Nighttime Headaches

springlering62 Posts: 6,860 Member
Just sharing this, in case it helps anyone else.

I’ve been having night time headaches since before Covid. Wake up with sick headache, which takes an hour or two to wear off. Usually after my morning coffee, which relates to below.

Discussed the headaches with my doctor and she suggested seeing a neurologist. Covid intervened and never got around to it.

They’ve become more frequent in the past couple months.

I googled it several years ago but got nothing. Just for the halibut, I googled again, and this time got articles about “hypnic” headaches, also called alarm clock headaches, because they start at the same time, always at night.

Two main suggestions for relief outside undesirable medication: melatonin, and caffeine, either tablet or a cup of coffee before bed.

Supposedly the headaches are suspected to be caused by blood vessels constricting at night. Caffeine creates the opposite effect. (Being me, I may have that backwards.) anyways, people with these particular kind of headaches “shouldn’t” experience wakefulness with caffeine before bed.

Worth a try, right?

Melatonin knocks me on my butt for about four hours and then I wake up climbing the walls and full of energy, so I decided to go the coffee route.

Wow!!!! I’ve had the best nights sleep, and am waking up headache free.

Am crossing my fingers this is a long term solution.

Hope this helps someone else here seeking sleep tips.


  • xojenbrassardxo
    xojenbrassardxo Posts: 38 Member
    I get these as well! Might be worth giving it a shot! Thanks for this, I've also had a hard time finding information on these.
  • ExistingFish
    ExistingFish Posts: 1,259 Member
    I got these at one point in my life. They were either cluster headaches or TMJ related headaches.

    I would wake up around 2:00 with a crippling headache, would wake me up from a dead sleep. I'd take aleve and ice that side if my head (single sided) and it would go away in 30 minutes or so like it never happened.

    Melatonin was supposed to be good to prevent them so I took it for a while. I got a splint for my TMJ though too. Been about 15 months and they haven't come back.
  • metaphysicalstudio
    metaphysicalstudio Posts: 289 Member
    I get these, too. I e been experimenting with what works. So far, cutting down on any processed sugar is what I am doing and I have not had a headache like this since -- it's been two months. Going to keep going with this and see if it helps. I did not eat much sugar to begin with, but the little I did eat may have been triggering for me, as diabetes runs in my family in both sides, causing four deaths in the last 15 years. So, I thought I would start there.
  • GoDogGo62
    GoDogGo62 Posts: 1 Member
    May help... get a sleep study. My snoring was waking the household. I also had headaches every morning. The sleep study revealed I had sleep apnea and a drop in blood O2, basically you stop breathing because of an obstruction every few minutes. The brain wakes you to resolve the lack of oxygen. I had a very hard time accepting it. In a Google or two, besides ruining my spouse's sleep, the chronic lack of oxygen may cause heart and dain bramage. I am not overweight and by today's adult shape and sizes, am pretty thin. My neck is about 15 in. Not a typical candidate for a CPAP machine. I hated it, still do. But I don't have morning headaches. The downside, the dog frequently wakes me trying to get into bed.
  • springlering62
    springlering62 Posts: 6,860 Member

    Total thread hijack. I LOVE your screen name. Clearly we are “of an era”.

    I quote Go, Dog, Go to my family all the time. They are not amused. The standard refrain?

    “You Belong in a Zoo”.

    Yes, in my house, the Go Dog and Go Cats treat our bed like a combination revolving door and bar fight, jockeying for the best position by their hoomans. But what can you do? If we lock them out, the cat burglar has perfected the technique of carefully sliding his paw under the door and gently jiggling it til it unlocks and opens. We have to warn visitors about toilet visits if he’s taken a particular liking to them. He knows throne time is captive audience time.
  • KL1887
    KL1887 Posts: 110 Member
    I’d suggest having a word with a Neuro. It could be something called hypnic headaches, for which coincidentally if they are you’re effectively self treating with caffeine before bed time. But nonetheless would still warrant a medical evaluation
  • 88AViva
    88AViva Posts: 490 Member
    Magnesium before bedtime has helped with my headaches. I get them less often now. I'm on 10mg of melatonin to help me sleep but sometimes I still have headaches at night or in the morning before my cup of coffee.
    I was advised to reduce melatonin to 5mg instead, does it make a difference? Is 10mg too high?
  • Une_Poire
    Une_Poire Posts: 55 Member
    I didn't connect headaches to teeth but my dentist did. I wear a night guard now... I'm not grinding my teeth but apparently I do clench them. I now can catch myself doing it during the day when I'm really stressed but never knew I did it during the night. I wore the guard faithfully at first, don't always wear it now, but do if I start noticing I'm waking up with headaches again.
  • Jthanmyfitnesspal
    Jthanmyfitnesspal Posts: 3,475 Member
    This is now a Zombie thread, but I can add that I used to be woken up by headaches in the middle of the night, usually more on one side than the other. As @Une_Poire reports, these were due to clenching my teeth and it was totally cured by getting a night guard.

    BTW: I bought an OTC night guard from the pharmacy. Heat it in hot water and it fits to your teeth. I make a new one about every 6 months. Works just as well as the expensive one my dentist made for me many years ago.
  • springlering62
    springlering62 Posts: 6,860 Member
    A thread is never zombie if it can help someone.

    I grind teeth, too, a habit I developed about ten years ago. I’ve tried the heatable ones from Amazon and they are too thick. I chewed right through the expensive dentist one.
  • 33gail33
    33gail33 Posts: 1,155 Member
    I tried a (custom dentist fitted) night guard for my headaches and sinus issues and after wearing it for literally 5 nights I experienced 6+ months excruciating jaw pain (on the opposite side from my usual tmj clicky/achey jaw - it actually caused me ongoing pain in my normally pain free side).
    My dentist's response "It shouldn't cause pain" (no *kitten* sherlock). By the time I got to an oral surgeon (covid delays) the pain was subsiding and hasn't returned.
    Just seeing a lot of night guard suggestions here - be warned - they can make the situation worse.
  • kshama2001
    kshama2001 Posts: 27,570 Member
    I lost the custom made night guard I got from a former dentist. The ones you heat in hot water tasted abominable to me.

    I'm very happy with these:


    They say they last up to a year. I hadn't chewed through the first one after the first year but it was pretty icky looking so I switched to the second one.