Headache after sleeping in the morning causes pain

Constant headaches in the morning are a clear reason to visit your doctor. It is necessary to find out the exact cause of the pain syndrome in order to finally get rid of it. Just a survey and examination may not be enough, then a specialist will direct you to take an analysis, an x-ray of the cervical spine, ultrasound examinations of the vessels of the brain, MRI of the neck and head.

If a frequent headache in the morning occurs due to migraine, then its causes can be identified by polysomnography – studies of how the body behaves during sleep.

When your head hurts in the mornings, but it has nothing to do with diseases, it’s worth reviewing your own daily routine and streamlining it a bit. It will be good if at the same time you get rid of bad habits. Simple enough:

  • sleep from 6 to 8 hours a day;
  • if possible, follow the regimen and fall asleep at the same time;
  • before going to bed to relax, and not do things that require stress;
  • ventilate the bedroom, use comfortable pillow and bed;
  • do not overwork;
  • if you sleep during the day, then in the interval between 13 and 15 hours – then melatonin in the blood grows, and energy falls down.

If your head hurts in the morning, then any strong painkillers will help to remove unpleasant consequences. You can take Citramon, Analgin, Nise, Spasmolgon, Nurofen. But still, when your head hurts in the morning, you should not get carried away with medicines – the body will adapt to the remedy, and it will cease to function. And do not forget about the harm from painkillers. Sometimes it’s better to use folk remedies: drink sweet tea, massage your forehead, nose with a slice of lemon.

An annoying headache disappears in the morning if you use the essential oils of lavender, chamomile or mint. Before applying to the skin, do not forget to dilute it in vegetable oil, otherwise the pain will only intensify – the smell from the concentrate is too strong. Oils can be inhaled, compresses on the head and neck.

Long headaches after sleep can be relieved. if you use decoctions of mint, hawthorn, chamomile. The smell of tincture of valerian alcohol will calm the rapid heartbeat, provides a relaxing night’s rest and a quick wake up in the morning. A simple charge and a contrast shower after it will relax the muscles and help restore blood flow.

To stop situations when every morning a headache hurts, the right diet, an active lifestyle, and the ability to relax after hard work will help. The doctor can prescribe needle therapy, acupressure, choose an individual set of exercises.

Headaches in the morning arise for two types of reasons – conditionally pathological (self-correction is available) and diseases requiring medical attention.

Individual characteristicsDiseases
· Too soft mattress, uncomfortable pillow;

· Increased stuffiness in the room;

· A long interval between dinner and sleep (hunger);

· Excessive love of coffee;

· Reception of alcohol-containing drinks on the eve;

· Duration of sleep more than 8 hours;

· Tightly braided hair (large hairpin, hairpins, invisible hair, curlers);

· Chronic lack of sleep.

Inflammation of the sinuses (sinusitis, ethmoiditis, frontal sinusitis, sphenoiditis);

· The consequences of a brain injury;

Post-infection period (meningitis, encephalitis);

· Condition after a stroke;

· Stable hypertension with episodes of crises;

Dystrophic or static changes in the cervical spine.

The first group of reasons is available to fix on their own:

  • buy an orthopedic mattress, pillow;
  • monitor your diet and the amount of coffee you drink.

In the second case, sign up to a general practitioner, who, if necessary, will redirect to a doctor of narrow specialization – neurologist, ENT specialist.

People who live by the rhythm of an owl often suffer from morning headaches. They go to bed later than the Larks, and at work they are forced to get up early. Therefore, they are haunted by cephalgia. The reason is the physiological lack of a full night’s sleep.

If the condition when the headache after sleep lasts a long time, you need to contact a specialist to find out the cause. After the survey and examination, the doctor can send for laboratory tests, radiography of the cervical spine, dopplerography of the vessels of the brain, MRI of the head and neck.

  • Sleep 6-8 hours a day.
  • If possible, go to bed at the same time.
  • Do not do things that excite the brain in the evening.
  • Provide oxygen to the room and physiological comfort (comfortable bed, pillow).
  • Do not overwork mentally and physically.
  • During the day you can sleep between 13 and 15 hours. During this period, the content of melatonin in the blood increases and the energy level decreases.

Headache is easy to relieve with Citramon, Analgin, Spasmolgon, Nurofen, Nise. But their reception should not be carried away. It is better to use folk remedies that will not harm the body. Pain will decrease if you drink sweet tea, rub your forehead and temples with a slice of lemon, massage your nose.

