Sleep-Related Headache and Its Management Q&A
According to the studies, 18.1% of people who have headaches also suffer from insomnia. So, if your headaches are leading you towards insomnia, visit Koala® Centers For Sleep & TMJ Disorders. For more information, contact us or visit us online to book an appointment. We have convenient locations across the U.S. in Bloomington IL, Peoria/Dunlap IL, Mishawaka IN, Kansas City MO, El Paso TX and Wausau WI.
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A lack of sleep, as well as too much sleep, could lead to headaches. A person needs sleep to feel rested and have the energy to make it through the day. Headaches are often caused by stress, and lack of sleep can lead to extra stress. When a person is stressed, the muscles in their neck and head can tighten, leading to a headache. If the body does not have the proper rest, hydration, and nutrition it needs, its internal equilibrium can fall out of balance, possibly leading to headaches and migraines.
The characteristics of wake-up headaches cover a range of symptoms, from a dull, throbbing ache in the temples, to a sharp, striking pain on the front and back of the head. Morning headaches are usually felt immediately upon waking or shortly after, and can linger on for hours, or even be present all day.
Yes, headaches can be caused by a lack of sleep, in a few ways. For example, these tension headaches can occur upon waking up after not getting enough sleep; they can also manifest in the evening or night if you have been awake for too long. The exact link between quality of sleep and headaches is not fully understood, but a connection has been observed between the duration of REM (rapid eye movement) sleep and the frequency of headaches. In one study looking at this correlation, they found that people who got less REM sleep were more likely to experience headaches.
Certain mechanisms involved in the regulation of sleep cycle are believed to contribute to headaches, including:
– Chemical messengers that contribute to wakefulness (serotonin)
– Brain structures that regulate sleep stages, like the hypothalamus and brain stem
– Glymphatic system (mechanism for waste clearance in the brain and central nervous system)
If you are getting a full seven to ten hours of sleep each night but are still waking up with headaches, there are a few possibilities. First, you may not be getting enough quality, restful sleep. If you do not spend enough time in the REM sleep phase, you will not feel as rested in the morning. If you snore, especially if others have complained about the volume of your snoring, you may have sleep apnea. This sleep disorder prevents you from entering a deep sleep because the air passages become blocked, causing pauses in breathing. These pauses force your brain to wake up, albeit for only a few seconds, preventing you from reaching the deeper stages of sleep.
Sleep is essential for our bodies to function properly; a good night’s sleep can help improve our mood, concentration, and overall health. However, not getting enough sleep can have the opposite effect and can cause headaches. If you are wake up with a headache and still feel tired, it is likely you did not get enough sleep. If you went to bed on time and slept for a full eight hours but still woke up with a headache, it is possible you did not get enough deep sleep. Even if you got enough sleep, you need to get enough quality, restful sleep, in order to feel awake, alert and alive the next morning.
If you are experiencing headaches in the morning, the sleep specialists at Koala® Centers For Sleep & TMJ Disorders can help you find out what is going on, and develop a treatment plan that appropriately addresses your concerns. We serve patients from all across the United States, and currently have seven locations, including: one in El Paso, TX; one in Kansas City, MO; one in Wausau, WI; one in Mishawaka, IN; one in Peoria – Dunlap, IL; and one in Bloomington, IL. Schedule an appointment with an experienced TMJ disorder specialist at any of our locations today to receive top-level care! We look forward to serving you!