Here's Why You're Waking Up with a Headache

Here's Why You're Waking Up with a Headache

Linda Nguyen | Nov. 8, 2019

Waking up with a headache is pretty much synonymous with waking up on the wrong side of the bed. You feel off-kilter, a little crummy, and its a unwanted nuisance when you're just trying to get through your morning routine. You’re not alone in the feeling, especially if you’re someone who experiences some type of sleep disorder, as those who do are two to eight times more likely to wake up with a headache.

Here are some of the reasons why you might be waking up with a headache, but a word to the wise: Always consult with your trusted health practitioner for more information.


This condition of sleep deprivation commonly manifests itself in nasty morning headaches, which can sometimes escalate to painful migraines. Insomnia can be treated, so it’s best to speak with your doctor and seek the appropriate sleep treatment or therapy.


It’s common for migraines to kick in action in the early morning—right before you wake up—because that’s around the time when medication tends to wear off.

Depression or Anxiety

A study has shown that depression and anxiety can lead to chronic morning headaches. Mental illnesses can also lead to the development of migraines and insomnia if left untreated, so the sooner you speak with your doctor, the better.  

Sleep apnea

Those who struggle with sleep apnea have a host of symptoms (like waking up because pauses in breathing, snoring, or getting up to use the bathroom, etc.) that can contribute to an inconsistent sleep pattern that would result in a morning headache.

Teeth grinding

Also known as bruxism, teeth grinding is a sleep disorder that we do subconsciously in our sleep. Grinding our teeth at night can inspire morning headaches located in the temples and cause pain along the jaw. Mouth guards administered by your dentist is the most common treatment.

Bad pillow

A pillow that doesn’t properly support your neck and spine throughout the night is a surefire of waking up with not just a strained neck, but a headache too. Finding the right pillow can take some trial and error, but equipping your bedroom with one that you can fully customize is a good place to start.


This isn’t news to most: A night filled with too many drinks and not enough water in between is a recipe for a morning headache. According to WebMD, “alcohol causes your body to make more urine, which can cause you to become more dehydrated. The alcohol causes your blood vessels to expand, which can lead to headaches.”

How do you mitigate a nasty hangover, you ask? The best liquid to consume isn't water or gatorade – it's coconut water. 

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