What Are Some of the Causes of Bad Headaches in the Morning?


Quick Answer

Some of the causes of bad headaches in the morning are depression; withdrawal from caffeine, ergots and medications; and serious diseases, explains the National Headache Foundation. Psychological changes that occur in the body during the morning hours may also cause bad headaches.

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Full Answer

Tension-type headaches, migraines and cluster headaches may lead to pain that awakens individuals during the morning hours, mostly after 4 a.m., or upon awakening, as pointed out by the National Headache Foundation. From about 4 a.m. to 8 a.m., the body tends to produce more enkephalins and endorphins, its natural painkillers, than at any other times during the day. The body releases larger quantities of adrenaline during the early morning hours, and since adrenaline affects the regulation of the dilation and contraction of blood vessels as well as blood pressure, this may play a role in morning migraine attacks. Serious diseases that may cause early morning headaches include severe high blood pressure, sleep apnea and brain tumors.

Patients who experience changes in the pattern of their headaches, especially those who have never had headaches in the past, are advised to see a headache specialist, as Everyday Health recommends. A medical provider can perform a thorough investigation and develop an approach to treat the morning headaches.

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