Headache after nap

Headache after taking a nap


It may have occurred to you that sometimes after taking a nap in the afternoon, when you wake up, a dull and throbbing pain in the temporal area of your head (area just above where the eyebrow ends) bothers you. There are even people who experience headaches when the wake up in the morning.

The headaches occurring after waking up can become so annoying that can affect our energy and desire to do daily activities. It is interesting to know that people with sleep disorders are up to eight times more likely to suffer from post-sleep headaches. Here we would like to familiarize you with the common causes of headaches happening right after sleep. What you will read next:


What causes post-sleep headaches?

What are the symptoms of snoring in sleep?

When should we see a doctor?

How to treat headaches after waking up?

Home remedies for post-sleep headaches

What can be done to relieve a pregnant woman's headache happening right after waking up?




What are the main causes for post-sleep headaches?

  1. Insufficient sleep
  2. Prolonged sleep and nap
  3. Fast and sudden wake up
  4. Respiratory problems during sleep
  5. Bruxism
  6. Unsuitable pillow and bed arrangement
  7. Dehydration (insufficient water intake)
  8. Pregnancy
  9. Hypoglycemia
  10. Hormonal disorders

  • Insufficient sleep:

Any person needs on average eight hours of quality sleep per night. If for any reason the quality of sleep is disturbed or the person sleeps poorly, that person may not feel refreshed after waking up and may experience fatigue and headaches during the day.

  • Prolonged sleep and nap:

To regain refreshment and energy, half an hour of afternoon nap is enough. In many people, it takes even ten minutes to take a nap to recharge. Naps which last longer than half an hour after lunch in many cases cause headaches after waking up.

  • Quick or sudden wake up:

Sometimes, sudden wake up like waking up with a loud alarm may result in headache. In these cases, we are in a deep sleep phase or a slow-wave sleep phase. Sudden awakening from this phase can trigger the post-sleep headaches. Sleep is an overly complicated physiologic topic which you can read more about it here.

  • Respiratory problems during sleep:

Snoring can be a reason for your breathing problems during sleep and although these problems may not wake you up, they can still be a cause of post-sleep headaches. When you sleep on your back, your tongue falls behind your throat and blocks your airway. If you have a short neck and a small chin, or if you are overweight and have a tiny chin, this obstruction will become worse.

Decreased blood oxygenation in the arteries of the brain causes the cerebral arteries to dilate, which may result in headaches. As a general rule, dilation of arteries in brain which is called vasodilationmay cause feeling dull pain in your head.

  • Bruxism:

Unknowingly squeezing and rubbing the teeth together is an unintentional habit of some people during sleep. This can also be one of the causes of post-sleep headaches. In addition, the continued grinding of the teeth causes the interfering muscles to tighten, and this constant contraction of the facial and head muscles can trigger headaches after waking up.

  • Unsuitable pillow and bed

If your bedding is non-standard, if your sleeping area is unsuitable, you cannot have a deep and quality sleep. Lacking the properly arranged bedding can be a reason for post-sleep headaches. For example, choose a pillow for sleeping that keeps your head and neck in a standard position. In other words, there should be no angle between your head and neck when your head is on the pillow. A dark and quiet room with standard sleeping accessories is necessary to have quality sleep and to avoid post-sleep headaches.

  • Dehydration:

Lack of body fluids or drinking too much caffeinated beverages right before going to bed can also be the reason of experiencing headache right after waking up.


The following factors can also affect and trigger headaches after sleep:

  • pregnancy
  • Hypoglycemia
  • Hormonal disorders

Remember that both prolonged and insufficient sleep can be important factors for headaches starting after the wake up.


What are the symptoms of snoring in sleep?

Snoring in sleep is a sign of Obstructive Sleep Apnea (OSA) that can be accompanied by the following symptoms:

  • Fatigue and drowsiness during the day
  • Frequent awakenings during sleep
  • Sweating during sleep
  • Post-sleep headache


How to treat post-sleep headaches?

It is possible to prevent these headaches by identifying the underlying factors:

  • Discover the right amount of sleep for you. It means finding the right amount of sleep you need to be fresh without getting a headache.
  • If you have bruxism, you can use night guard or other treatments. See your dentist for treatment.
  • Choose standard pillows and bedding.
  • A quiet and dark place is necessary for quality sleep.


Home remedies to get rid of headaches after waking up:

  • Try to be physically active during the day.
  • Cut down on caffeinated beverages.
  • Shorten your daily naps since naps in the middle of the day can cause headaches.
  • Use soothing methods and techniques before going to bed. Drinking a light herbal tea or a glass of warm milk can help to have a better sleep.


What can be done to relieve a pregnant woman's headache happening right after waking up?

If you are pregnant and experiencing a headache after waking up or taking a nap, you should:

  • Hydrate yourself by drinking enough water throughout the day.
  • Eat a proper and regular diet so that you do not suffer from hypoglycemia.
  • Try to walk in the open area during the day.
  • Be sure to discuss the problem with your doctor.


Some problems, such as respiratory problems (snoring and obstructive sleep apnea), require medical attention for treatment. Currently, special methods have been developed for the diagnosis of respiratory problems while sleeping that can give your physician enough data to analysis your sleep quality to suggest proper treatments to prevent headaches from happening anymore.






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