Too Much Sleep as Headache Trigger

As part of keeping my body and mind on some sort of routine, I try to wake up when Hart does. When a particularly bad headache strikes when I’m asleep, continuing to sleep until my body says I should wake up usually alleviates the pain.

Occasionally, a morning will come where waking up is the last thing on my to do list. Assuming that I have a bad headache, Hart won’t push me to get out of bed and I, knowing that I’m tired, stay in the land of nod.

Then I wake up at noon, with a sort of hangover headache. It doesn’t become migraine-like pain, but its a heavy pain that rates between a 4 and 6. I feel like there’s a weight sitting on my head.

Why is it that so many people, with headache disorders or not, can tell similar stories? One theory is that serotonin and other brain neurotransmitters fluctuate during sleep. These variations can trigger the onset or worsening of headache pain.

So I can blame my brain for the impending implosion in my head. I will also fault it for my sheer lack of motivation. It’s 2:30 and I’m just beginning to post. I have given e-mail a cursory check, but haven’t looked at Bloglines for relevant headache news and information.

I’m physically and mentally tired. Lying on the couch reading chick lit is now my plan for the day, not sorting papers in the office or cleaning the disgustingly dirty kitchen. I don’t even want to return friends’ phone calls.


7 Responses to “Too Much Sleep as Headache Trigger”

  1. Terri Says:

    Hi Kerrie,

    What an amazing coincidence…I just wrote last night about Exhaustion! Check it out if you like, at Your blog reminded me so much of my daily experience. There is some huge sleep link in chronic headaches. I’m going to talk to my neuro about getting me into a sleep clinic. I never wake up refreshed and often awaken with a bad h/a. I have to wonder if I am not sleeping deeply enough, or something, but it is likely the complex chemical stuff they don’t have figured out yet. Anyway, thanks for the post.

    That’s funny! A study showing the link (but not explaining it) was presented at a conference in January. It’s about kids, but it sure rings true for me. —

    I cleaned up my blogroll yesterday, but I somehow missed Wind Lost. I just added it. You’ve made a great start. I’m looking forward to reading more.


  2. Angel Says:

    I kept a sleep log for weeks to see if there was a connection–and there’s not for me : / I wish someone would give me the owner’s manual for my brain 😉

  3. dane Says:

    i am always have bad headaches and last night i woke up and there was shit all over the place…..i cried my eyes out cause i shit myself…..damn i shouldnt of ate that last slice of anchovy pizza……oooo my god becky like look at her ass….it is like so big……peace

  4. Anonymous Says:

    I wake up cranky and tired as hell before I realize I have the worst headache that will not go away. Even a night cap doesn’t help. Is there any medicine out there that can make this go away? Help me!

    There is very likely medication available that would help you, but I don’t know what it would be. I recommend talking to your doctor about it.

    I wish you the best of luck finding a treatment.


  5. Nita Says:

    Just reading these comments, I have it on my heart to share.I have been married for 18 years. My husband suffered from 11 to 15 Mirgranes a month 12 years of our marriage. My freind shared a simple nutrition shake that you take 2 a day. It helped her body out so much that she no longer suffered from migranes. My husband would have drank Mud if you told him, it could help. So he did the nutrition shakes and among other awsome results it has been 6 years and has had maybe 6 headaches due to not drinking enough or he knew the cause of it. So he will forever be thankful to our dear freinds for sharing it with us. Because of his results, he shared with so many people. We basically had a business be born for us. I am greatful for that too ! Anyway, if I can be of any help and anyone would like more info please contact me.

  6. Diedra Says:

    It’s 10:22 and I got out of bed only because I couldn’t take the headache anymore. EVERY time I try and sleep in, my head begins to ache and the only option I have is to get up. 😦

  7. Albert Says:

    I find this as well especially when i sleep in or take naps during the day.
    It seems in my case, it has something to do with natural body-sleep rhythm. Everytime i oversleep my average 6 hours during holidays like an 11 hour sleep, i seem to have an annoying headache.
    And when i take time to sleep during the day for the extra few hours i almost always wake up with a headache.

    Hope this helps, any other suggestions are good 🙂

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