Q:

Why do you wake up with a headache?

A:

Quick Answer

The most common reason for morning headaches is sleep disorders, according to the American Headache Society, and headache sufferers have a greater propensity for sleep disorders. Too little or too much sleep, obstructive apnea and snoring are headache triggers. The most common problem for headache patients is insomnia, which includes difficulty falling or staying asleep, early awakening and non-refreshing sleep.

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Full Answer

There is a biological basis for the link between sleep and headaches. Common regions of the brain control sleep, headache and mood, and share chemical messengers. In addition, inadequate sleep makes the body more sensitive to pain. The optimal amount of sleep is seven to eight hours nightly; more or less than that amount is associated with headaches, according to the American Headache Society. Headache sufferers typically sleep less than six hours nightly.

Chronic rebound headaches can occur in people who take pain medication more than three days a week and develop a dependency, says MedlinePlus. Sinus headache, which is caused by swelling in the sinus passages behind the cheeks, nose and eyes, is another cause of morning headaches. Sinus pain is characterized by a worsening when the patient bends forward. Chronic daily headaches can also be caused by anxiety, depression, obesity and too much caffeine, according to Mayo Clinic.

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