Some individuals feel refreshed upon waking up in the morning. Others often wake up with a debilitating morning headache. When it comes to morning headaches, women are prone to experience one. Those between the ages 45-64 face the highest risk for experiencing episodes of morning headaches. The key causes for this type of headache include sleep apnea, depression and/or anxiety as well as sleep bruxism. In addition, large consumption of alcohol can increase the recurrence of morning headaches as well.
Obstructive sleep apnea
Obstructive sleep apnea is a condition in which the individual briefly stops and continues breathing several times each night. This condition is considered as a common cause of morning headaches. Take note that morning headaches typically occurs among those who have sleep apnea. Once treatment for sleep apnea is started, it usually relieves the headache symptoms.
The main treatment for sleep apnea include proper management of the nasal allergies, oral appliances, weight loss for those who are overweight and continuous positive airway pressure (CPAP). When it comes to CPAP, it provides continuous air flow to the individual via a mask or special nasal pillows that produces pressure so that the airway stays open. CPAP is used as a treatment for both snoring and obstructive sleep apnea.
Most individuals with sleep apnea and morning headaches usually have brief episodes about 30 minutes and the frequency and severity is directly linked with the severity of the sleep apnea.
Those who undergo CPAP treatment reported an improvement in their headaches. Unlike with those who have migraines, tension type and other types, they had minor improvement with treatment of the sleep apnea.
Anxiety and/or depression
One of the significant factors associating morning headaches were anxiety and depression. Individuals who had anxiety face a higher risk for morning headaches than those without anxiety. Those who major depressive disorders face a higher risk for morning headaches. The risk is highest for those who have both depressive disorders and anxiety. It is interesting to note that the use of antianxiety medications aggravated the risk for morning headaches.
Some adults grind their teeth at night time which is a condition called sleep bruxism. This is considered as one of the causes of morning headaches.
Sleep bruxism can be accompanied by other issues such as sleep apnea and snoring. One of the solutions is to avoid alcohol completely, avoid eating heavy meals in the evening, reducing weight if the individual is overweight or obese and sticking with a regular sleep schedule. In case the individual has issues with snoring, a dental device might be needed for night time use.
The consumption of alcohol excessively at 6 or more drinks in a day puts an individual at risk for morning headaches.