Morning headaches?
January 6, 2011 4:16 PM   Subscribe

Why am I waking up with a headache almost every day?

Okay, time to run this by ya'll:

I'm 23, male, in good general health. I have been on 150mg Wellbutrin/Bupropion for about 6 months, and no other drugs. Aside from NYE, I haven't drank any alcohol lately.

Sometime over my Christmas break, a few weeks ago, I woke up with a headache. I had left my Wellbutrin at home when I left to visit the family. I was without it for about a week during my visit, and I assumed that the headaches were simply a withdrawal symptom.

I returned home and got back on my pills, and I'm still getting headaches.

Every morning when I open my eyes, it seems I have a mild-to-medium headache. These go away almost immediately after I get up and start moving around.

I will go to the university clinic when school starts next week, but in the meantime: what could cause headaches so regularly?

posted by edguardo to Health & Fitness (24 answers total) 5 users marked this as a favorite
Best answer: Dehydration? When I haven't had enough to drink the night before, or have slept for waaaay too long, I sometimes wake up with headaches. They generally go away when I get up and move around (which is always accompanied by getting something to drink). Try drinking more water (I like to leave a glass beside the bed and down it when I wake up in the middle of the night) and see if that helps any.
posted by phunniemee at 4:22 PM on January 6, 2011 [4 favorites]

Best answer: Sounds like the sinus headaches I get when I have cold air blowing across my head. These can be anything from a mild ache to a circle of intense pain over your eyes. Wearing a hat to bed fixes it for me (or removing the cold air source).
posted by doctor_negative at 4:24 PM on January 6, 2011

Could be sinus, could be dehydration, could be allergies (have you changed your soap or shampoo or laundry detergent? Gotten a new pillow?)
posted by Sidhedevil at 4:27 PM on January 6, 2011

Where is the headache? Does it hurt worse when you inhale?
posted by griphus at 4:29 PM on January 6, 2011

Could you be grinding your teeth?
posted by bq at 4:35 PM on January 6, 2011 [3 favorites]

Best answer: Cold air is dryer, because it can hold less moisture. But that's OK, because when we are in the cold our nose starts to run to counteract that.

Ok, now what happens when you take that dry air and heat it up? You have warm air that just sucks the moisture out of anything it can find. Including your nose. And since it isn't cold, our nose doesn't run and our insides shrivel up.

So I'm betting on dehydration. Drink some water and a humidifier. And go out for a brisk walk in the cold and when your nose starts running, take advantage and blow out the nasal pipes.
posted by gjc at 4:42 PM on January 6, 2011 [1 favorite]

Maybe you need to get your eyes checked? You could need a new prescription for lenses or lenses if you don't wear them.
posted by Kloryne at 4:46 PM on January 6, 2011

Best answer: Get your blood pressure checked. Could be your BP is going up overnight for some reason.
posted by scalefree at 4:48 PM on January 6, 2011

Response by poster: Have you changed your soap or shampoo or laundry detergent? Gotten a new pillow?

The headaches remain constant over multiple beds.

Where is the headache? Does it hurt worse when you inhale?

It does not. It feels like it is in my forehead.

Could you be grinding your teeth?

That would be a new development. Nobody's brought it up before.

Get your blood pressure checked. Could be your BP is going up overnight for some reason.

That's on the top of my list to ask my doctor about. :)
posted by edguardo at 4:53 PM on January 6, 2011

Sleep Apnea has as a symptom morning headaches.
posted by fief at 5:13 PM on January 6, 2011 [2 favorites]

What about caffeine? The first part of your description suggested to me you changed your routine when you went home for Christmas and were in caffeine withdrawal, which can cause wicked headaches. The rest I don't know, just throwing this out as a possibility.
posted by zadcat at 5:18 PM on January 6, 2011

Could you be grinding your teeth?
posted by 4ster at 5:31 PM on January 6, 2011 [1 favorite]

Best answer: Drink a full glass of water with 2 tablets of benadryl (dramamine) before going to bed, elevate you head with an extra pillow, rub the back of your neck when you feel cranial pressure (even if that's not where it hurts directly)...mostly at the top of the neck. They could be sinus, bp, apnea, or stress related. You're best off discussing it with your doctor however, who could prescribe medications that could help.
posted by samsara at 6:02 PM on January 6, 2011

