A European study, published in the Archives of Internal Medicine, found that nearly 8 per cent of people had suffered from headaches upon awakening every morning for about four years, with the highest sufferers being women between 45 and 64. The physical reasons for these headaches include: sleep apnoea, a condition in which someone stops breathing for a second or two and does not fall deeply asleep; grinding teeth, which tightens the neck and jaw muscles; restless leg syndrome; or a snoring partner or other distracting noise preventing restful sleep.
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One of the psychological reasons for these headaches is stress. With nothing to distract a person trying to get to sleep, many of the worries and fears normally ignored throughout the day can come to the surface. This produces an anxiety that makes it difficult to sleep comfortably or deeply. Depression may also be a factor in a lack of sleep, which contributes to headaches.
Some of the causes of these headaches, like sleep apnoea or deep anxiety, might need the help of a medical doctor. However, things like restless leg syndrome can be treated by avoiding caffeine and alcohol or having a hot bath before bed to relax the body. A good diet, regular exercise and proper posture can help the body to relax and get the sleep it needs to avoid the headaches upon awakening.
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