Wake Up With Headache

Additionally, the hypothalamus in the brain is involved in both sleep and pain processes. The hypothalamus regulates your natural circadian rhythms and sleep cycles Trusted Source National Library of Medicine, Biotech Information The National Center for Biotechnology Information advances science and health by providing access to biomedical and genomic information. View Source and modulates sensation and pain. Disturbances in the hypothalamus during sleep affect your ability to tolerate pain. As a result, while you may not have felt pain as you slept, you may feel it in the morning.

Morning Headaches: Why Do I Wake Up With A Headache?

We regularly assess how the content in this article aligns with current scientific literature and expert recommendations in order to provide the most up-to-date research.

When you buy through our links, we may earn a commission. Products or services advertised on this page may be offered by an entity that is affiliated with us. Learn more.

If you find yourself frequently waking up with headaches in the morning, you are not alone. Approximately 1 out of every 13 people Trusted Source National Library of Medicine, Biotech Information The National Center for Biotechnology Information advances science and health by providing access to biomedical and genomic information. View Source experiences morning headaches. These headaches typically affect women more than men and are most frequent in people between the ages of 45 and 64.

A number of sleep or health disorders, as well as personal habits, can trigger a headache when you wake up. Sleep apnea, migraine, and lack of sleep are common culprits. However, teeth grinding, alcohol use, and certain medications can also cause you to wake up with a headache. Sometimes your morning headache comes from a combination of disorders or habits.

What Causes Morning Headaches?

As you transition from sleep to wakefulness, parts of your brain start to “wake up” too. Your brain becomes more responsive Trusted Source National Library of Medicine, Biotech Information The National Center for Biotechnology Information advances science and health by providing access to biomedical and genomic information. View Source to changes in your body position, touch, and sound. During this period of heightened sensitivity, you may be more susceptible to pain.

Additionally, the hypothalamus in the brain is involved in both sleep and pain processes. The hypothalamus regulates your natural circadian rhythms and sleep cycles Trusted Source National Library of Medicine, Biotech Information The National Center for Biotechnology Information advances science and health by providing access to biomedical and genomic information. View Source and modulates sensation and pain. Disturbances in the hypothalamus during sleep affect your ability to tolerate pain. As a result, while you may not have felt pain as you slept, you may feel it in the morning.

Sleep disorders commonly trigger morning head pain, but there are numerous possible causes for waking up with a headache.

Sleep Apnea

People with obstructive sleep apnea (OSA) experience disrupted or stopped breathing during sleep. OSA affects between 2% and 9% of adults Trusted Source Merck Manual First published in 1899 as a small reference book for physicians and pharmacists, the Manual grew in size and scope to become one of the most widely used comprehensive medical resources for professionals and consumers. View Source . Morning headaches are a common symptom of OSA. In one study of people with OSA, 29% reported suffering from morning headaches Trusted Source National Library of Medicine, Biotech Information The National Center for Biotechnology Information advances science and health by providing access to biomedical and genomic information. View Source . While the exact cause of these sleep apnea-induced headaches is unclear, it is often attributed to loud snoring, another common symptom of OSA. You can treat your sleep apnea using a CPAP machine, which may reduce or eliminate your morning headaches.

See also  Laxatives For Weight Loss

Snoring

Not all people who snore have sleep apnea. However, snoring alone may be the cause of many morning headaches. In one study involving 268 frequent snorers, 23.5% regularly woke with headaches Trusted Source National Library of Medicine, Biotech Information The National Center for Biotechnology Information advances science and health by providing access to biomedical and genomic information. View Source in the morning. Having a history of migraines, insomnia, or psychological distress raised the likelihood of a morning headache among this group.

Sleep Loss and Insomnia

Because sleep deprivation is a common cause of morning headaches, people with insomnia also have a high risk of experiencing morning headaches. People with this sleep disorder struggle to fall asleep or to stay asleep. As a result, they often do not get sufficient sleep and may feel unrested or sluggish during the day.