Essential oils of lavender, chamomile, and peppermint help get rid of pain. Before applying to the skin, aromatic oils are mixed with regular vegetable oil. Essential oils can be inhaled, used for compresses on the head and neck. Broths made from mint, hawthorn, and chamomile relieve pain after sleep. Inhaling valerian alcohol tincture before bedtime reduces heart rate and ensures a healthy night’s rest and a vigorous awakening. Normal physical activity and a contrast shower help relax muscles and restore blood circulation in the neck and head.

In the morning, to prevent headaches, proper nutrition, good rest, an active lifestyle, and the ability to relax will help. A specialist can prescribe acupuncture acupressure or choose a set of physical exercises.

List of used literature:

  • Jackson JL, Shimeall W, Sessums L; et al. (2010). “Tricyclic antidepressants and headaches: systematic review and meta-analysis.” BMJ. 341: c5222. DOI: 10.1136/bmj.c5222. PMC 2958257. PMID 20961988.
  • Contraction Tension Headache 1142908, Muscle Contraction Tension Headache section on the EMedicine website
  • Verhagen AP, Damen L, Berger MY, Passchier J, Koes BW (April 2010). “Lack of benefit for prophylactic drugs of tension-type headache in adults: a systematic review.” Fam Pract. 27 (2): 151–65. DOI: 10.1093/fampra/cmp089. PMID 20028727.

The disease contributing to the appearance of a headache in the morning is different. Most often found:

  • Vascular pathology. In case of violation of the regulation of vascular tone in a sleeping person, A/D may rise or fall. both of these conditions impede the full blood supply to the brain and cause hypoxia of the brain tissue.
  • Arrhythmias. Violation of the heart rhythm causes a person to tremble in a dream in response to interruptions in the heartbeat, and a full night’s rest is disturbed.
  • Depressive states or effects of stress. Under the influence of these provoking factors in the body, the production of dopamine and serotonin (natural pain relieving hormones) decreases, and sensitivity to pain increases.
  • Migraine. With a tendency to this disease, migraine can develop both in a sleepy state and during wakefulness.

External causes

Often changes in the rhythm of a person’s life lead to negative manifestations on the part of the body, which include morning headaches, accompanied by additional symptoms. Thus, the following are external causes of headache:

  • too long sleep time;
  • uncomfortable posture at night;
  • Nerve overstrain;
  • hangover;
  • abuse of sleeping pills and sedatives;
  • bruxism;
  • abuse of caffeinated beverages;
  • lack of sleep;
  • heavy meal at night.

The most common reason that a headache in the morning is an uncomfortable position at night when a person is sleeping. This situation occurs due to an uncomfortable bed, mattress and even pillows. The latter should not provoke too much bending of the neck, while the pillow cannot be too large, as this provokes insufficient oxygen supply due to pinching of the nerve endings and blood vessels.

Another important and most common reason why headaches in the morning is to drink alcohol the day before, which provoked poisoning of the body with alcohol. Also, this unhealthy symptomatology can be caused by smoking. Over time, the smoker will no longer have morning pain, but a novice smoker will be easily recognized by nausea after waking up.

According to experts, the best way to relieve a headache after drinking on the eve is to replenish the water balance after waking up. To this end, isotonic drinks and plain water are used.

An interesting fact is that although caffeine has a negative effect on the body, its absence can provoke a headache. This happens when a person regularly at the same time in the morning drank coffee, but once he did not do it because he got up late, or simply there was no coffee in the house.

All these reasons can be considered non-pathological, that is, situations that do not require treatment.

Differences in headache depending on the nature and location

Pain in the head in the morning occurs for various reasons. Depending on the provoking factor, the intensity of cranialgia and the location of the focus of pain will vary.

By nature, cephalgia happens:

  • acute;
  • stupid;
  • throbbing
  • oppressive;
  • long;
  • transient;
  • limited to a specific area;
  • spilled.

It is localized in the forehead, temples, nape, crown of the head.

