems with sleep apnea arise when oxygen levels drop below 90 percent during sleep, which can injure brain cells.

According to Rosen, right now, its not clear that length of sleep matters as much as sleep quality when it comes to chronic migraine. This is a wake-up call for those who get 12 hours of sleep and still do not feel refreshed.

Independent of obesity, Rosen says treating snoring and sleep apnea may help chronic migraine, especially in people who wake up with a headache.

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We Can Help With Many Headache Causes

If youre suffering with morning headaches, we may be able to help. Most of the potential headache causes that arent within your control will respond to TMJ treatment or sleep apnea treatment. We can help treat morning headaches related to sleep apnea, sleep bruxism, and migraines. We can even help mediate headaches related to caffeine if theyre secondary to sleep apnea.

Would you like to learn whether we can help with your morning headaches? Please call today for an appointment with TMJ dentist Dr. Marlen Martirossian at the River Edge Dental Center for TMJ, Sleep Apnea, & Reconstructive Dentistry.

Avoid Caffeine Alcohol And Meals Too Close To Bedtime

Rosen recommends paying attention to how your diet and fluid intake affect your sleep. To improve sleep, he suggests the following:

  • Avoid alcohol if it causes you to wake up after falling asleep.
  • Avoid caffeine after a certain hour .
  • Dont have a full meal too close to bedtime.
  • Limit your fluids after a certain hour to avoid having to use the bathroom at night.

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How To Deal With Morning Headaches

Sleep is the most beautiful way of relaxing and releasing stress from your body and mind. But, if it is not the case and you wake up with an immense headache every morning, that can be a reason to worry. Getting headache right after waking up in the morning is one of the significant symptoms of sleep apnea and other disorders related to sleep. Read on to get relevant insight into what may be causing a headache in the morning and visit sleep clinic for treatment without delay.

What Is Hypnic Headache

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Hypnic headache is a rare type of headache. It only occurs when you are sleeping and will cause you to wake up. It is often referred to as alarm clock headache because it happens at the same time several nights of the week. Some people experience it every night.

It is more common in older people, most often people over 60. It is also more common in women than men.

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When To See A Doctor

See a doctor right away if you experience symptoms of a brain tumor alongside morning headaches, such as seizures or vomiting or memory problems. If you suffer from headaches every morning, you probably need to see a healthcare professional for diagnosis and treatment.

At Denver Upper Cervical Chiropractic, we treat all sorts of headaches with revolutionary orthospinology adjustments. These upper cervical adjustments are gentle, precise, and often effective.

to view patient testimonials on how Dr. Ty Cazoli and his team at Denver Upper Cervical Chiropractic helped them.

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How To Get Rid Of Your Morning Headaches

Youll need to wait a few days for your sleep apnea test results before youll know for sure if you have sleep apnea. But in the meantime, here are some steps you can take to get your mornings back into shape.

One of the first steps you can take is to improve your diet and review your exercise routine. Reducing weight can help improve sleep apnea as well as its symptoms.

In terms of what youre eating and drinking, you should try to limit caffeine and alcohol and avoid caffeinated drinks altogether for at least 4 hours prior to bedtime.6

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Why Am I Waking Up With Headaches Morning Headache Causes

You may be waking up with headaches in the morning because of various health conditions, such as sleep problems, poor posture, or even a tumor. In this article, we help you understand the common causes of morning headaches.

Morning headaches affect 1 in 13 people, according to an article published in The Archives of Internal Medicine.

But just because its common doesnt mean you have to wake up every morning with head pain and live with it.

At Denver Upper Cervical Chiropractic, we believe in treating the root causes of your morning headaches. to contact us to set up an appointment right away.

Why do I wake up with headaches every morning? You may wake up with headaches every morning because of sleep disorders, migraines, depression, certain medications, alcohol consumption, or bruxism.

Read on to find out more about these morning headache causes.

When To See A Doctor For A Morning Headache

Why Do You Wake Up with A Headache?

You should see a doctor if you wake up with a headache and any of the following symptoms:

  • the headache doesnt go away or keeps returning
  • you feel sick
  • youre more sensitive to light and noise
  • your arms or legs feel weak
  • your headache gets worse despite taking painkillers

You should get immediate medical help if your headache is painful and:

  • it hurts to move your jaw
  • your vision is blurred or you have vision loss
  • the top of your head is tender
  • youve recently injured your head
  • youre finding it hard to speak or remember things
  • the whites of your eyes are red
  • you have a high temperature , chills, a rash or stiff neck

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Treating Morning Tension Headaches

Tension headaches with no neurological symptoms have a wide variety of causes and treatments. Getting a massage, speaking to a nutritionist or therapist, addressing your snoring issues, getting more sleep, drinking more water, etc. are great ways to begin to address morning tension headaches, especially if you suspect a food allergy, are having sleep issues, or dont drink enough fluids during the day. For headaches related to conditions like sleep apnea or bruxism, you may even need special equipment like a Continuous Positive Airway Pressure machine or a mouth guard.


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