Waking up with a morning headache is certainly a terrible way to start your day. This problem is widespread, and it can happen for a variety of reasons like changes in your body’s physiology and increased production of adrenalin. However, if you experience morning headaches frequently, it may be due to a specific cause that can be prevented.
Keep on reading to discover the five potential causes of your morning headaches and how to prevent them.
Insufficient sleep is a common cause of headaches in general. Recent research has shown that morning headaches are linked to sleep disorders like insomnia. If it’s hard for you to fall asleep or to stay asleep and you don’t feel rested after sleeping, there’s a chance that you’re dealing with a sleep disorder. Insomnia impacts your sleep patterns and leads to sleep deprivation, which is the main cause of morning headaches. To prevent morning headaches caused by insomnia, start from getting to the root of the problem. Numerous things can lead to insomnia, so consider letting a primary care provider determine the proper cause and suggest appropriate treatment.
Migraines can happen at any time, but most people experience it during the night or in the morning. Plus, experts say that migraines follow a cycle, meaning individuals who experience migraines usually get them in the same time frame. Hence, it’s likely that your morning headache is actually a migraine that occurs while you’re sleeping at night. Migraines typically develop due to genetics, so there’s not much you can do to treat them. However, you can identify things that trigger your migraines and prevent them. Common triggers for migraines include a stressful lifestyle, improper nutrition, and poor sleep. Consider seeing a doctor who specializes in chronic headache treatment to identify your unique triggers and start appropriate treatment.
3. Sleep apnea
Sleep apnea is a disorder that causes abnormal breathing during sleep. This condition can also be the root cause of why your head hurts in the morning. Sleep apnea causes sudden drops in blood oxygen levels, which leads to high blood pressure. This is a trigger for morning headaches. It’s hard to determine whether you experience sleep apnea on your own. However, if your partner tells you that you’re constantly snoring and if you feel tired even after sleeping for 7 to 9 hours a night, it’s time to consult a specialist.
4. Caffeine withdrawal
Caffeine withdrawal can develop in anyone who frequently consumes caffeine and then suddenly stops using it. Caffeine constricts blood vessels and if you don’t have as much as usual, your blood vessels may open up and increase blood flow to the brain. These abrupt changes in blood flow can lead to severe withdrawal headaches. To prevent caffeine-induced headaches, try to limit coffee in the afternoon. If you want to go caffeine-free, make sure to do it gradually to avoid constant headaches. You can try having a quarter cup of decaf regularly, gradually reducing the amount of caffeine you have.
5. Teeth grinding
Nighttime teeth grinding leads to tension in your temporomandibular joint, which connects your jawbone and skull. This can also change the normal position of your jaw. All of this tension can eventually trigger a headache. Besides a headache, you may also experience enamel erosion, chipped or loose teeth, tightness in your jaw, and soreness in your ears. Common risk factors of teeth grinding include stress, genetics and mental disorders. If you think that your morning headaches occur due to teeth grinding, consult your dentist about treatment options.