Internal causes

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Despite the fact that a headache often occurs due to external problems, it is much more dangerous when various pathologies within the body become the cause, for example:

  1. A concussion, after which the symptoms are disturbing not only in the morning, but just after sleep, the head hurts much more, and all the accompanying unpleasant sensations only intensify. Coordination problems, as well as nausea, often turning into vomiting, are added to this clinical picture.
  2. Sinusitis.
  3. Diseases of the spine.
  4. Dehydration.
  5. Viral diseases or colds, which almost always manifest as headaches during an exacerbation of the disease and sore throat.
  6. Low or high blood pressure.
  7. Diabetes.
  8. A neoplasm, which differs from other pathologies in that the headache bothers the person at this particular time, but throughout the day the person feels satisfactory.
  9. A depressive state in which a low level of serotonin provokes a morning headache.
  10. Sinusitis.
  11. Osteochondrosis.
  12. Another reason for the unpleasant symptoms of headaches in the morning is tormenting a person – this is bruxism, which is a grinding of teeth during sleep. With its presence, unpleasant sensations arise in the occipital region and temples. Bruxism occurs due to problems with the nervous system, as a result of which the doctor prescribes the use of light sedatives before bedtime.
  13. Intoxication.

Another common reason why a headache in the morning is a pregnancy, when a headache is provoked by a restructuring of the hormonal background of a woman. But it should be borne in mind that if negative symptoms last for too long, then this is not the norm, therefore, you must immediately consult a doctor.

Why does a headache after a nap

Why does a headache hurt after a day’s sleep? In the afternoon, the body got used to stay awake, for him daytime snooze is not a physiological state. If there is no objective need, you can try not to sleep until the evening.

If necessary, it should not exceed 20-30 minutes. This time is enough to restore strength. Sleeping soundly, awakening falls into the deep phase, then a headache after a day’s sleep will violate all plans for the remaining hours of the day.

Sleep during the day violates the biological rhythm of man. Therefore, if there is no acute need, it is better not to sleep in the daytime. Usually you want to fall asleep after dinner. An overloaded stomach interferes with good rest. Sleeping during the day is recommended for no more than 20 minutes, without taking into account the period of falling asleep. During this time, the brain does not plunge into the phase of deep sleep.

A person easily wakes up and feels good. If you have a longer rest, after a long sleep during the day, there is a risk of waking up in the deep phase, ruining your well-being for several hours and making it difficult to fall asleep in the evening. Unsuitable conditions for rest, extraneous sounds, light, improper posture often cause discomfort, pain, tinnitus after daytime sleep.


In fact, the clinical picture is provoked exclusively by the presence of a pathological process occurring in the body, for example:

  1. Shortness of breath, weakness, trouble sleeping and a condition when the head is spinning is often associated with the presence of hypertension.
  2. Temperature and headache indicate lack of sleep.
  3. Rainbow circles in front of the eyes, vomiting, a slow pulse, and excessive sweating signal glaucoma.
  4. Vomiting, seizures of an epileptic nature, impaired consciousness, pain in the head on the left – all this is inherent in neoplasms in the brain.
  5. Increased drowsiness, constant fatigue, and even in the morning, high blood pressure, depression and snoring indicate the presence of obstructive sleep apnea at night.

During a visit to the doctor, he should inform him of all the disturbing symptoms so that the clinical picture develops correctly and the diagnosis is made reliably.

Why does a long sleep bring headaches?

After a hard working week, everyone makes the same mistake – they get enough sleep for the future. But in the morning with awakening, the head begins to unbearably hurt. It buzzes, pulsates, achs, which characterizes the migraine of the weekend. There is discomfort, because a person violates the usual circadian rhythm, where 8-9 hours of night time are allocated for sleep. Patients complain that they sleep a lot, and fatigue persists.

Another reason is the increased accumulation of serotonin. The hormone “happiness” is pleasing, but with its hyperconcentration a migraine-like state appears.


Do not underestimate the morning headaches, as they often indicate the presence of a serious pathology. To identify diseases, doctors prescribe the following procedures:

  1. Visit to the ENT.
  2. Measurement of blood pressure, which is carried out several times over a period of time. The patient should record the readings and time of measurement in a diary.
  3. Passing polysomnography.
  4. Magnetic resonance imaging .
  5. Measurement of intraocular pressure, for which you will need to visit an ophthalmologist.
  6. X-ray examination of the spine in the cervical region, as well as examination of the skull.
  7. CT scan.
  8. Laboratory research.

Based on the data obtained, the doctor makes an appropriate diagnosis and prescribes treatment, which can be carried out both at home and in the hospital.

How to prevent cephalalgia on your own?

