Home / Blog April 25, 2024

6 min read

10 Tips On How To Stop Waking Up With A Headache

In this blog, we discuss the reasons behind why you might wake up with a headache after sleeping. We also offer useful remedies to help you wake up feeling rejuvenated and ready for your day.

how can i stop waking up with a headache


Sleep apnea, dehydration, and bruxism are common causes of morning headaches.

Stay hydrated, address sleep disorders, and practice good sleep hygiene for relief.

If you experience visual problems along with the morning headaches, consult your doctor. 

Did you know?
In 2021, the World Health Organization (WHO) reported that about 40% of adults aged 18 - 65 experienced regular headaches.

Have you ever woken up feeling like someone’s having a party in your head, but unfortunately, you weren’t invited? Morning headaches can sneak up on you even before you open your eyes, but there are remedies that help prevent waking up with a headache every time you nap. Before we delve into the remedies, let’s take a look at the reasons behind post-nap headaches

What Causes Morning Headaches?

These are the reasons you are experiencing early-morning headaches:

1. Sleep Apnea: This is a condition where breathing repeatedly stops and starts during sleep. Sleep Apnea can lead to a decrease in oxygen reaching the brain, causing headaches upon waking.

2. Teeth Grinding (Bruxism): Bruxism refers to the habit of grinding or clenching your teeth while sleeping. This constant movement can strain the muscles in your head and neck, leading to morning headaches. Teeth grinding at night can cause you to wake up with a headache concentrated in the front area of your head, like the forehead.

3. Sleeping Position: How you position yourself during sleep can affect the muscles in your neck and head. Sleeping in awkward or uncomfortable positions may lead to muscle tension and morning headaches. Adjusting your sleeping position or using a supportive pillow can help alleviate this issue.

4. Dehydration: Insufficient water intake typically results in dehydration, which may come back to haunt you as a morning headache. It’s crucial to maintain proper hydration throughout the day by drinking an adequate amount of water based on your body’s needs. This is especially true if you’re a physically active person.

5. Caffeine Withdrawal: If you’re a regular caffeine consumer, you may experience headaches when you miss your usual morning cup of coffee or tea. The morning headaches will continue if you abruptly stop drinking caffeine after your body has gotten used to the caffeine spike.

6. Low Blood Sugar: Going without food for an extended period, particularly overnight, can lead to low blood sugar levels, triggering morning headaches. This is especially true if you went to bed hungry, having not eaten at least 3 hours before bedtime.

7. Sinus Issues: Congestion or infections in the sinuses can cause pain and pressure, leading to waking up with a headache concentrated behind your eyes. This is sometimes referred to as a “sinus headache”, characterized by a feeling of fullness in the areas between your cheeks, nose, and brows.

8. Sleep Quality: Factors like irregular sleep patterns, excessive screen time before bed, or an uncomfortable sleep environment can contribute to poor sleep quality. This is particularly true if you usually go to bed after long periods of scrolling through your phone. Prolonged screen time, uncorrected vision issues, or reading in poor lighting can lead to eye strain headaches.

9. Alcohol Consumption: Excessive alcohol intake, especially close to bedtime, can disrupt sleep patterns. This disruption, coupled with potential dehydration from alcohol, may contribute to morning headaches.

10. Stress and Anxiety: Emotional stress and anxiety can lead to tension headaches, and these may be more noticeable in the morning.

Now that you know the most common causes of morning headaches, let’s look at what you can do to wake up feeling well-rested.

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What Are The Remedies For Morning Headaches?

1. Hydration: Ensure you are adequately hydrated by drinking enough water throughout the day. As briefly mentioned above, dehydration can contribute to headaches, so staying well-hydrated may help alleviate this.e some things to keep in mind to ensure that you steer clear of developing post-nap headaches:

2. Sleep Hygiene: Maintain a consistent sleep schedule by going to bed and waking up at the same time each day. Create a comfortable sleep environment by keeping the room dark and cool and limiting screen time before bedtime.

3. Sleep Position: Experiment with different sleep positions to find one that minimizes strain on your neck and head muscles. The most recommended sleep positions are side positions or on your back, so avoid sleeping on your stomach for the most part.

4. Address Teeth Grinding: If you grind your teeth at night, consider using a mouthguard prescribed by your dentist to prevent teeth clenching and reduce tension headaches. You can also see a sleep doctor for more personalized advice on dealing with bruxism.

5. Reduce Caffeine Intake Gradually: If you consume caffeine regularly, avoid abrupt withdrawal, as this can lead to headaches. Gradually reduce your caffeine intake to manage withdrawal symptoms.

6. Balanced Diet: Maintain a balanced diet and avoid going to bed on an empty stomach. Consuming a small, nutritious snack like a banana before bedtime may help stabilize blood sugar levels.

7. Manage Stress: Incorporate stress-management techniques into your daily routine, such as deep breathing exercises, meditation, or yoga. If you tend to experience anxiety before falling asleep, it may be helpful to consider sleep tools, like a knitted weighted blanket, like our Cotton Napper. Weighted blankets have been linked to reduced cortisol (stress hormone) levels, ensuring you rest more deeply and wake feeling refreshed.

