Why Do I Wake Up With A Headache?

  • Share this:
Why Do I Wake Up With A Headache?

Why Do I Wake Up With A Headache? It’s 8:00 am by the clock, wake up, says your phone’s alarm! Monday morning thy be! And you have a meeting lined up early this day. But, alas! You can’t even open your eyes. You are trying, but you feel like your head is bursting, or maybe like; you have a burning sensation in or around your head.


You wake up with a headache that makes you feel nasty while you are already late for work.

Is it just me, who has experienced it, or anyone else?

If so, you must be wondering – Why do I wake up with a headache? I did so, and I have found these reasons behind a headache when waking up from sleep! Here They Go!

Sleep-related Troubles

Sleep-related Troubles

Undoubtedly, one of the most common reasons for you, me, or any of us to get a wake-up headache is poor sleep quality or insufficient sleep duration.

Sometimes, sleeping in an uncomfortable position, especially while traveling, or a disrupted sleep pattern due to nights and days of work on your dream project can give you a headache when you wake up from sleep the next morning, and henceforth!

Sometimes, even oversleeping can cause the same headache!



Are you the one who drinks too less water, or any fluids for that matter, a day? If so,  dehydration can be a major cause of your headache while waking up from sleep. Why so?

This is because your brain and other body tissues require enough fluids to fetch a proper blood flow and sufficient oxygen. Otherwise, they tend to shrink, triggering the pain receptors resting at the lining of your brain called meninges. That’s how you have the headache.

That is precisely why medical experts say that eight ounces of water each day keeps your headache away!

Sleep Disorders

Sleep Disorders Sleep Disorders

Do you have any sleep disorders like insomnia or obstructive sleep apnea? If yes, you are likely to witness headaches upon awakening.

Experts say that people with sleep apnea experience disrupted breathing during sleep. That is why their quality of sleep and the cycle as a whole get sacrificed. If you are one of them, you must have felt the same!

Similarly, insomniacs like me often struggle to fall asleep, and then when you get to sleep after many hours of meditation, music, and whatnot, you barely stay asleep for long. And, hence, you wake up with a headache.

Bruxism or Teeth Grinding

Bruxism or Teeth Grinding 

Another reason you get a headache upon waking is grinding or clenching your teeth during sleep, the state we call bruxism!

Yes. These unintentional but excessively forceful movements go unnoticed. But it certainly causes tension and pain in your jaw.

Such a state typically arises from having irregularly sharp jaws by default, anxiety or panic attacks, and excess alcohol or caffeine use. Bruxism can even culminate in tooth wear and gum damage; if not treated early!

Sinus Congestion or Allergies

Sinus Congestion or Allergies

Do you have sinus congestion or allergies? If yes, that’s the answer to your question – Why do I wake up with a headache?

When you are asleep, mucus collects in and drains from your system; you must have known this! During this time, sinus congestion may lead to temporary blockage in your nasal passages during sleep, which is also why you snore; a lot while asleep! Herein, the pressure and inflammation in your sinuses are; what cause the next morning’s headache.

Sudden temperature changes and a bad cold can add up; to the situation, making the headache worse.

Eye Strain


Hours and hours of stress you put on your eyes to meet your tight deadline may appear as a reason you get a morning headache. Yes, your eye muscles contract too much during this time, triggering the pain receptors.

In the world of advanced technology and excessive screen time, eye strains are common, indeed! And so are the eye-straining headaches! This is more when you use electronic gadgets before going to bed!

Sometimes, your uncorrected vision may result in eye strain, causing headaches when you wake up.

Medication  Post-effects

Why Do I Wake Up With A Headache?

Are you into over-the-counter medications and supplement intake? Those painkillers and sleep aids? They can be the catalyst of your morning headaches; beware!

Those containing drugs like aspirin, opioids, or triptans, nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs, paracetamol or acetaminophen to lower high body temperature or fever, anti-anxiety pills, and all of that! They invite morning headaches, I must say!

So, start a medication only after consultation with your healthcare provider. They are the ones to offer expert light.


Well, if you pour excessive liquor down your food pipe last night, the next day, morning is bound to be horrific. Sloshed is what you say! Hangovers! They are the severe morning headache that takes the stage with about six drinks an evening.

Alas! Even lower alcohol intake cannot excuse this pain, as alcohol in minor quantities can affect your sleep, increase urination at night, lead to loss of fluids from your body, and dehydration.

Besides, if you have migraine tendencies and drink alcohol, headaches ought to await as you wake up.

Tension or Stress

Why Do I Wake Up With A Headache?

Didn’t anyone yet tell you that stress and morning headaches are mutually-inclusive? That’s right!

When you stress over something, maybe for your work, relationship struggles, financial problems, and so forth, staying awake for nights, smoking cigarette after cigarette, straining your eyes crying, you are likely to have a headache on getting up from sleep the very next time.

And then, your headache alters your entire schedule and puts you through further stress! Relatable to many!

Bottom Line:

Do you frequently experience headaches upon waking? Is your headache severe and persistent? Please do not hesitate to consult a healthcare professional, as they can evaluate your symptoms, introspect on your medical history and conduct necessary tests to determine the underlying cause, thereafter allocating you appropriate treatment or recommendations.

For natural healing or prevention of morning headaches, you can always adopt lifestyle modification hacks like limiting caffeine and alcohol intake, regular exercise, avoiding oily junk food, and going to bed constantly at the same time every day.

Become a member

Get the latest news right in your inbox. We never spam!


About author
Hi, I’m Alka Tiwari, healthcare marketer at HealthFinder. I started this blog to help you provide better healthcare information directly from the doctors.
View all posts (79)
0 0 votes
Article Rating
Notify of
Inline Feedbacks
View all comments
Alka Tiwari

Alka Tiwari
Typically replies within few minutes

Alka Tiwari
Hi there 👋

How can I help you?
Chat with Us