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Do you wake up with a Headache? Here are Possible Causes and Treatments

Lucky is the person who has never woken up with a headache!

Most of us at some point or another in our lives have experienced the morning headaches. Be it after a night of binge drinking or due to lack of sleep. Having a headache early in the morning certainly isn’t pleasant but it is not uncommon either. However, when you are having frequent headaches whenever you wake up there might be some underlying cause to them. Here are some of the possible reasons causing your early morning misery:


Insomnia is regarded as the most common cause of an early morning headache. Lack of adequate sleep causes fatigue which can often manifest in the form of a headache. Our body after the end of a stressful day requires an adequate amount of rest. If one sleeps too less, studies have shown that this causes the body to produce an increased amount of proteins p38 and PKA which are known to regulate sensory response and trigger migraines or headaches in individuals. Other than this lying awake can lead to anxiety which can also be responsible for triggering your headaches. To recover well it is recommended that any healthy adult gets at least 6-8 hours of sleep every night.

Bruxism (Tooth Grinding)

Bruxism or commonly known as teeth grinding has also been shown to trigger headaches in unsuspecting individuals. Teeth grinding usually occurs when the teeth of an individual don’t quite fit right. There are several causes for this like smoking, stress, anxiety, alcohol or caffeine consumption etc. If you sleep with a partner asking them to check for sounds of grinding to help detect it. Once, teeth grinding has been established as a possible cause of your headaches, you can see a dentist help correct it.

Sleep Apnea

Sleep apnea is a sleeping disorder in which breathing is briefly interrupted during sleep. There is usually a breathing pause of up to 10 seconds. Headache sufferers have a greater risk of developing sleep apnea and other sleep disorders and vice versa. In fact, their risk is 2 to 8 times greater than those who don’t suffer from frequent headaches. Sleep apnea can usually be treated by visiting a medical professional once it has been properly diagnosed.


As many people know the body and mind are intricately connected. If one is not healthy, the other falls victim. To ensure the health of an individual it is important that they be both physically and mentally healthy. Depression and pain are interlinked and it has been cited to be a major cause of headaches experienced by people. It can trigger migraines or make an existing migraine worse. The best way to usually deal with depression is to seek professional help from an expert in the field.


Now that some of the possible causes have been discussed, what are some measures that can be taken to take away your morning woes? Here are our favorites:

1. Prioritising your sleep.

The best way to get rid of your morning headaches would be to get sufficient sleep. It cannot be stressed enough that sleep is extremely crucial for an individual. Having a sound sleep of 6-8 hours is mandatory for any healthy adult. If you are having difficulty in sleeping adjusting your sleeping environment would be a good way to help ease this. You could try to adjust the amount of light in your based on your comfort or adjusting the temperature. By getting sufficient sleep, you will be less likely to get a headache in the morning.

2. Stretching before getting out of bed.

Believe it or not, stretching can make a pretty big difference. It is known to everyone that exercise is good for the body. But just how good exactly? Studies have shown that performing some basic stretches before getting out of bed in the morning can reduce the risk of getting a headache by almost 35% and stretching can reduce the intensity of an existing headache to help you relieve you of your morning misery. You can try simple stretches of the neck like rotating your neck clockwise and then counter clockwise. The cobra stretch has also proven to be effective in relieving headaches.

3. Cutting down caffeine or alcohol.

Any substance used in excess has a negative effect on the body. An individual binge drinking alcohol or caffeine is sure to suffer from periodic headaches due to dehydration. Therefore, it is often important to consume large quantities of water when drinking excessive alcohol to keep yourself well hydrated. Being hydrated helps avoid a hangover and reduce the chances of getting a headache the next morning. Similarly, caffeine can keep you up at night longer reducing the amount of sleep you get. Any person suffering from caffeine withdrawal may also suffer from periodic headaches. However, only a small population of the world suffers from caffeine withdrawal. Still, better safe than sorry, right?

4. Eating a light snack before going to bed.

While it is well known that one shouldn’t eat a full meal before going to bed, eating a light snack could sometimes help ease your headache. Studies have shown that a possible cause for early morning headaches is a blood sugar crash. Eating a light snack can help with this. Care should, however, be taken that your snack does not turn into a full meal.

5. Managing stress and depression more effectively.

It has been repeatedly stated that stress can often cause headaches. By reducing your mental health, your physical health is also affected. The mind and body are connected. If one falls prey, the other follows. In order to improve your situation avoid being in stress-related situations. Understand that certain things are bound to happen and stressing over it is not going to help your situation. The same can be said about depression. Depression is a major cause of headaches. While saying something like don’t be depressed is stupid, one can try to lighten their mood or avoid stress-inducing or depression related instances. If your depression is going out of hand, it would be best to seek therapy and even get medical attention as depression if not treated becomes a serious issue.


While these methods can prove effective it should be noted that if none of the above are helping, you need to visit a licensed medical practitioner and get a diagnosis of your headaches. Headaches can have other underlying causes other than the ones mentioned as well. Sometimes these causes are related to more serious health issues which can be pretty difficult to treat if not caught early. It would be best if you visit a physician who is properly trained to manage situations like yours better.


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