Circadian Rhythm Disorders

People with circadian rhythm disorders have morning headaches more frequently than those without a sleep disorder. Circadian rhythm disorders develop when your body is misaligned with the standard sleep-wake rhythms Trusted Source Merck Manual First published in 1899 as a small reference book for physicians and pharmacists, the Manual grew in size and scope to become one of the most widely used comprehensive medical resources for professionals and consumers. View Source in a 24-hour cycle. Because of this misalignment, you may get insufficient sleep, which can trigger a headache when you wake up.

Oversleeping

Oversleeping or sleeping too much can also affect your morning headaches. Both low-quality sleep and longer sleep are associated with more intense headaches Trusted Source National Library of Medicine, Biotech Information The National Center for Biotechnology Information advances science and health by providing access to biomedical and genomic information. View Source when you wake up. The extra shuteye can contribute to an oversleeping headache.

Migraine

Migraines, or moderate to severe recurring headaches, often occur in the morning Trusted Source Medline Plus MedlinePlus is an online health information resource for patients and their families and friends. View Source . Migraines often begin as headaches and grow more severe in pain intensity. About 12% of Americans get migraines, and they are most common among women and people who have sleep disorders. In fact, people who experience migraines are much more likely to struggle with insufficient sleep Trusted Source National Library of Medicine, Biotech Information The National Center for Biotechnology Information advances science and health by providing access to biomedical and genomic information. View Source , and recurrent sleep loss can trigger migraines . New onset of headaches in elderly should be investigated for possible underlying malignancy.

Bruxism or Teeth Grinding

Sleep bruxism , or teeth grinding or clenching during sleep, can make you wake up with a headache. This forceful and excessive movement also leads to tooth wear, muscle pain, and gum damage Trusted Source National Library of Medicine, Biotech Information The National Center for Biotechnology Information advances science and health by providing access to biomedical and genomic information. View Source . Causes of sleep bruxism include having an irregularly shaped jaw, stress and anxiety, sleep disruption, alcohol use, and coffee.

A dentist can determine if you have sleep bruxism. Treatment often involves wearing a mouthguard at night. Your dentist may also prescribe drugs for pain management and recommend cognitive behavioral therapy to manage stress and anxiety.

Tension

Your sleep posture and position Trusted Source National Library of Medicine, Biotech Information The National Center for Biotechnology Information advances science and health by providing access to biomedical and genomic information. View Source can lead to tension, potentially triggering poor sleep and headaches. Choosing a supportive pillow or changing your sleep position can help relieve this tension.

See also  How Effective Is Pulling Out

Hangover

Heavy drinking of at least six drinks in an evening has a high association with morning headaches. However, even at lower levels, alcohol affects sleep and can lead to morning headaches for several reasons. When you drink alcohol, you’re likely to fall asleep faster Trusted Source National Institutes of Health (NIH) The NIH, a part of the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, is the nation’s medical research agency — making important discoveries that improve health and save lives. View Source than usual, but your sleep is likely to be disrupted, and you often wake up earlier. Alcohol also increases urination and loss of fluids, leading to mild dehydration. Headaches are a common side effect of dehydration. Additionally, alcohol can be a trigger for migraines.

Certain Medications or Supplements

Headaches are also a side effect of some over-the-counter medications and prescription drugs. While you may want to take medication for the head pain, that can contribute to a cycle of chronic headaches Trusted Source National Center for Biotechnology Information The National Center for Biotechnology Information advances science and health by providing access to biomedical and genomic information. View Source . Alternatively, overnight withdrawal from the drug can trigger a headache in the morning.

Drugs that can contribute to headaches include:

  • Opioids
  • Triptans
  • Nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs)
  • Aspirin
  • Acetaminophen/paracetamol
  • Anti-anxiety medications

Treatments

If you have frequent or daily morning headaches, talk to your healthcare provider about what might be causing them. Consider keeping a sleep diary to track your symptoms and sleep habits and share this with your doctor. They can help you identify the exact trigger or triggers of your morning headaches and develop a treatment plan.

