If you’re asked Google why you wake up with a headaches, you’re in good company. Studies show that around 1 in 13 people struggle with morning headaches.

And for many people, waking up with a headache can ruin their morning, or even their day. Unfortunately, this all-too-common occurrence has a number of factors. But what really causes morning headaches?

In this article, we discuss the underlying causes of morning headaches and offer potential solutions to help alleviate your symptoms and get you on the road to a brighter day. From lifestyle choices to medical conditions, read on to learn more about the possible culprits behind your pain.


There are many possible causes of morning headaches, and insomnia is a significant one. If you’re not getting enough sleep, your body cannot properly rest and recover from the day’s activities.

This leads to tension headaches or migraines. If you often wake up with an headache after a night of tossing and turning, a sleep specialist can help make sure you’re getting enough rest each night.

Mental Health

Stress is another common trigger for morning headaches.

If you’re under a lot of stress, your body produces more of the hormone cortisol. This can lead to tension headaches and migraines.

Sleep Apnea

In addition to minor lifestyle factors like stress and dehydration, there are more serious conditions like sleep apnea that cause morning headaches. Around 1 of every 5 people with sleep apnea report morning headaches. Sleep apnea is a disorder in which breathing is interrupted during sleep, causing loud snoring and periods of silence.

It can lead to very high blood pressure, which can, in turn, cause headaches. If you think you may have sleep apnea, it’s crucial to see a doctor for diagnosis and treatment.

Circadian Rhythm Disorders

There are a number of different circadian rhythm disorders that can cause sleeping issues and morning headaches. These include:

Delayed Sleep Phase Disorder

When your body clock is delayed, you’ll find it difficult to fall asleep until late at night. This happens mostly to people who are jet-lagged, not exposed to light, confined to bed for a long time, or have experienced a brain injury. This then results in waking up later in the morning, which can lead to a headache.

Advanced Sleep Phase Disorder

This is the opposite of delayed sleep phase disorder, and means that your body clock is running ahead. For example, you may fall asleep early, but you wake up several hours later and cannot go back to sleep. This can cause you to wake up early in the morning with a headache.

Non-24-Hour Sleep-Wake Disorder

In this disorder, your sleep pattern does not match the 24-hour day. This disorder occurs most often in people who are blind.

When your body isn’t synced with light and dark cycles, sleep can be extremely disruptive and can cause morning headaches.


One of the most common causes of morning headaches is alcohol.

Alcohol is a diuretic, which means that it causes your body to lose water. This can lead to dehydration, which can, in turn, cause headaches. Additionally, alcohol disrupts sleep, which can also add to morning headaches.

If you regularly wake up with a headache after drinking alcohol the night before, it’s important to cut back on your consumption. Try drinking in moderation or avoiding alcohol altogether to see if that helps reduce the frequency of your morning headaches.

Start Your Morning with a Smile

Morning headaches are a common occurrence for many of us, and there is no one-size-fits-all solution to treating them. However, understanding the potential causes of morning headaches can help you identify certain triggers that might be contributing to your own symptoms and allow you to make lifestyle adjustments or seek medical treatment accordingly.

Stop googling: “Why do I wake up with a headache” — it’s time to find answers. Contact us today to learn more about how we can help you get the rest you need.