5 causes of morning headaches and how to feel better

Waking up with a headache can make starting your day a real challenge.

What causes morning headaches? [GoodHousekeeping]

Morning headaches are quite common, and understanding the reasons behind them can help you find relief.

Morning headaches can be caused by various factors, from sleep issues to lifestyle choices. If you're waking up with a headache, you need to identify the cause and take steps to address it.

Here are five common causes of morning headaches and offer practical advice on how to feel better and prevent these headaches from disrupting your mornings.

Sleep disorders, such as sleep apnea and insomnia, are contributors to morning headaches.

Sleep apnea occurs when your breathing repeatedly stops and starts during sleep, reducing the oxygen supply to your brain. This lack of oxygen can lead to headaches upon waking. Insomnia, or difficulty falling or staying asleep, can also result in tension headaches due to inadequate rest.

  • Seek medical advice: If you suspect sleep apnea, consult a doctor. Treatments like CPAP machines can help.
  • Improve sleep hygiene: Establish a regular sleep schedule, create a calming bedtime routine, and ensure your sleeping environment is comfortable and free from distractions.

Teeth grinding, or bruxism involves clenching or grinding your teeth while you sleep. This habit puts pressure on your jaw and the muscles around your head, leading to morning headaches.

What you can do

  • Use a mouthguard: Wearing a mouthguard at night can protect your teeth and reduce the strain on your jaw muscles.
  • Manage stress: Since stress can trigger bruxism, practice relaxation techniques like deep breathing, meditation, or gentle yoga before bed.

Dehydration is a common cause of headaches, including morning headaches. When your body lacks sufficient water, it can affect your blood volume and the way your brain functions, leading to head pain.

What you can do

  • Limit diuretics: Reduce your intake of diuretics like caffeine and alcohol, which can dehydrate you.

Alcohol can disrupt your sleep and dehydrate your body, both of which can lead to morning headaches. Even a small amount of alcohol before bed can affect your sleep quality and result in a headache.

What you can do

  • Limit alcohol intake: Avoid alcohol, especially in the hours leading up to bedtime.
  • Hydrate: If you do drink alcohol, follow it with plenty of water to stay hydrated.

Sleeping in an awkward position or using an unsuitable pillow can strain your neck and head muscles, causing a headache in the morning.

What you can do

  • Choose the right pillow: Ensure your pillow supports your neck and keeps your spine aligned.
  • Sleep position: Try sleeping on your back or side with your neck in a neutral position.

Morning headaches can be a nuisance, but understanding their causes can help you take steps to prevent and manage them.

If your headaches persist despite these measures, consult a healthcare provider to rule out any underlying conditions and receive appropriate treatment.

This content was created with the help of an AI model and verified by the writer.

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