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What Causes Headaches in the Morning?

Teeth grinding may cause headaches.
A mouth guard protects the surface of teeth from further damage due to grinding.
Sinus problems can cause headaches.
Medications may cause headaches in the morning.
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  • Written By: K. Gierok
  • Edited By: John Allen
  • Last Modified Date: 02 October 2014
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Chronic headaches in the morning can be brought on by a number of causes, the most common of which includes teeth grinding. In addition, research has found that morning headaches may be brought on by certain medications and sinus congestion. Women are more likely than men to develop this problem, and a variety of treatment methods can be tried to eliminate it.

Nighttime teeth grinding is a common cause of headaches experienced first thing in the morning. Experts typically recommend that people who grind their teeth during the night wear mouth guards. Wearing this protective gear can not only aid in preventing chronic morning headaches, but can also reduce dental damage. While some dental mouth guards can be purchased over the counter, studies have found that those that a dentist designs for a specific patient provide the best results. In most cases, insurance will cover the costs associated with these items.

Certain medications can also cause headaches in the morning. Those who have been taking opiates, certain painkillers, or even caffeine for an extended period of time are likely to experience morning headaches, though other medications may also lead to pain. Individuals whose headaches increase after starting a new medication may want to try switching to a different product. A medical professional may be able to suggest a medication that offers the same benefits without similar side effects.

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Sinus congestion is a common cause of morning headaches. Often, those who suffer from chronic sinus congestion will need to undergo major forms of treatment in order to completely solve the problem. In most cases, headaches will decrease significantly in both severity and frequency once the sinuses have been cleared.

Some studies have found that women are more likely to develop these headaches than men. This may be due to changes in hormone levels between men and women, and some women are even given male hormones to treat the condition. This treatment is not typically considered ideal for long-term use, however, and should be used with caution.

Dehydration is another common cause of headaches in the morning, since the body doesn't take in any water during the night. Those who believe that this may be causing the problem are usually encouraged to consume plenty of liquids over the course of the day. In most cases, chronic dehydration is caused by high amounts of physical activity or the use of certain medications. In addition, avoiding alcohol, soda, and other beverages known to have diuretic properties can also greatly reduce the chances of developing dehydration.

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anon333462
Post 4

Do you have a headache every morning? Does it help when you take a shower? Do you work on computer? You will not believe this, but you need to buy eye drops. Your eyes are very very dry! You need to water them. Just the normal, random, cheapest eye drops (without steroids and drugs, medicines) will help, without any papers. Try it for this kind of headache. I had this kind of headache for about 10 years. I just use drops in the morning and when I go sleep! It is working wonderfully! --Tom, Poland

stoneMason
Post 3

@burcinc-- That's odd. I wonder if you're still clenching your teeth with the mouth guard on? Did you have the mouth guard made by a dentist? You might need a better fitting one.

The headaches might be due to something else too. I, for example, used to get severe morning headaches because of a hormone imbalance. When I was treated for it, the headaches disappeared. You should see your doctor about this if the headaches continue.

burcinc
Post 2

I have morning headaches everyday despite wearing my mouth guard. How is this possible?

turquoise
Post 1

I get the worst morning headaches when I'm hungover. I get through it by having a hearty breakfast followed by a pain reliever. I drink lots of water throughout the day and avoid caffeine. These headache remedies usually do the trick.

My doctor said that alcohol causes dehydration and the morning headaches after drinking is actually because of dehydration, not the alcohol. That's why I keep some electrolyte water in my fridge. Electrolyte water helps me recuperate faster.

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