7 Reasons You Might Be Waking Up With A Headache

Banish your morning headaches with these tips.
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There’s nothing like waking up in the morning feeling refreshed. You feel relaxed, happy and you’re more likely to have a productive day.

So when you find yourself having a headache in the morning it can really dampen your day. No one wants to wake up with a banging head.

So, what are some of the reasons why we wake up with a pounding head in the morning?

1. Hay fever
If you suffer from hay-fever you may find yourself getting a headache in the morning. A hay-fever headache might feel like a sinus pressure and facial pain in your nose, forehead and cheekbones.

2. Hangover

“After a night out your blood alcohol content drops back to normal or close to it, and you can start to feel symptoms that can include a headache,” Melanie King, pharmacist at Pharmacy2U tells HuffPost UK. “Alcohol can also cause your blood vessels to expand, which can again lead to a headache.”

3. Migraines

“Migraines are moderate to severe headaches that usually present as a throbbing pain felt on one side of the head,” King says. “For sufferers, they are common in the early morning, and this could be made more likely by factors such as a lack of sleep, or dehydration. But migraines are complicated and their patterns and triggers differ from person to person.”

4. A sleep disorder

The relationship between sleep and headaches is complex; sometimes headaches are the cause of poor sleep, and other times they’re the result of it. “If you suspect you have a sleep disorder it is worth speaking to your GP for further help and support,” says King.

5. Temporomandibular joint (TMJ) disorders

“The temporomandibular joint (TMJ) connects your jaw to your skull. If you grind your teeth in your sleep this can often bring on a morning headache,” says King.

6. Medication overuse

“A medication overuse headache (MOH) happen to those already prone to headaches, and are a rebound headache after prolonged use of some painkillers,” says King. “A MOH usually occurs right when you wake up and can also often be made worse by too much caffeine. If you suspect you have a MOH check with your doctor for advice and a review of the pain relief medicines you’re taking – a preventative medicine might be better for you.”

7. Dehydration
Sometimes a headache is caused by the most simple thing. Getting a headache in the morning could be a sign that you need to up our water intake – especially in summer months.

How can we deal with morning headaches?

If you think your headache might be related to your fluid or diet, Sophie Medlin, dietitian and founder of City Dietitians, recommends keeping a note of the things you have eaten and drunk the previous day when you wake up with a headache.

“See if you can spot any patterns,”she says. “As a dietitian, I often see patients with migraines and headaches and the most common causes are dehydration and not replacing salts lost in sweat with rehydration solutions.”

If you think you’re dehydrated drink more water and avoid high-protein drinks and alcohol, especially before going to bed. Try eating a balanced diet that includes fruits and vegetables.

For those hay fever suffers, King recommends taking paracetamol when a headache strikes and applying a warm, most towel on your face when you wake up. Taking antihistamines to keep on top of your hay fever symptoms may also help.

“You might find it helpful to keep a sleep diary to keep track and outline to your doctor your symptoms and sleep habits in order to find the right treatment plan for you,” King adds.

“If you have frequent or daily morning headaches, you should contact your GP to try and figure out what might be causing them.