What Causes Migraine Headaches In The Morning?

What Causes Migraine Headaches
What Causes Migraine Headaches

What Causes Migraine Headaches In The Morning? Waking up in the morning with a headache is not at all uncommon, and a recent study revealed that about 8% of people experience a headache on waking. Morning headaches (and sometimes migraine headaches) affect both men and women, although the most commonly affected group are women between the ages of 45 and 64.

So just why do so many people suffer the symptoms of morning headaches? Well there are of course many different reasons and, ignoring those self-inflicted late night drinking headaches, here are some of the more common causes:

Sleep Apnea

Sleep apnea is a very common sleep disorder, and many people who suffer from the condition are simply not aware of their problem. Sleep apnea, which affects some 18 million Americans, causes you to stop breathing numerous times during the night causing the brain to wake you just sufficiently to start your breathing again, but not sufficiently for you to be aware of being woken. This results in very light and disturbed sleep which often means that you wake in the morning feeling tired and this feeling continues throughout the day. It is also very common for sleep apnea sufferers to wake up with a headache.

Sleep apnea can often be treated by wearing a mask while you sleep (known as a CPAP mask) and such treatment will generally also cure your morning headaches.

Teeth Grinding

A surprisingly large number of people grind their teeth while they are sleeping and this constant movement of the jaw causes tension in the muscles of the jaw which also often extends to the neck and shoulders. This muscle tension in turn gives rise to a headache which is then felt on waking.

Teeth grinding can often be treated by asking your dentist to fit you with a soft plastic 'nightguard' which can be worn during sleep.

Restless Sleep

Many people find it difficult to shake off the stresses of their day and consequently tend to spend the night tossing and turning which can again cause muscle tension leading to a morning headache. This can often be cured by introducing various forms of relaxation into your bedtime routine to relax both your body and mind before sleeping. If this does not do the trick, then a psychologist or psychiatrist may be able to help you to deal with the issues which are causing your stress.

Restless Leg Syndrome

Restless leg syndrome is another common sleep disorder in which you are constantly moving your legs throughout the night. Many sufferers find that they experience strange sensations within their legs one of which is commonly described as being similar to having insects crawling inside your legs. This results in a light and un-refreshing night's sleep and frequently a morning headache.

There are various remedies suggested for restless leg syndrome depending upon the severity of the condition, and many sufferers will be prescribed mineral supplements and prescriptions drugs by their doctor.

A Snoring Bed Partner

Sometimes the cause of your morning headache is nothing more than a poor night of sleep caused by a snoring bed partner. Indeed, it is estimated that sleeping with a partner who snores effectively reduces your night's sleep by almost an hour and this quickly adds up over time.

These are of course just some of the more common causes of morning headaches but, for anybody suffering from headaches when they wake up in the morning, this represents a very good place to start your search for a cause and thus a cure.