Even if a person decided not to resort to the help of a doctor, but to eliminate an unpleasant symptom using tablets, his body will begin to get used to them over time. Therefore, the only right option is to visit a specialist, but only if it is not known about the cause of the pain in the head, and you can’t eliminate it with your own efforts.

But a person suffering from a headache can independently alleviate his condition through the following manipulations:

  1. Ensuring a good rest due to night sleep, which should not be less than eight hours.
  2. Proper nutrition.
  3. Daily outdoor activities.
  4. Rejection of bad habits.
  5. The restriction, or better, the complete exclusion of watching TV and games on the computer.

All this in a complex should completely eliminate the headache that occurs in the morning, but only in the case when it is provoked by external causes. In all other situations, you will need the help of a doctor and taking medication.

At the doctor’s appointment, patients are perplexed why the headache in the morning when you sleep on an uncomfortable sofa. Night is the time needed to restore the nervous system. In order for a dream to bring satisfaction, relaxation, good rest, it is necessary to create adequate conditions. These include – orthopedic pillows, mattresses, nutrition control, the elimination of the abuse of coffee, alcohol.

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Full rest

If after a night you notice that your head hurts, pay attention to the bed – the height and number of pillows, the softness of the mattress. During sleep, the movement of blood through the vessels slows down. High pillows form the wrong position of the neck, which increases the lack of oxygen to the brain. As a result, pain appears in the morning.

A soft mattress can cause discomfort. Doctors advise choosing orthopedic moderate stiffness to maintain an even course of the spine.

Strong coffee, tea, spirits activate the brain, speed up blood circulation. Therefore, it is difficult to fall asleep in the evening, and sleep becomes superficial. The absence of a deep phase prevents nerve cells from recovering.

In the morning there is a feeling of weakness, a heavy head.

Negatively affects both lack and oversupply. The second point we discussed above. Stable lack of sleep depletes the body’s defense systems, irritability, chronic fatigue appears.

To prevent the development of serious consequences, control the daily rhythm.

bolit golova posle sna - Headache after sleeping in the morning causes pain

Stress, emotional overload lead to headaches that do not go away after rest. The cause of the pain is the brain processes daily information, does not rest, is in a state of constant tension.

In the evening it is recommended to take a warm bath, read your favorite book, listen to relaxing music. Meditation, yoga sets the body to go to sleep.


An additional component of the disturbed psychological background is considered bruxism. It is expressed in the gnashing of teeth in a dream. The patients themselves do not remember this moment, but their close people tell them. With bruxism, migraines, dizziness occur.

The reasons are psychological, neurological, dental. If grinding is repeated every night, consult a doctor.

If your head hurts every morning, consult a neurologist first. After a survey, examination, laboratory and instrumental methods of research (MRI, CT, radiography, ultrasound), he will prescribe a comprehensive treatment.

The medication should be monitored by the attending doctor. Each drug has features, combination rules, side effects, individual characteristics due to hypersensitivity.

As an emergency measure, you can use analgin, nise, citramone, spazmalgon, nurofen.

The most important thing – do not abuse, seek qualified medical help.

Folk remedies

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To prevent a headache during sleep, take a warm bath or shower in the evening, drink soft sweet tea, take a walk in the fresh air.

From folk recipes, chamomile tea showed high efficiency. To prepare it, calendula flowers must be poured with boiling water, let it brew for 30 minutes.

Headache in most cases can be prevented. A balanced diet, control of hours of wakefulness and sleep, the elimination of emotional outbursts will not allow cephalgia to disturb your day.

When do you need help from a doctor?

When the disease is the cause of pain in the head, then self-medication will exacerbate the problem. There are a number of pathological conditions that provoke cephalgia.

With apnea, a morning headache occurs, because at night the brain stops receiving oxygen for short periods of time. This disease is characterized by short-term respiratory disorders.

Repeated episodes over time will lead to cognitive impairment – a deterioration in memory, intelligence.

Hypertensive crises are accompanied by sharp pains. The danger of high blood pressure is the risk of acute cerebrovascular accident (stroke).

If dizziness, unsteady gait, numbness of arms, legs are added to cephalgia, urgently call an ambulance.

Influenza, ARI, ARVI

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Respiratory diseases are characterized by an incubation period when a person has no cough, runny nose. At this time, there is weakness, fatigue, aching, pressing pain in the head of a spilled character.