8. Regular Exercise: Regular physical activity can help improve sleep quality and reduce stress. However, avoid vigorous exercises close to bedtime. It is best to exercise before you are roughly two hours away from sleeping.

9. Limit Alcohol Intake: If you consume alcohol, do so in moderation and avoid it close to bedtime. Excessive alcohol intake, especially late at night, can disrupt sleep patterns and contribute to headaches.

10. Treat Sinus Congestion: If sinus congestion or a stuffy nose is contributing to your morning headaches, consider using saline nasal sprays or other remedies recommended by your healthcare professional.

Remember that individual responses to these remedies can vary, and it may take some time to find what works best for you. If you have to, say, get up and go to work, you may need to try natural remedies like a calming cup of tea.

Next, let’s look at how different herbal teas can help you if you experience morning headaches everyday.

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Herbal Teas For Headache Relief

These are some teas that are easy to find and can help alleviate a lingering morning headache:

1. Peppermint Tea: This contains menthol, which has muscle relaxant properties, helping soothe tension in the muscles of the head and neck. Additionally, the cooling effect of menthol may provide a refreshing sensation.

2. Ginger Tea: Ginger has anti-inflammatory and analgesic (pain-relieving) properties. Inflammation is a common contributor to most headaches, and ginger may help reduce the symptoms that follow inflammation, providing relief from headaches.

3. Chamomile Tea: This has mild sedative and muscle-relaxant properties, making it beneficial for stress-related headaches. It may also help calm the nervous system, reduce tension, and promote relaxation.

4. Lavender Tea: Lavender has calming and soothing properties, and inhaling its aroma or consuming it in the form of tea may help reduce stress and tension, potentially alleviating headaches.

5. Green Tea: Green tea contains antioxidants, particularly catechins, which have anti-inflammatory and neuroprotective effects. The moderate amount of caffeine in green tea may also provide relief for some individuals by improving blood flow and reducing headache symptoms.

While these herbal teas have pain-relief benefits, everyone’s response to them will differ. If you experience persistent or severe headaches, it’s advisable to consult with a healthcare professional for a thorough evaluation and appropriate guidance.

Next, let’s look at some tell-tale signs that your regular morning headaches warrant professional medical evaluation.

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When To See A Doctor

Experiencing morning headaches once in a while isn’t necessarily cause for concern, and lifestyle adjustments or home remedies could be effective. However, there are specific signs and symptoms that indicate it’s time to consult a doctor. These include:

1. Frequent or Severe Headaches: These may indicate an underlying medical issue that requires attention. Some causes of chronic daily headaches include infections like meningitis or inflammation in the blood vessels in the brain.

2. Sudden Onset of Severe Headaches: This is when you suddenly develop intense headaches, especially if they are accompanied by other neurological symptoms such as vision changes, dizziness, numbness in your limbs, difficulty speaking, or weakness, seek medical attention promptly. Other signs include nausea, vomiting, fever, chills, and other flu-like symptoms.

3. Headaches After a Head Injury: If you’ve experienced a recent head injury, and it is followed by recurring morning headaches, it’s vital to seek medical attention. Head injuries can have various consequences, including post-traumatic headaches. An example of this is a condition known as post-concussion syndrome, characterized by sleep challenges, dizziness, ringing in the ears, and noise and light sensitivity

4. Changes in Your Headaches’ Pattern: This includes variations in the intensity or area of your headaches and could include new characteristics such as different pain quality, duration, or associated symptoms

5. Previous History of Migraines or Headaches: If you have a history of migraines or other types of headaches and notice a change in your symptoms, it’s advisable to consult with a healthcare professional for appropriate management.

6. Persistent Headaches with Lifestyle Changes: If you’ve made recent lifestyle adjustments, such as improving sleep hygiene, hydration, and stress management, and your morning headaches persist, it’s time to see a doctor. Persistent headaches despite lifestyle changes may require further investigation to rule out any serious underlying medical conditions.

Always trust your instincts and seek medical attention if you are concerned about the headaches you experience. A healthcare professional can conduct a thorough evaluation, consider your medical history, and order any necessary tests to identify the underlying causes of your morning headaches.


The most common causes of morning headaches are dehydration, anxiety, infections, and underlying sleep disorders. For relief, drink more water, practice stress management, and address any sleep disturbances with the support of a specialist. You can also optimize your sleep hygiene by ensuring that your room is cool, dark, and quiet, gently stretching and unwinding before bed, and putting your phone away within 1 to 2 hours before you sleep.

If you’re grappling with persistent morning headaches despite practicing substantial self-care, it’s essential to pay attention to warning signs. While occasional headaches may be manageable with lifestyle adjustments, frequent or severe headaches, sudden onset of intense pain, neurological symptoms, or changes in headache patterns are signs that you should seek immediate medical attention.