5 causes of morning headaches and how to prevent them, according to a sleep expert
Unless you have a specific morning routine, waking up each day will always be a different experience. Sometimes it will be a breeze to just get out of bed, eat breakfast, and get on with your daily chores. Truth be told, there will also be times when you feel lethargic, unmotivated, and “out of breath,” which is just as normal.
In fact, having headaches as soon as you wake up can be a common experience for some. If you find yourself in a situation like this, we have you covered. To learn more about what causes morning headaches and how you can prevent them, we contacted Dr Erin Stokes, naturopathic doctor and medical director at MegaFood. Keep reading to see what she has to say.
Causes of morning headaches
According to Dr. Stokes, there are several reasons why you experience headaches in the morning. Below are five of the most common causes:
Below, she explains how you can combat each cause and prevent your morning headaches from happening.
How to prevent morning headaches
“It’s ideal to focus on hydration throughout the day,” Dr. Stokes tells us. “Start the day with a glass of water. Keep water on your desk. Take a bottle of water with you on walks or when driving around town to run errands.
Drink water as soon as you wake up for a better day. She warns: “If you wait until evening to start hydrating, you will end up having to get up in the middle of the night to go to the bathroom.
Get enough sleep.
Nothing beats the feeling of waking up in the morning after a good night’s rest. “Conversely, when we have a restless night, we may wake up stiff and tired,” says Dr Stokes. She advises, “Make sleep a priority by going to bed at the same time every night and switching off screens an hour before bedtime. If necessary, invest in new high-quality pillows and sheets to create a comfortable oasis for sleeping.
We know it sounds a bit cliché, but this activity is definitely worth considering. Dr Stokes notes: “For some people, too much stress can trigger a headache. If you’re feeling stressed first thing in the morning, instead of picking up your phone, try guided meditation with a meditation app like Calm.
Reduce your alcohol consumption.
When you drink too much alcohol in the evening, chances are you’ll have a headache in the morning. Dr Stokes explains: “One of the main reasons is that alcohol is a diuretic, which can cause dehydration.” To avoid morning headaches, she recommends “balancing alcohol intake by drinking plenty of water and considering cutting down overall.”
See your dentist regularly.
According to an article published by Hackensack Meridian Health, grinding your teeth at night can eventually cause some problems such as toothache, tooth damage, gum pain, etc. If you suspect you may grind your teeth, Dr. Stokes shared that the best thing to do is go see your dentist.
Hackensack Meridian Health reports that treatment for nighttime teeth grinding may include “wearing a fitted mouth guard that prevents the teeth from rubbing together” or “taking prescription muscle relaxants for a short time,” among others.