Your early-morning headaches could have unexpected 'hidden cause' says doctor

headache
-Credit: (Image: Getty Images)


A doctor has revealed the reason some of us might be waking up with headaches in the morning.

If you suffer a painful throb in your head in the mornings, it can be concerning – but you aren't alone. Some of us put it down to dehydration or a lack of sleep, while the more health-anxious among us might believe something more sinister is going on.

But Dr Michelle, who posts on TikTok as @livingwellwithdrmichelle, has revealed the unpleasant symptom could be caused by something you haven't even thought of.

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"What could waking up with headaches mean?", Dr Michelle asked. She continued: "Well, a lot of the time it means you are actually struggling to get enough air at night to breathe properly once you're asleep."

She then provided an explanation and shared: "When you're awake, all the muscles in your the neck area hold open the airways or the tube that we breathe through. But when you go to sleep, particularly a deep sleep, those muscles relax.

"The tongue and the tissue in the back of the throat fall back into the airway and if that airway's already small or obstructed by tissue, by something, then it's going to block that airway.

"Your body will do everything it can to open the airway back up again. So first of all, you'll come out of deep sleep because you need to engage a muscle.

"You'll move the bottom jaw forward... you'll squeeze your teeth because it flattens the tongue – all of these things will open the airway more. But it fatigues the muscles, so you wake up with a sore jaw, sore muscles here [around the face] and headaches because you're just trying to breathe at night."

She then urged people who are consistently waking up with headaches to see their GP so they can investigate what's "going on with your sleeping" – as this isn't the only thing that can cause the issue.

If you're concerned about morning headaches, visit your GP.