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Every single night, I wake up with a headache.

Every single night, I wake up with a headache. It wakes me up at about 3am and doesn't subside until after I get up. The more I lie in bed, the worse it gets. What could be causing it? I'm so tired. The only medication that works is Syndol, but I can't take it without food coz it gives me severe heartburn, so I have to wait till I have breakfast. It's making me so miserable.

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Dear Lin,


Waking up with a headache can make it extremely hard to concentrate on work or other daily tasks and ruin your good spirits and motivation for the whole day. As unbelievable as it sounds research has shown that about 1 in 13 people suffer from chronic morning headaches. Can you imagine waking up with a headache every single day?!
If you get morning headaches from time to time, don’t waste any time! Try to identify what is the underlying cause of your headaches? The reasons can be different. For example, if you had a tension headache before going to bed, there is a high possibility that you will wake up with the same headache in the morning. Migraine and cluster headaches can also strike you in the middle of the night or in the morning, although this happens rarely.
Headaches caused by inflammation like sinus headaches on the contrary tend to get worse in the mornings due to postnasal drip (mucus drainage and collection down the back of the throat).
However, in most cases people wake up because of rebound headaches. It Is very upsetting when doctors prescribe strong headache-relief medication or over-the-counter pain-killers to treat headaches over the long period of time. In reality, by taking more than three aspirin pills three times a week can turn your regular headache into rebound one.
Such medications as aspirin, ibuprofen and acetaminophen if taken on a daily basis interfere with the brain centers that are responsible for regulating the flow of pain messages into the nervous system. This is quite dangerous as with time your normal dosage of pain-killers/sedatives stops providing a full relief of the headache, which forces the sufferer to increase the dosage or take other medications. As soon as medication wears off (after 4 to 6 hours), the headache comes back, only this time it is stronger and longer lasting. In this case it is strongly suggested to switch to safer natural remedies for headaches as acupuncture, herbal medicines, massage and relaxation exercises.
There are chronic morning headaches, associated with sleep disorders like a sleep apnea, characterized by long pauses in breathing during sleep, teeth grinding and snoring. It is also important to make sure that your pillow is not too high and comfortable, otherwise your head gets jacked up and stays that way all night, pulling on the muscles on the back of your head and leading to a tension headache.
Most headaches do not need immediate attention, but there are some exceptions. For example, if it is a first headache that wakes you up from a sound sleep or it is accompanied by confusion, loss of sensations or difficulty communicating, you should seek professional help at once!

Waking w/ headache is a symptom of sleep apnea.  If it persist have your physician refer you to a sleep clinic for study.

It could also be something in your room which is affecting you. This could be something as dire as carbon monoxide fumes or as simple as a sensitivity or allergy to your laundry soap.

You might try keeping a diary of what you do, what you eat and drink, the times you do so and so on; this may be helpful in eliminating possible causes as well as determining the actual cause of your headaches.

I suggest you visit your physician for a thorough check-up and diagnostic tests, if necessary.

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The utility companies will normally do a check for carbon dioxide leaks in your home for no cost. That's the first thing I would check. After that, see a dr.

If a little knowledge is a dangerous thing, then that makes me a burning truck filled with TNT hurtling through a rocket fuel depot.

Hello Lin,

I have been suffering with about the same symptoms as you have. I have had many MRI"S ct scans etc sleep study was normal I did have a questionable/possible anurysm that they are watching. My headache always wake me up around 230am-4am and do go away alot if I get up although sometimes the will linger all day. Ive tried many migrane meds otc meds and now verapimil it seemed to work at first but now I dont know. If you have any sucessful treatment please let me know. Ive been to 3 neuroligists and havent gotten any real ans. I hope you find relief because I know how it effects how you feel all day. Good luck  Debbie

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