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Headaches in the morning
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Headaches in the morning

I am a thrity year old female and I have been having really bad headaches in the morning for over 5 years now. They are not all the time though but when they start they last for about 3 days to a week at a time. They always happen while I am sleeping which I will be in a deep sleep and will be suddenly woke up by this excruciating pain around one of my temples usaually my left with a sharp pain going straight back to the back of my head. Sometimes I also feel sick to my stomach. But I can't go back to sleep until it's gone which usually takes about a half an hour to an hour of rubbing my head or putting a warm washcloth over my head. Also when I do go back to sleep sometimes maybe about an hour after I will wake up again with the same pain. This happening off and on through the night. I have told my doctor  and he did a scan of my head but didn't find any problems. So my question is what can this be caused from and how can I deal with these headaches?
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Hi,

Some of the causes of early morning headaches are hypoglycemia or low blood sugar, sleep apnea and high BP. TMJ or temporo mandibular joint disorder can also cause headaches in the temple region. This is usually seen in people who are in the habit of clenching their teeth in the night.
If this so in your case I would suggest you to use a mouth guard at night. A light snack before bedtime may also help if this headache is due to low blood sugar levels.
I would also suggest you to discuss these possibilities with your doctor to arrive at the correct diagnosis. Good luck!
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Dear Tired6:

I am sorry to hear you are having excruciating headaches that wake you up.  I have the same thing, and it took several years to get mine diagnosed by a headache specialist who didn't diagnose it correctly for months because it is so very rare.  It is called a Hypnic headache--it arrises from rapid-eye-movement (REM) sleep and can happen from 1-5 times nightly.  It can be mild, moderate, severe, or extremely severe.  While most sufferers are over 50, there are several cases of patients in their teens, 30's and 40's.  There are only about 88 documented cases in the world medical literature since 1977 when they were first "identified".

The brain waves in sleep may cause inflammation (unknown as to why), and it has been found that people who have them often (but not necessarily) have a history of either severe migraines, smoking, or changes to their sleep/wake patterns (travelling through time zones, moving to a different time zone, shift work).


Maybe your headaches are a different type as there are several types that wake you from sleep.  You may have to have an MRI to rule out anatomical causes in the brain.  You can also conduct a google search of "rare headaches" or   rare types of headache   and you will see some types that are rare, and not as easy to diagnose.  Best of luck in getting some help.
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Dear Tired6,
In addition to my two colleagues above, I would like to chime in. Head aches in the morning as Dr. Noopur mentioned in his post could be related to "TMJ".
Muscle-contraction (tension) headache is the most common form of headache.  It typically results in pain on both sides of the forehead and sometimes in the neck as well.  The temporalis muscle, located in the forehead and to some extent around behind the ear, is the muscle group that postures your lower jaw.  It has been estimated that  75 percent of all headaches are caused by muscle tension, which may be related to the bite. Let me explain further if you are grinding and clenching at night your forehead muscles have to work overtime in addition to what they have to perform during the day. In addition as you grind you are loosing vertical dimension causing these posturing muscles to foreshorten and adding the aforementioned issues they may go into spasm which in turn leads to poor oxygenation of the muscle, retention of by-products of metabolism, and – ultimately –pain.
A "Neuromuscular Dentist" is trained and equipped to diagnose and treat headache of muscle tension origin.  Non-invasive tests can establish whether or not muscle tension may be the cause of your headaches and whether dental treatment might resolve your headache problem.
I recommend to visit www.top3dentist.com to locate a Neuromuscular dentist near you.
Sincerely
Dr. Mehregan
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