The reason is intoxication syndrome, which occurs in response to infection.

Anatomically distinguish frontal (frontal), maxillary (maxillary), sphenoid sinus, cells of the ethmoid bone. Swelling of the mucous membrane, the accumulation of the liquid component provokes internal pressure, which is why in the mornings every day headache in patients with sinusitis, frontitis.

The pain is localized in the forehead, under the eyes, in the projection of the nose. It is moderate in intensity, but long, pressing, bursting.


This disease is manifested by paroxysmal cephalgia in combination with a fear of bright light, noise, nausea, and vomiting. Migraine episodes last from a few hours to days. Localized in the forehead, temples and eyes.

The quality of life is declining, which requires specialized treatment.


The danger of osteochondrosis of the cervical spine is the formation of intervertebral hernias, which squeeze the nerve roots, causing impaired conduction of impulses. When moving, turning the head, the compression intensifies, the headache worsens.

An awkward posture during sleep worsens the condition, cranialgia appears after waking up, lasts throughout the day.

The treatment of osteochondrosis (medical correction, massage of the collar zone) is prescribed by a neurologist.

After a severe trauma, concussion, contusion patches form in the brain. Therefore, people after an accident notice that in the morning they have a headache and nausea. To prevent functional complications requires complex therapy aimed at restoring brain activity. Treatment includes drugs, rehabilitation programs using physiotherapy.

Meningitis, encephalitis are dangerous life-threatening diseases. They are manifested by acute, dagger pains in the head, fever, forced position of the body with the head bowed, accompanied by nausea, vomiting. A provoking factor is the penetration of infection through the bloodstream into the brain.

The diagnosis is confirmed using laboratory and instrumental methods. Self-medication is strictly prohibited.

Pathological processes in the brain

When tumors appear in the brain, a person begins to feel not only a headache, but also intracranial pressure, accompanied by nausea and dizziness. In addition, the patient will clearly monitor the following focal symptoms, which appear not only in the morning or afternoon, but also in the evening:

  • paresis;
  • convulsions;
  • paralysis;
  • problems with sensitivity;
  • inability to speak normally.

Also, the causes of pain can be covered in the inflammatory process that occurs in the brain. This may be arachnoiditis or meningitis, which affects not only the brain itself, but also its shell. In this case, reflex contraction manifests itself in the form of inability to turn the head. The pain in the head is sharp and looks as if the head is squeezed in a vice. In addition to specific pain, the patient has additional symptoms that are similar to the presence of a tumor.

Another common cause is a concussion, and the pain can occur immediately after an injury or come some time after it. In the morning, it only intensifies and is accompanied by vomiting, weakness, darkening in the eyes and impaired coordination.

A variety of pain medications can be used to relieve bouts of pain in the head. But, if such attacks do not occur so often, then you can easily get along with Paracetamol or Analgin, which can easily relieve a headache.

When the head hurts every morning, you can’t try to eliminate the pain with painkillers, as the body quickly gets used to them. This is a serious reason to turn to a specialist for help.

In order to stop the pain, not only analgesics are used, but also antispasmodics. To date, the following drugs are very popular:

But, if there were none, you can use acetylsalicylic acid, which will allow you to feel relief after a short time.

The vast majority of drugs that treat headaches after sleep contain Paracetamol, so you can use it in its purest form. This medication is the safest and is often prescribed even during the period of carrying a child in small doses.

During the preparation of the treatment regimen, the doctor should be informed of the presence of an allergic reaction to any component of the drug. It is dangerous to independently use painkillers with existing pathologies of the gastrointestinal tract, liver and kidneys. Any medications should be drunk only after the appointment of a doctor who will indicate the required dosage, based on the severity of the patient’s condition.

Svetlana Borszavich

General practitioner, cardiologist, with active work in therapy, gastroenterology, cardiology, rheumatology, immunology with allergology.
Fluent in general clinical methods for the diagnosis and treatment of heart disease, as well as electrocardiography, echocardiography, monitoring of cholera on an ECG and daily monitoring of blood pressure.
The treatment complex developed by the author significantly helps with cerebrovascular injuries and metabolic disorders in the brain and vascular diseases: hypertension and complications caused by diabetes.
The author is a member of the European Society of Therapists, a regular participant in scientific conferences and congresses in the field of cardiology and general medicine. She has repeatedly participated in a research program at a private university in Japan in the field of reconstructive medicine.