Dr Petcha


Do you wake up every morning with a throbbing headache? Be assured that you are not alone. 1 in 13 people complain about the same problem. These headaches can be quite troublesome and are definitely not a good start to your day. While the reason for these headaches can vary from person to person, I have listed a few important explanations.

1) Bruxism

Bruxism is a condition in which you grind or clench your teeth involuntarily throughout the night. This condition affects both adults and children alike and can sometimes be traced back to anxiety or stress. This condition creates a lot of stress in your face and scalp muscles leading to morning headaches. Your physician should easily be able to diagnose and treat this condition. Some treatments include using a mouth guard, medication, or stress reduction techniques.  

2) Snoring 

How many times in the last week has your partner complained about your snoring? Well, this could be the very reason for these morning headaches. Snoring is a condition that we adults tend to ignore but really shouldn’t. It could disturb your night’s sleep and cause chronic headaches in the morning. Snoring can occur on its own too, but sometimes it might be the result of some serious underlying conditions like sleep apnea. 

3) Sleep apnea

Sleep apnea is a potentially serious sleep disorder that usually occurs in adults. People who suffer from sleep apnea will repeatedly stop breathing when they are asleep. There are two types of sleep apnea 1. Obstructive sleep apnea 2. Central sleep apnea. 

In the obstructive type, the soft tissue present in the back of throat collapses and closes leading to a blocked airway. In the central type, the brain is the culprit as it fails to signal your muscles to breathe. In both these conditions, breathing is stopped frequently enough that your brain does not receive enough oxygen to allow it to go into deeper sleep cycles. This can lead to morning headaches, poor mood, and memory loss. 

If untreated this could also put you at higher risk of heart attacks and strokes. If you suspect having sleep apnea, promptly see your doctor.

4) Using the wrong pillow

Believe it or not, your pillow could also be the culprit causing your morning headaches. Using the wrong pillow can cause strain and tension in your neck and scalp muscles which in turn causes headaches. So, choose a pillow that supports your neck and spine well and keeps them in a neutral position. Extremely soft pillows might not be able to hold your neck well and hard pillows might disrupt your sleeping angle. To strike a balance you might need to try a few pillows and choose the one that suits you best. 

5) Excess use of alcohol or medication

We all take medications for a lot of reasons. But, some of these medicines can disturb your natural sleep cycles causing early morning headaches. Be sure to look into the medication inserts for side effects if morning headache starts shortly after taking a new medication. Another common substance that can cause headaches is alcohol. Alcohol gets absorbed into your blood giving you a feeling of high. But, as the alcohol level begins to drop, you experience a variety of symptoms including early morning headaches, AKA hangovers. While they get better as the day progresses, keep in mind that excessive use of alcohol can lead to disturbed sleep patterns overall and this, in turn, can lead to headaches. 

Conclusion: There are a plenty of lifestyle as well as medical conditions that could be causing headaches. These are only a few of them. If things don’t seem to be getting better, it is always good to see your family doctor.



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