Why you have a headache when you wake up – five causes and five cures

If this is happening to you regularly and you can’t get to the bottom of it, go and see your GP in order to rule out any more serious underlying causes.


If you’ve had a stressful week at work, a lie-in on the weekend isn’t going to fix it overnight.

You might be waking up with a throbbing head on your day off because your brain is struggling to adjust to the drop in stress hormones.

As you relax, the level of stress hormones drop, there’s a rapid release of neurotransmitters – the brain’s chemical messengers – to tell you that it’s time to chill out.

However, these cause your blood vessels to constrict and then dilate, bringing on a headache.

The NHS suggests resisting the temptation to oversleep at the weekends and to relax little and often during the week so stress doesn’t build up.


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