While morning headaches are normal when having a hangover after a night out, many people who haven't spent the night drinking still suffer from severe headaches upon waking up.

Waking up in the morning with a splitting headache can happen for several reasons. It may be because of lack of sleep or extreme stress. However, persistent pain can be an indicator of an underlying problem, The Sun reported.

What is a Morning Headache?

Those who experience morning headaches usually wake up with cracking pain between 4 a.m. and 9 a.m. The pain can typically be categorized depending as only happening on a cluster, a tension headache, or a migraine.

According to Healthline, one out of 13 people suffers from early morning headaches. It was also reported that these could be caused by a change in the person's body physiology. The article also said the body's internal pain reduction levels are lowered during the early hours of the day, and the body produces more adrenalin during this period resulting in migraines.

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Causes of Morning Headaches

Sleep Disorders

One major cause of morning headaches and migraines is having sleep disorders since the same part of the brain that controls the pain a person also wakes up to regulate sleep and mood.

Studies also showed that people who fail to have a quality sleep wake up with morning headaches. People who have sleep disorders are more likely to wake up with splitting pain in the head by 2 to 8 times more than those who do not have sleep disorders.

Insomnia is one of the sleep disorders which lead to morning migraines. Insomnia causes a person to have a restless sleep by waking a person up when they fall asleep or keeping someone up while trying to fall asleep.

Other disorders which may cause migraines and morning headaches are sleepwalking, sudden changes in the sleeping pattern, and narcolepsy.

Anxiety and Depression

Another study, which was posted in the Journal of the American Medical Association, noted that anxiety and depression are two of the significant factors contributing to morning headaches. It was also reported that mental health conditions could further increase a person's risk of developing morning headaches by causing insomnia.

Other Health Conditions

A person's sleeping patterns may not always cause early morning headaches. Some may be due to another health condition. 

Chronic morning headaches may be caused by health conditions such as musculoskeletal diseases and hypertension.

Morning headaches and migraines can be treated according to what caused them. Knowing its cause can help a person properly manage the symptoms.

However, experiencing persistent pain may point to other underlying conditions, so seeking the help of professionals is still the best choice. 

If doctors can figure out the underlying condition causing the headaches, treating the condition may alleviate the morning headaches.

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Written by: Jess Smith

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