AWaking up With a Headache

AWaking up With a Headache

Waking up With a Headache

There is no agreement about when to call in sick, what constitutes a good excuse, or how to answer the question. Here’s how to handle it if you’re reaching for the crumpled pile of receipts and handwritten notes lying on your nightstand.


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 in a 24-hour cycle. Because of this misalignment, you may get insufficient sleep, which can trigger a headache when you wake up.

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. (Source: www.sleepfoundation.org)


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 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.

You should talk to your doctor if you start experiencing headaches that you did not experience before, if the headaches wake you from your sleep, or if your headaches change in any way, especially if they are severe. You should also contact a healthcare professional if your morning headaches are accompanied by any other symptoms, such as loud snoring, vomiting, or feeling tired during the day. In preparation for your doctor’s visit, consider keeping a journal next to your bed to record the frequency and intensity of your morning headaches. (Source: www.sleep.org)


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