Why Do I Wake Up With A Headache Every Morning
Is this your first thought when you get up: Why do I wake up with a headache every morning? If you answered yes, know that you are not alone. Waking up with a headache once in a while isnt a big deal, considering one in thirteen people experience headaches in the morning.
It can ruin your whole day, affecting your mood, productivity levels, and most importantly, your health.
However, if you find yourself waking up with a headache every morning, it is not only disturbing but quite concerning and this can add more stress and actually worsening matters.
Medication Or Alcohol Use
Certain medications can interfere with your sleep patterns just like alcohol. Disrupted sleep means you dont sleep as well as you should and can result in sleep deprivation and morning headaches. If you drink too heavily, it can also cause a hangover which usually results in a headache or migraine. Pay attention to the possible side effects of the medications you take and how they might affect your sleep. Its also important to not over-consume alcohol to avoid morning headaches.
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.
Don’t Miss: Medications For Migraines List
Name Your Stressors And Limit Them
You may not have the same response to a work conflict, scary movies, and overdue bills as someone else. That’s okay. Make a list of what makes YOU tense. Empty your brain of that stress before bedtime in a journal: what you’re grateful for, what you need help with to manage. If a friend, job, or home is your top stress trigger, you might consider giving them up for a while and see if you improve.
Medication Alcohol And Caffeine Use
Migraines may commonly occur in the early morning in people who are using over-the-counter or prescription pain medications. These medicines typically wear off within 48 hours, which can trigger a medication withdrawal migraine.
Finally, alcohol is a common cause of migraine. Drinking alcohol, especially wine, before bed may result in a morning migraine.
You May Like: How To Prevent A Migraine When You Feel It Coming On
Why Do Migraines Happen In The Morning
In migraine, attacks often strike in the early morning hours, just by the nature of the disease. Reasons for this are complex and not well understood, but its believed that the way the brain goes through the sleep-wake cycle has something to do with it, says Nahas.
A 2017 review of 85 surveys found that sleep was the second-most common headache trigger for people with tension headaches and migraines. . An inconsistent sleep schedule, getting too much or not enough sleep for your body, and sleep-related health conditions like sleep apnea can all interfere with your sleep quality and be the reason you are waking up with a migraine.
In a large 2005 study of people with migraines published by Headache, people with chronic migraines tended to sleep for less time each night, and were more likely to have trouble getting to sleep. Migraine and poor sleep quality can feed off of each other and create a cycle of waking migraine and insomnia.
Researchers have established a strong link between certain mental health conditions and migraines. One study of 2,907 people showed that 63.8 percent of participants diagnosed with migraine had depression, and 60.4 percent had anxiety. The symptoms of these conditions can also mean that you are more likely to have difficulty getting quality sleep, resulting in morning migraines.
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.
Don’t Miss: Cream Of Tartar And Migraines
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.
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.
Reducing Or Preventing Awakening With A Migraine
Determining the reasons for sleep deprivation or interruption will help you and your physician find the best way to treat the problem. The first step is getting enough sleep . Maintaining regular bed and waking times, sleeping in an optimal environment, and reducing screen time right before bed can all help prevent migraines when you wake.
Other underlying issues such as depression, anxiety, narcolepsy, sleep apnea, and other mental and physical conditions should be treated. Once brought under control, the migraines may lessen in frequency and intensity.
While stress itself may not cause a migraine, reducing overall stress can help you maintain healthier sleep habits and make the rest of your life easier.
Read Also: How To Get A Migraine
Be Cautious About Sleep Aids
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.
It Could Be Something Serious
If none of the above mentioned conditions apply to you, there is a chance that you have a potentially serious condition. For example, you may have an undiagnosed brain tumor. Most people who have these complain of morning headaches because fluid pressure in the spine increases when they lie down. If the tumor causes swelling, the brain can stretch out the membranes that cover it which can lead to pain.
The condition is rare so you shouldnt assume the worst when you think why do I wake up with a headache in the morning. If you have brain tumor, the headache should also be accompanied by vision issues, drowsiness, changes in mental status and balance issues. However, chances are that the pain is the cause of a less serious and treatable condition.
About 0.005% of people are diagnosed with a brain tumor in a year, and even in those cases, the tumor usually starts off somewhere else in the body. Therefore, you can rule out at least one reason when trying to answer the question, why do I wake up with a headache every morning?. However, if youre still doubtful, you can consult your primary care physician to be absolutely sure.
You May Like: Headache Mayo
What Causes Early Morning Headaches And How To Fix It
The reason you’re waking up with a headache is probably more simple than you might think. These are the common causes and our expert-approved remedies…
- ALCOHOLWaking up with a headache is not uncommon after a night of drinking alcohol. This is because it acts as a diuretic, meaning it makes you pass more urine and if you’re not drinking enough water between those glasses of wine, you are likely to become dehydrated.Fix it: “The best way to prevent alcohol-related headaches is to drink responsibly,” says Dr Lee. According to Drink Aware, we should be aiming for no more than 14 units of alcohol per week. This is roughly seven pints of average-strength lager and nine and one-third 125ml glasses of average-strength wine. “Make sure this is spread out during the week and have two or three alcohol-free days per week,” says Dr Lee. “Drinking plenty of water when you drink alcohol and making sure you don’t drink on an empty stomach can also help.”
- SLOUCHINGIf you’re guilty of slouching at your desk, you might unknowingly be contributing to morning headaches. Why? According to the NHS, back pain and headaches are commonly linked. This is because poor posture can cause tension in your upper back which throbs in the base of your skull. Fix it: Try yoga. Gentle movement is a great way to release tension from your body, and in turn reduce back pain. Not a yoga-pro? Fear notthere are plenty of yoga for beginners workouts online.
