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Why do I wake up with headaches?

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If you wake up most mornings with a throbbing headache, it might be related to either your sleep patterns or sleep environment.

Headaches are the body’s warning system that something is not right. Usually, these headaches can be caused by a sleep disorder, sleep deprivation, stress, allergies, and so many other medical conditions.

Below we look at the 3 common causes of headaches in the morning.

Sleep deprivation and stress

StressedTo get a good night’s rest you need to be comfortable and an old mattress generally has lumps and obvious sagging in the middle of your mattress, or even a spring or two poking in your back. This could lead to you tossing and turning throughout the night which disrupts your sleep cycle. Sleeping on a too-firm or too-soft mattress might lead to the same problem. Therefore it is vitally important to replace your mattress when needed and also to make sure you choose the correct mattress to cater to your own individual needs.

Sleep deprivation could lead to many health issues and one of the most common issues is a higher stress level as you are tired, moody, and find it difficult to concentrate and focus. On the flip side, stress can lead to sleep deprivation, so basically it is one vicious cycle.  Managing both sleep and stress is a crucial part of living a healthy, happy, and productive life.

You could be allergic to your mattress

Allergies in bedWhen we sleep, we perspire and shed dead skin cells. It sounds pretty gross but the reality is that an 8-year-old mattress contains as much as 4.5kg of dead skin cells and could have absorbed as much as 160L of bodily fluids.

You might be wondering what this has to do with your allergies, right? Well, dust mites are tiny little critters that breed in your mattress. They feed off dead skin cells and obviously defecate during their feeding process. This is in fact what causes allergy symptoms in many people. Allergic reactions or sinus infections could, therefore, lead to you waking up with a pressure-like headache in the morning.

It is recommended that you replace your mattress every 8-10 years for obvious hygienic reasons. Using a mattress protector on your bed could prevent the dead skin cells from being absorbed into your mattress thus limiting the number of dust mites.

Using the wrong pillow

using the wrong pillowYes, the cause of your headaches could be something as simple as sleeping on the wrong pillow. When you sleep, your neck needs to be correctly aligned and if not, could cause constant tension in your neck muscles. This tension throughout the night could lead to you waking up with a sore neck and a headache in the morning.

With all the different pillows on the market, it is so difficult choosing the correct pillow. If you need more advice on choosing the correct pillow, please see our blog post explaining how important it is to sleep on the right pillow.


There are many other causes of headaches in the morning such as sleep apnea, teeth grinding, diet, dehydration and many other medical conditions. It basically comes down to a process of elimination but we would suggest that you speak to a medical practitioner if you are not able to remedy the cause of your headaches yourself.

If you suspect that sleep deprivation is the cause of your headaches, and know for a fact that your bed or pillow is not the cause of your sleep deprivation, you can try some of our top natural sleep remedies.

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Why do I wake up with headaches?

If you wake up most mornings with a throbbing headache, it might be related to either your sleep patterns or sleep environment. Headaches are the