Waking Up With Headaches
A good night’s rest is essential for most people to function normally in the day. There are many things that wake us up or interrupt our sleep, but none of these are quite as persistent as the experience of waking up with a headache. The group most at risk from headaches is women, typically in the age group between 30 and 39, though it is possible that many other groups can also be afflicted by headaches that are either severe enough to interrupt sleep or are triggered by waking.
Ironically it could be a lack of sleep, or conversely too much sleep, that triggers these headaches as irregular sleep patterns can lead to waking up at unusual hours and therefore tiredness which could initiate a headache. Regular sleep patterns help to establish the circadian rhythm and should hopefully reset to allow a sufficient amount of sleep each day. The right amount of sleep for most people is between 7-9 hours every night, and while some people may be accustomed to a night shifted body clock this common pattern will often help to wake them up to daylight hours.
Depression is also a key cause of waking headaches as well, as there is evidence to show that people diagnosed with depression are much more likely to have headaches than those not as they are also more likely to suffer from sleep deprivation and thus more likely to suffer from headaches that either occur upon waking or interrupt sleep as a result. Treating depression can help relieve stress and provide much needed rest for your body.
Another common cause of sleep-related headaches is a condition called sleep apnea. This is also called sleep disordered breathing and is a case where the person suffers from interrupted or shallow breathing during sleep. A recent study involving 462 people suffering from sleep apnea showed that 34% of the people reported having morning headaches in contrast to a control group of 19%. In sleep apnea the restriction of breathing limits the flow of oxygen and oxygen deprivation is assumed to be a causal factor of morning headaches, however the whole picture of what is causing the headaches is still somewhat unclear at this time.
A very common cause of a headaches in the morning is also what is termed a rebound headache. This is where a person has a dependence on one or more chemicals or medications that are not allowed to the body during sleep. The most common instances of this are people who smoke or drink coffee. The reasons behind this are quite clear, as the body starts to go through withdrawal symptoms as the chemical receptors in the brain cry out for the right chemical. People who drink more than 3 or 4 cups of coffee a day or are smokers should investigate reducing their dependencies on these chemicals to see if this eliminates their headache.
For women, a possible cause of waking headaches or non-waking headaches could be their menstrual cycles. There is documentation of women preceding during or after their periods of suffering from headaches. This may not necessarily be linked to waking headaches as such but by paying close attention to the menstrual cycle and identifying any patterns it may shed some light on any issues a sufferer may have.