• Shruti GOCHHWAL

Why Do I Wake Up with A Headache?

A headache usually arises due to stress, lack of sleep, excessive drinking, and other such things associated with a hectic or unhealthy lifestyle. After a long day at work, you might feel the impact of strained muscles in the form of a headache when lying down. If you’ve been suffering from frequent headaches, it is time to assess your lifestyle and determine whether you’re getting adequate rest or not. Usually, headaches go away on their own without any medical intervention. They are just the result of changes in your body’s physiology.

Many people commonly experience headache when lying down at night. They can’t seem to point out the reason behind it. A common question that patients ask doctors is, why does my head hurt when i lay down on my pillow? These people might be experiencing headaches due to one or more of the reasons related to their health. Let’s find out more about them.

What Is Causing Your Headache?

If your desperately seeking to find a reason behind your throbbing head, then you might want to know about the common causes that might be putting you in this frequent pain.

  1. Stressed muscles

  2. Disturbed sleeping patterns

  3. Mental health conditions

  4. Sleeplessness or insomnia

  5. Bruxism or teeth grinding

1.  Stressed Muscles

strained neck, headache

woman with strained neck muscles, Credit: Pixabay


Your neck muscles come under a lot of strain due to your faulty sleeping positions at night. If you’re using a pillow that’s not properly supporting your neck and head, it will put too much pressure on your neck and spine and result in a headache when lying down the next day.

You need to get a pillow that is not too hard or too soft. It may take you some time to find the most suitable one to give you the right amount of support for a restful night’s sleep.

2.  Disturbed Sleeping Patterns

Jet lag, headache

Woman having jet lag, Credit: Pixabay


A migraine headache can occur when your body isn’t receiving the adequate rest it needs. Those who work in shifts often suffer from this headache as their natural sleep-wake cycle gets disturbed due to their job timings. Similarly, those who are experiencing jet lag may also develop a migraine-like headache when lying down due to a disrupted sleeping pattern.

Snoring can also alter your sleep cycle, resulting in inadequate and, consequently, a headache. The only solution for treating it is to get plenty of rest.

3.  Mental Health Conditions

Mental health issues

Man feeling depressed, Credit: Pixabay


Mental health conditions like depression and anxiety can lead to insomnia or sleeplessness. It can keep you up at night for days. Sometimes it may lead you to experience a headache when lying down at night . Such a lack of sleep can adversely affect your productivity throughout the day and put your health in danger.

It is recommended to seek your doctor’s advice if you think that your suffering from depression, anxiety, or any other kind of mental health condition.

4.  Sleeplessness or Insomnia

Insomnia, headache

Woman suffering from insomnia, Credit: Pixabay


Insomnia is a chronic and widespread sleep disorder that affects people of all age groups. It completely ruins your natural sleep-wake cycle. Insomnia can arise due to excessive stress, past trauma, or as a side-effect of certain medications. It hinders your ability to get quality sleep and consequently causes migraine-like headaches. As a result, patients who have insomnia commonly complain, ‘my head hurts when i lay down.’ They need to seek the treatment and discuss ways by which this condition may be alleviated.

5.  Bruxism or Teeth Grinding

teeth, grinding, headache

Man clenching teeth, Credit: Pixabay


A morning headache coupled with a sore jaw is a sure shot sign that you may be suffering from bruxism or teeth grinding. People often grind their teeth unknowingly while sleeping due to stress and anxiety that they don’t address when they’re awake. The headache caused due to teeth grinding, occurs as a dull pain in the temples along with stiff shoulders and jaw.

You can ask a family member to observe you at night while your sleeping to find out whether you grind your teeth or not. If you do, then its a good idea to wear a mouthguard and protect yourself from it.

Different Kinds of Morning Headaches

morning, headache,

Woman experiencing headache, Credit: Pixabay


Now that you know what might be causing your headache, its time to learn about various types of headache that generally occur in the morning. You’ll be able to classify better which kind of headache afflicts you.

  1. Tension headaches arise due to stress, poor posture, dehydration, and lack of physical activity. The pain affects the temples of your head, neck, and shoulders.

  2. Migraines, a pounding head pain on one side, are usually felt between 4 am – 9 am. It can occur due to disrupted sleep patterns or certain medications.

  3. Cluster headache, causing severe pain behind one eye, most commonly occurs during sleep. A person may wake up with a throbbing pain in the head.

Keep in mind that you should immediately seek medical help if you’re experiencing sharp headaches daily. Most headaches can be prevented by getting adequate sleep, exercise, staying hydrated, and eating a well-balanced diet. We are sure that you’ll now be able to find out a solution to your persistent query, ‘my head hurts when i lay down.’

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