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Dehydration from alcohol

Dehydration from alcohol
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Drinking too much alcohol at night can certainly wreck your morning. Alcohol can irritate blood vessels, leading to a ‘hangover headache’ – migraine-like symptoms of throbbing pain and nausea. To avoid a hangover headache, stick to moderate drinking. According to the Australian National Health and Medical Research Council, moderate drinking in healthy men and women is no more than ten standard drinks a week and no more than four on any one day. Of course, the less you drink, the lower your risk of headaches and harm from alcohol.

So, what’s a standard drink?

A standard drink equals ten grams of alcohol, regardless of glass size or alcohol type, and is most likely a whole lot less than what you think it is.

For example, a standard glass of white wine (11.5% alc/vol) is 110mL – that’s about one third of most wine glasses (300mL).
A standard glass of bubbly (12% alc/vol) is about half a champagne flute.
While a full-strength beer or regular cider (4.9% alc/vol) is 260mL – that’s less than most cans and small bottles, which are typically 375mL and equal to 1.4 standard drinks.

Poor sleep patterns

Poor sleep patterns
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Prioritising good sleep matters. Both sleep deprivation and getting too much sleep can trigger migraines, according to the American Migraine Foundation. The catch is, people who have migraines are up to eight times more likely to suffer from sleep disorders, making it even tougher to address the root of the problem. Looking at social media late into the night can cause poor sleep patterns. For best results, keep bed and wake times consistent.

Do you delay going to bed to binge watch TV or browse social media? Here is what bedtime procrastination can mean to you, and how to put an end to it!

Awkward sleep position

Awkward sleep position
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Sleeping in an unusual position can result in muscle strain in the head and neck area, leading to morning headaches, says physician and faculty member at Harvard Medical School, Dr Nada Milosavljevic. Proper support could help ease the likelihood that you’ll wake up in pain. Find a pillow that feels soft yet supportive for the position that you sleep in.

Mind-racing anxiety

Mind-racing anxiety
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Calm your thoughts, ease the ache. Nurse practitioner Anna Morrison says anxiety is a leading cause of pain and ailment in the body. “From tense jaws to even tenser headaches and anxiety, although psychological, they can have real, physical effects. If you’re waking up in the morning with headaches, I recommend deep breathing exercises or meditation before bed, as well as a quick ten-minute meditation in the morning. This will help reset your thoughts and keep any daily stresses at bay,” she says.

Consider your blood pressure

Consider your blood pressure
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Not all high blood pressure causes headaches, and most people never know they have high hypertension until they are seen for other symptoms unrelated to their blood pressure, explains radiation oncologist Dr Melva E. Pinn-Bingham. “However, a very high or elevated blood pressure known as ‘malignant high blood pressure’ or ‘hypertensive crisis/emergency’ has been linked to causing severe headaches and even vision problems such as blurry or double vision. It is important to seek immediate medical attention for this condition,” she says.

Coping with untreated depression

Coping with untreated depression
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Depression can affect you even while you sleep. “One of the more common reasons for such headaches is depression,” says Dr Pinn-Bingham. “To reduce the likelihood of getting these early morning headaches, it is important to get a good night’s sleep and follow your doctor’s recommendations for treatment and support of depression. I always counsel on the importance of quitting smoking, reducing overall stress in your life and limiting alcohol intake,” she adds.

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Grinding your teeth

Grinding your teeth
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Clenching, grinding and gnashing your teeth at night can trigger head pain, says retired dentist Ronald Rosenthal. “This causes tremendous stress to the chewing muscles. And, when muscles are over-stressed, they can go into a painful spasm,” he explains. Consider a mouth-guard. Your dentist may recommend a custom-fit mouth guard, or you may be able to use an inexpensive over-the-counter device.

Teeth grinding has been on the rise over the pandemic, but there are things you can do about it.

It may be sleep apnoea

It may be sleep apnoea
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Experts believe some morning headaches are related to specific activities of sleep. “Sleep apnoea – unhealthy breaks in breathing during the night – can cause morning headaches related to high carbon dioxide levels,” explains director of The Migraine Institute Dr Jonathan Cabin. Once a sleep apnoea diagnosis is made, medical interventions can help, as can lifestyle changes like weight loss, he says.

Caffeine withdrawal

Caffeine withdrawal
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Anyone who has gone for a few days without their caffeine hit knows that withdrawal headaches are real. However, drinking excessive caffeine can also be a problem. “Large amounts of caffeine throughout the day and into the evening can cause caffeine-withdrawal headaches in the early morning,” says Dr Cabin. “Cutting down on caffeine consumption, especially later in the day, can help with these types of headaches,” he says.

If you are going to drink coffee, you want to make sure it’s a quality cup. Knowing how to choose coffee beans can help.

Seek medical attention for severe headaches

Seek medical attention for severe headaches
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Headaches that actually wake people in the middle of the night can be a sign of serious, underlying disease, says Dr Cabin. “If you find you are being woken up by headaches at unusual times, it is important to be checked by your doctor,” he advises. “And any extreme headache – especially with neurological changes like confusion or muscle weakness – could be a sign of a serious or even life-threatening condition and requires emergency medical attention,” he adds.

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Source: RD.com

Medically reviewed by Dr Renata Chalfin

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