In addition to treatment specific to your trigger, you can also improve your sleep hygiene Trusted Source Medline Plus MedlinePlus is an online health information resource for patients and their families and friends. View Source :

  • Keep a Consistent Sleep Schedule: Go to bed and wake up at the same time each day.
  • Exercise Regularly: Try to exercise at least several hours before bedtime. Exercising too close to your bedtime may keep you awake longer.
  • Limit Caffeine and Alcohol: An afternoon coffee or a glass of alcohol just before bedtime can keep you up late or disrupt your sleep.
  • Adjust Your Sleep Environment: You need a space that’s dark, cool, and with little noise. Limit the use of your bed to only sex and sleep.
  • Find a Relaxing Routine: Winding down at the end of the day signals your body that it’s time to sleep. Try a soothing bath, reading, or meditation.

With good sleep hygiene and treatment for the disorder causing your headaches, you may be able to reduce or eliminate your morning headaches. Talk with your healthcare provider to determine the right treatment plan for you.

Related News

  • Increased Sleep Disturbances Reported as an Effect of Having a StrokeMarch 14, 2023 – A Canadian survey found that self-reported effects of having a stroke included higher prevalence of sleep disturbances.
  • Women Previously Treated for Cancer Have High Prevalence of Sleep ProblemsFebruary 24, 2023 – Data from study of wellness after cancer uncovered a high prevalence of sleep problems in women previously treated for cancer.
  • Positive Association Found Between Obstructive Sleep Apnea and Post-Stroke Events
  • Irregular Sleep May Increase Risk of AtherosclerosisListed news articles do not represent the opinion of Sleep Foundation and are provided for informational purposes only.

Thanks for the feedback – we’re glad you found our work instructive!

If you’re ready for more, sign up to receive our email newsletter!

About Us

Family Medicine

Family MedicineIn 2024 our team of doctors and nurses provide a comprehensive range of family planning services. Our doctors have expertise in antenatal care, preconception planning, and STD checks. Contraceptive advice including Mirena and Implanon insertion is available.

  • Early detection of illness;
  • Family planning;
  • Promotion of healthy lifestyle;
  • Skin cancer checks;
  • Sports injuries;
  • Weight reduction;
  • Workers compensation and third party.

  • Children's Health

    Children's HealthBaby Weighing Service. Babies can be booked with our Nurse for weighing, a doctors appointment is not required to use this service. Contact reception for a appointment to have your baby weighed.

    Immunisations. At Tuggeranong Square children's immunisation is regarded an important part of your childs health care. Our doctors take immunising children very seriously. and to ensure all children are immunised Tuggeranong Square Medical Practice doctors BULK BILL for all childhood immunisations. Tuggeranong Square Medical Practice also ensures the Practice Nursing Staff are highly trained in childhood immunisations.


    Women's Health

    Women's HealthOur practice is dedicated to treating a wide spectrum of women’s health concerns. We offer pre-natal, antenatal and postnatal care, contraceptive options, pap screening, and preventative health care advice. We provide assistance, advice and support through all stages of life, recognising the many issues many women may face from adolescence through to the peri and post-menopausal period.

    • Cervical Screening tests;
    • Reproductive health. Including Mirena and Implanon insertion;
    • Shared antenatal care.

    Men's Health

    Men's HealthWe encourage men to present routinely to their GP to discuss all aspects of their health. We provide comprehensive advice and support for men to address the prevention and management of various health conditions. This may include assessments for cardiovascular risk, diabetes, cancer prevention, mental health assessments, STD screening, sports injuries and the importance of sleep as it relates to other areas of health.


    • Preventative Healthcare. Including cardiovascular screening, mental health and cancer checks;
    • Prostate examination.
Alex Koliada, PhD

Alex Koliada, PhD

Alex Koliada, PhD, is a well-known doctor. He is famous for his studies of ageing, genetics and other medical conditions. He works at the Institute of Food Biotechnology and Genomics NAS of Ukraine. His scientific researches are printed by the most reputable international magazines. Some of his works are: Differences in the gut Firmicutes to Bacteroidetes ratio across age groups in healthy Ukrainian population [BiomedCentral.com]; Mating status affects Drosophila lifespan, metabolism and antioxidant system [Science Direct]; Anise Hyssop Agastache foeniculum Increases Lifespan, Stress Resistance, and Metabolism by Affecting Free Radical Processes in Drosophila [Frontiersin].
View All Articles