1 in 13 people get morning headaches: Here’s how to stop the pain

According to the Sleep Foundation, one in 13 people struggle with morning headaches. There are a few common causes behind the dull throbbing, and a few things you can do to stop it.

If you find yourself waking up often with headaches in the morning, you are not alone. According to the Sleep Foundation, one in 13 people experience morning headaches. But there are some common causes behind this annoyance and things you can do to stop it.

The throbbing and pounding pain of a headache can be debilitating.

“It’s very common in people that are in their most productive years of life though, so 20s, 30s, 40s,” shared Dr. Teshamae Monteith, Chief of the Headache Division Program at the University of Miami Health.

And experiencing headaches in the morning can wreck the whole day.

Common culprits behind these headaches are sleep disorders such as insomnia, snoring, and obstructive sleep apnea.

A study in Poland found nearly a third of people with sleep apnea tend to wake up with headaches. A CPAP machine to treat your sleep apnea can reduce or eliminate morning headaches.

“CPAP is the most commonly used and effective treatment for the more serious sleep apnea condition. It adds extra air pressure to the patients breathing passage to stabilize the breathing,” said Dr. Ryan Soose, Director of Division of Sleep Medicine and Upper Airway Surgery at UPMC.

Teeth grinding or clenching during sleep is another reason for morning headaches. The grinding can be caused by an irregularly shaped jaw, stress and anxiety, and sleep disruption.

Also, caffeine can cause morning headaches. Those who are accustomed to drinking more than 200 milligrams of caffeine per day – equivalent to two cups of coffee –may experience morning headaches due to their caffeine withdrawal overnight. However, once you have your coffee, the headache should subside.

Another cause of morning headaches: over-the-counter medications to relieve chronic headaches. They may actually make your headaches worse. Seek a specialist if your headaches are leading you to take over-the-counter medications more than two or three times a week.