Waking Up With A Headache
Let's Find The Root Cause

Waking Up With A Headache

I guess all of us can have those mornings when we're waking up with a headache. A bolting head combined with tiredness is not the best way to start a new day. But the real problems arise for those of us suffering almost daily or a couple of days per week from morning headaches.

It can ruin an entire day as we struggle with getting into a good mood while suffering from the pain. And even if we take measures with e.g. painkillers, it's not really a long-term solution.

So today we're gonna try to find the root cause of the problem and see what actions you can take immediately.


First, I just want to mention that waking up with a headache is rarely the sign of any severe medical problem. It's just about the habits we have and how we live our lives.

Second, it's interesting to note that the body actually has its lowest natural defense during your late sleeping hours. Therefore, all different types of headaches can present themselves when you wake up.

There are of course some different types of headaches and they all have different causes and effects. Here are the main ones:

  • Tension headaches - Due to muscle contraction, you feel a constant pressure on your head, especially in the front and back. This is the most common headache and is sometimes called chronic daily headaches.
  • Migraine headaches - Migraines are most likely genetic and can stay for anything between a couple of hours and a few days. The pain is usually described as throbbing.
  • Sinus headaches - Located in the front of the head and associated with inflammation in your sinus systems. Basically, when you get sick you might also experience pain in your nose, cheekbones or forehead.
  • Cluster headaches - The least common type, but also the most painful. This can be a focused pain attack e.g. behind one of your eyes and is so severe you won't be able to do anything else. The few times I've experienced these, I got in to a state of total pain and disorientation due to the massive pain causing me to barely being able to see. This type of headache is reoccurring and act in short cycles when they are active.
  • Rebound headaches - Too much painkillers can actually give you even more headache (!) since the process of going back to normal state can affect your brain chemistry quite a lot.

So among these types, when it comes to waking up with a headache, the tension headache is the absolutely most common type. Some causes could be grinding teeth, sleeping on a bad pillow or too much stress. But there are other causes as well such as dehydration, food, or allergies which can all cause you to wake up with a headache without necessary belonged to any of these specific types of headaches.

If you want to see an extensive list I put together of all the possible causes for morning headache, then this one is a...

Going through that list will surely help you figure out what's causing your headache and hopefully also provide you with some tips on how to change for the better :-)

But in general, avoiding waking up with a headache is all about habits. The habits in your life. Simple things such as drinking water regularly throughout the day and reducing stress can have a great impact.

Also, another major cause is the way you sleep and the situation around you. Having a clean room with fresh air and a good pillow are all proactive ways to avoid a morning headache. Last but not least, I would like to stress the importance of your sleeping posture. Since most of us sleep the same way all our lives, make sure your body is well-aligned as to avoid putting extra stress and tension to your neck and back. This can save you from many painful mornings.

So if you're truly suffering from waking up with a headache all too often, then it's time to take some action to find the root cause of your problem. It's all individual so I can't give you an exact answer, but I hope I've provided you with some insight into how to find out. Good luck and I hope your mornings will turn for the better :-)


Early Riser > Sleep Well > Waking Up With A Headache

Thanks for reading! By Matthew M. McEwan


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