Early morning headaches may be caused sleep apnea, bruxism (grinding of the teeth) and depression, according to Everyday Health. Migraines, cluster headaches and rebound headaches are also more prominent in the morning. It is rarely a symptom of a serious medical problem, such as a brain tumor, says Health.
Sleep apnea makes it hard for you to breathe while asleep, and as a result you may wake up with a strong headache, according to Everyday Health. Headaches in general, whatever their cause, are more likely to occur and be stronger in the early morning hours because during this time, the natural painkillers in the body dip. Rebound headaches, which are caused by long-term use of medication to treat other types of headache, says Mayo Clinic, may be more severe in the morning because during sleep, the levels of pain relief medication in the body decreases.
Besides the time of day, there are other characteristics that help physicians specify the origin of a headache and recommend the appropriate treatment, according to Everyday Health. An early morning headache seldom indicates a more serious medical condition. However, a change in the pattern or character of headaches for people with headache disorders or the occurrence of headaches for people who never suffered from them previously must be evaluated by a headache specialist.