How Do I Know Which Type Of Headache I Have
While some headaches have unique features that make them easy to diagnose, most headaches arent that straightforward.
If you regularly get headaches at night and youre not sure why, it may be worth making an appointment with your doctor. They can help you narrow down the type of headache you have or rule out any underlying conditions that might be causing them.
To do this, theyll likely ask you a series of questions. These might be about:
Keeping these questions in mind, prepare a headache diary for your doctor. For about two weeks prior to your appointment, document every headache you have. Make sure to include all the details about pain characteristics, timing, triggers, and so on.
Read Also: How To Cure Migraine Naturally
Headache Vs Migraine Symptoms
Headaches occur for a variety of reasons and range in location, severity, and duration. Aside from migraine, there are several other headache types, including:
- Sinus headache: This type arises from pressure in your sinuses, often due to congestion or illnesses like influenza or the common cold. It usually affects the face, nose, and cheeks.
- Tension headache: The most common kind of headache, tension headaches usually affect the forehead or back of the head. Stress, eye strain, and hunger are all causes of this type.
- Cluster headaches: These are very painful and occur dailyor even multiple times a dayfor prolonged periods of time. These often arise when blood vessels serving the brain dilate. Common triggers include physical exertion, bright lights, and altitude.
Though headaches are the principal sign of migraines, they cause a range of other symptoms. Theres a good deal of variation between cases as well. Migraine attacks progress in stages, each with distinct characteristics:
What Is A Morning Headache
A morning headache usually begins between 4am and 9am and often interrupts a sufferers sleep.
The pain can fall into a number of categories making it either a cluster or tension headache, or even a migraine.
Other types of morning headache can include paroxysmal and medicinal overuse headaches.
Studies have found that most people who suffer morning headaches also suffer with sleep disorders.
Recommended Reading: Migraine Medicine With Caffeine
The Link Between Sleep Headache And Mood
The same brain regions and chemical messengers impact sleep, headache and mood, so inadequate or poor quality sleep increases the odds for headache and mood change. For example, people living with migraine who also experience insomnia often suffer from anxiety or depression, which are also common migraine comorbidities. An effective migraine treatment plan would factor in the patients medical history and psychological factors.
Neurologists Explain Why You Keep Waking Up With A Headache
Nearly everyone wakes up with a headache now and then, but if starting your day in pain has become a normal occurrence, thats a sign that somethings amiss. But because our bodies are so complex, there are many potential causes of morning headaches and it can be difficult to identify the root cause of your pain. It’s important for anyone with headache that’s affecting their life to see a doctor so they can be properly evaluated and not just rely on self-treatment or self-diagnosis, says Simy Parikh, M.D., an assistant professor of neurology at the Jefferson Headache Center at Thomas Jefferson University.
A good physician will do a neurological exam, ask about your medical history and really listen to your story to figure out why youre waking up with headaches. Many people think that because headaches are so mundane everybody in the world could experience headache and just about everyone does at some point in their life that it’s not something you can do very much about, says Thomas Berk, M.D., clinical assistant professor in the Department of Neurology Division of Headache Medicine at NYU Langone Health. The truth is that there are many really effective and safe options for treating headaches.
Here are the most common causes of morning headaches that your doctor might consider.
Also Check: Medication For Migraines List
How To Relieve Or Prevent A Morning Headache
Most headaches are nothing to worry about, and can be treated at home with painkillers. Speak to a pharmacist or doctor for guidance on whether to use these medications, and how to get and use them.
You may also be able to prevent them by following the advice below.
You should also try to identify what may have caused your morning headache. Could it have been due to teeth grinding during the night? Or have you been especially stressed and tense?
Once you identify the cause, you can take steps to reduce your chance of another one occurring.
Could It Be Sleep Apnea
A headache that regularly hits as soon as you wake in the morning, is a very common symptom of sleep apnea or another sleep disorder.4
If you have untreated sleep apnea, you may experience headaches in the morning due to the strain that the condition puts on your body.5 Sleep apnea partially or completely blocks your airway during sleep, meaning the amount of oxygen being transported to your brain is heavily reduced. As well as those nasty morning headaches, this lack of airflow may also put you at risk for other serious health conditions such as high blood pressure, heart attack and stroke.
If you’re not raring to go and seize the day when you wake up because a hammering headache is setting you back, it’s time to seek a diagnosis.
Thankfully, depending on whats causing the headaches, theres a range of treatments available and you could be waking up headache-free before you know it!
Also Check: Sumatriptan Pregnancy
Accept What You Can’t Control
Some of these are other people, time, weather, and your monthly cycle. Control what you can, and let go of the rest.
Menstrual cycles and incoming storms are two major triggers for many that are pretty unavoidable. What you can do is limit exposure to other triggers during these times. Take extra good care of yourself if you know they’re coming.
Whats Up With My Morning Headaches
Did you wake up on the wrong side of the bed with a headache yet again? Theres probably nothing crummier than starting your day with a pounding headache. It certainly puts a damper on the whole seizing the day thing.
Morning is the most common, albeit annoying, time of day to get a headache. Sometimes headaches just happen, but if these early risers start to come regularly, they may point to specific causessleep disorders.
Though there may be other causes, morning headaches are often thought to be an indicator of a sleep disorder, said Holly Yancy, DO, a headache medicine specialist at Banner Health in Phoenix, Arizona. We do know that both headaches and sleep disorders come from the same parts of the brainthe same parts that control sleep and mood also control pain.
Dont wake another day with a crummy headache. We share five common causes, tips to fend them off and what your doctor can do to help give you some peace of mind and a more restful sleep.
Recommended Reading: Are Migraines A Symptom Of Pregnancy