Do you sometimes wake up first thing in the morning, and you lift your head up and immediately have to
lie down again because of a headache? It might be a piercing headache or a mild one. It may be concentrated in a specific area of the head. These headaches are more common than you think, with studies showing that 1 in 13 people are reporting waking up with a headache.
The headaches are caused by different factors and usually vary in intensity, length of time and area of the headed affected. All these factors are determined by the cause of a headache. There are several types of headaches including:
- Tension Headaches
- Cluster headaches
- Hypnic headaches
- Paroxysmal hemicranias
To determine why you’re getting these headaches, you need to answer a few important questions:
- How long have you had these headaches?
- What time do they start mostly?
- Are they severe?
- Where are they concentrated? Is it the same place or different areas of the head?
- Are there other symptoms other than the headaches?
- Do they affect your sight or balance?
The answers to these questions may be vital in determining the cause of the headaches, and thus ways to treat them. So why exactly are you getting these headaches?
How many hours of sleep are you getting? Do you spend hours trying to find sleep in the night, staring at your ceiling, deep in thought, or are you working into the night, leaving very little time to sleep? This may be why your head pounds when you wake up. Insomnia is one of the most common causes of headaches in the morning. People complaining of headaches have admitted to having restless sleep, or waking up from sleep in the middle of the night. Such Insomnia may cause migraine headaches.
- Caffeine withdrawal
Your head pounding in the morning may also be as a sign of withdrawal from caffeine. You may have gotten used to your cup of tea or coffee daily. You may be one of those people who can’t start their day without a healthy dose of caffeine; a cup of coffee or tea is a common drink for you.
Over the years one develops an addiction to the caffeine in these drinks. Like any other form of addiction, Lack of the item brings about side effects or withdrawal whose symptoms include headaches. You can determine if this is the cause of your headache if you notice it end once you have coffee or tea.
- Sleep apnea
This is a condition where you may stop breathing periodically at night. You may not notice this, as you’re asleep when it happens, but it is possible. Ways to know if this is happening to you is to have your partner or friend watch for snoring while you sleep.
Note that snoring is a symptom of apnea. It leads to headaches in the morning that may last for half an hour. If this is the case, you may visit a doctor and have them prescribe ways to stop the sleep apnea. This condition is a common cause for waking up with a headache.
You not have sleeping problems, but may have another sleep disorder where you grind your teeth at night while you sleep. It may happen without your knowledge and may cause soreness on the jaw muscles. One wakes up with jaw pains and sometimes the teeth may get damaged. This strain on the jaws may lead to headaches.
These types of headaches are usually a dull sort of ache that occurs near your temples.To treat this, mouth guards may be used, or methods of reducing stress such as exercise, meditation and others.
- Tense muscles
Your headache may be caused by straining your head and neck muscles. Sleeping position determines how strained the muscles are. The way you sleep, as well as the pillow you use, may be causing those annoying aches and pains.
Your pillow should basically allow you to have your head and neck in the same position as when you are standing. Try to replace your pillows as needed, or find the right pillow to avoid straining your muscles and the subsequent headaches.
You may have allergies that cause sinus congestion while you sleep. You may be allergic to dust mites that are found on beds due to accumulated dust. Inflammation of the sinuses is another cause of morning headaches. These tend to happen on the forehead or temples, and tend to end after a while of you waking up.
Such allergies can be prevented by avoiding the allergens, washing your bedding more frequently and visiting an allergist to get ways to relieve the allergic reactions.
- Alcohol consumption
Have you previously had a night out or in with friends, drinking throughout the night? The morning after a drinking spree is usually characterized by throbbing headaches. These are caused by dehydration and the disruption of sleeping patterns. If this sounds like you, then you have what is referred to popularly as a hangover.
To remedy this, drink lots of water and get enough sleep. Also, cutting on the alcohol consumption will reduce the headaches.
- Health conditions
Some headaches are caused by other prevailing health conditions such as hypertension. These can be treated by visiting your doctor to have prescriptions of necessary medicine.
- Anxiety or depression
Such mental disorders are characterized by headaches, especially as they disturb the sleep patterns.
When to see a doctor
Most of the times, headaches are not really a sign of a serious medical condition. However, seek immediate medical help if there’s a change in morning headaches pattern, such as an increase or beginning of headaches where they were not there previously, or if you experience the following symptoms;
- Vision changes
- Numbness of face or body
- Stiff Neck
- Extreme drowsiness
Take care of your normal activities and sleep patterns to avoid waking up with a headache in future.