Tips to Keep You from Waking Up with a Morning Migraine


Has a morning migraine ever stopped your busy day in its tracks before you even got started? If so, you know the importance of finding genuine migraine relief. To start, we must discuss what contributes to morning migraine. This can give you a few triggers to avoid. Then we will consider a natural way to find the help you need. 

Top Triggers of Morning Migraines 

What can cause a person to wake up with a migraine? While the underlying cause is considered unknown, there are several viable triggers that could result in a morning migraine. Here are some of the most likely culprits. 

You Are Not Sleeping Well

Evidence links poor sleep to migraines. We’re not just talking about getting too little sleep, although that can definitely be the problem. Sleeping for too long, interrupted sleep, an irregular sleep schedule, or poor quality of sleep are also known migraine triggers and possible reasons you are waking up with a migraine. If you have a sleeping disorder such as obstructive sleep apnea (OSA), this could be part of the problem.

Your Natural Pain Relief Has Worn Off

The body produces natural pain relievers to help reduce pain levels in the body and increase tolerance to pain. However, these natural pain relievers seem to be at their lowest levels between 4:00 AM and 8:00 AM. This is why migraines and other painful conditions such as tension in the neck may be more prevalent just as you rise in the morning. 

You Take Too Many Over the Counter Pain Relievers 

Overuse of OTC medication can lead to rebound headaches. Also called medication overuse headaches, this could be the reason you are waking up with head pain. If you take pain medication more than twice per week, you are at high risk for rebound headaches. They most often occur in the morning, and you are likely to experience neck pain along with the headache (although that is true with most headaches and migraines).

Too Much Stress (Or Stress Letdown) 

Stress can lead to migraines in two different ways. First, when you are under a lot of stress, the spike or sustained high hormone levels can result in migraines. Of course, when you are sleeping, you may be recovering from the previous day’s stress. That may trigger a migraine as well because the stress hormone levels suddenly drop off. Any extreme changes in stress hormone levels can be responsible for migraines. 

You’ve Become Caffeine Dependent 

Since it is legal and in many products we eat and drink, most of us forget that caffeine is a drug. Some people develop a dependency in as little as a week. If you consume too much caffeine daily, this increases your risk of suffering from chronic migraines. On the other hand, you may be able to avoid a migraine by having one cup of coffee in the morning to satisfy the body’s dependency and improve blood flow. But if you are going to have that cup of coffee in the morning, be careful to avoid large doses of caffeine for the rest of the day. For example, some over the counter pain relievers contain caffeine because they realize that it can stop a headache or migraine by ramping up blood flow or satisfying a dependency. 

Lack of Proper Hydration/Sustenance

Food and drink can also have a significant effect on whether you wake up with migraines. For example, dehydration is a migraine trigger. If you are not adequately hydrated when you go to sleep, things will only be worse when you wake up eight hours later. It’s also a part of the reason you may wake up with a migraine if you drank too much liquor the night before. Alcohol dries a person out. In fact, there is a crossover between dehydration symptoms and those of a hangover. Plus, alcohol can affect how well you sleep, which we already discussed as a trigger. Low blood sugar is another trigger, so pay attention to both what you eat and how often you eat. 

Finding Natural Migraine Relief by Avoiding Triggers 

Some of the best ways to find natural migraine relief are to avoid the triggers mentioned here. By watching your eating and drinking habits, using alcohol and caffeine in moderation, avoiding medication overuse, and finding positive ways to cope with stress, you may be able to stop many of your morning migraines before they start. 

However, you also need to try and find natural relief for the underlying cause of your migraines. While this is unknown in most cases, there is one place you can check with relative ease. An upper cervical chiropractor can help in this regard.

How Upper Cervical Chiropractic May Help Morning Migraines 

Upper cervical chiropractic involves precise and gentle adjustments of the top two bones in the neck. When migraines occur, this location holds the key to many of the underlying factors. For example, the cervical spine facilitates blood flow to the neck. Anything that can affect this flow of blood can also lead to migraines. The atlas (C1) also surrounds and protects the brainstem. If a misalignment inhibits brainstem function in any way, this can be another factor that leads to migraines.

An examination from an upper cervical chiropractor can help you to learn if this sort of misalignment exists. If so, you can have a custom adjustment developed for you. Some patients find that this has meant an end to migraines that were once chronic and debilitating. Why not see if this specific form of chiropractic can help you?

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The content and materials provided in this web site are for informational and educational purposes only and are not intended to supplement or comprise a medical diagnosis or other professional opinion, or to be used in lieu of a consultation with a physician or competent health care professional for medical diagnosis and/or treatment. All content and materials including research papers, case studies and testimonials summarizing patients' responses to care are intended for educational purposes only and do not imply a guarantee of benefit. Individual results may vary, depending upon several factors including age of the patient, severity of the condition, severity of the spinal injury, and duration of time the condition has been present.