Best answer: Welbutrin makes me clench my jaw in my sleep, often resulting in morning headache. If the muscles on either side of your head behind your temples seem sore when you rub them, you may be clenching. Your dentist can help by making a special bite guard that prevents clenching. The kind you can buy at the drug store won't help. Also, the dentist can see if adjusting your bite will help. Jaw clenching is a documented side effect of Welbutrin, according to the internets.
posted by tamitang at 6:02 PM on January 6, 2011 [3 favorites]

Wellbutrin has definite stimulant properties. For some people, it also has definite stimulant effects. And the effects and side-effects of many drugs can be more severe after a lapse in use. IANAD, BTW, but I AM a WellB user.
posted by julthumbscrew at 6:23 PM on January 6, 2011

Best answer: From a friend:

I am a doctor, but I am not your doctor. There is a million inconsequential things your headaches could be from, but consistently waking up with headaches can be a sign of raised intracranial pressure. It should be checked out by your doctor if it keeps occurring.
posted by Spurious at 7:01 PM on January 6, 2011

Agree with Spurious that you should ask a doctor. To throw out yet another slight possibility — low-grade chronic carbon monoxide exposure from a faulty furnace or water heater.
posted by hat at 8:18 PM on January 6, 2011 [1 favorite]

Have you been sleeping longer than usual because you're on break? I wake up with a headache when I apparently get too much sleep (why that is, though, I don't know). I don't think this started until I was around your age.
posted by wondermouse at 10:18 PM on January 6, 2011

Not a dentist or a doctor, but it would be worth checking with your dentist about grinding/clenching. I clench my teeth at night so badly that I have actually fractured some teeth, and often woke up with headaches. I now have a mouth guard that helps immensely with this problem. Dentists can also adjust how your jaw bone and muscles take the load from the clenching; when I told my dentist about the headaches, she adjusted the guard in a specific way to alleviate pressure on certain muscles.

If you are a grinder or a clencher, getting a guard may help your headaches and probably save your teeth at the same time!
posted by just_ducky at 11:44 PM on January 6, 2011 [1 favorite]

Could be having the heat on (if you do) and being dehydrated.
Could be clenching or grinding your teeth (do you have ridge parks on the inside of your cheeks?)
Could be a food allergy (have you been eating/drinking the same thing every night?)
Could be stress affecting you when you're sleeping
Could be a new allergy
Could be sinus issues - do you have these?
Could be sleep apnea
Do you have any sleep issues? Vivid dreams? Tired during the day?
Or do you wake up in the middle of the night feeling like you can't breathe? Snore a lot?

I get headaches mainly in the winter and I'm guessing (after going to doctors about it) it has to do with the combination of the heat being on, my narcolepsy, my teeth clenching, my lack of fluid intake and smoking.
posted by KogeLiz at 12:07 AM on January 7, 2011

correction: ridge marks - not parks.
posted by KogeLiz at 12:08 AM on January 7, 2011

Response by poster: I did chip a lower incisor recently. I assumed this was sports-related, as it usually is, and forgot about it.

Hmm. A clue. I'll bring this up to my doctor as well.

Thanks all. I've got a lot of good questions for my M.D. now. :)

I'll let you know the verdict next week, if I get one!
posted by edguardo at 8:57 AM on January 7, 2011

To chime in, as edguardo's ex-girlfriend, I can say that he doesn't grind his teeth but he does occasionally click his jaw together strongly several times in a row. Like, "click click click click click click," just barely loud enough to be audible to me, and then he's done.
posted by sunnichka at 1:50 PM on January 7, 2011

Some causes of morning headaches:

Lack of sleep
the night before.

Overnight dehydration
, especially if you are sleeping in a warm room, or under a heavy doona/blanket.

Teeth grinding
while you are asleep (bruxism) - your dentist will be able to tell you if you have this, based on a quick look at your teeth.

Caffeine withdrawal.

Sleep apnoea - I used to wake with a pounding headache every day/every second day - it's cleared up since I started treating my sleep apnoea with a Continuous positive airway pressure (CPAP) machine every night. If I fall asleep without my mask on, though, I get a pounding headache.
posted by Hot buttered sockpuppets at 10:06 PM on January 7, 2011

« Older I've pretty much got the tea thing down...   |   How to get wireless to a distant room? Newer »
This thread is closed to new comments.