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Headache at night: causes and treatment

by Alivia Nyhan
Published: Last Updated on

Headaches, also known as headaches, are a symptom of a wide variety of disorders, most of which are associated with a particular condition or disease, where the headache is an addition. Headaches can have a low intensity, which may not cause more than a slight discomfort during the course of the day, or they can be quite intense, like migraines , to the point of even interfering with our performance. When these headaches affect us at night, they can interfere with sleep, which is vital for our body to rest. In this FastlyHealarticle, we will talk about headaches at night: causes and how to avoid it , in order to try to solve a problem that affects many people.

Causes of headache at night

The nocturnal headache can be caused by various causes, some of the most frequent are the following:

Hypnic headache

It is a headache of mild intensity that can last a few minutes and that appears during a phase of sleep called the rapid eye movement phase, better known as the REM phase ( Rapid Eye Movement ). Its appearance is unknown, but it is believed to be due to a decrease in melatonin , the hormone that regulates our rest. Generally, it appears in people of advanced ages, those who are over 50 years old. A characteristic of this type of headache is that the sufferer usually wakes up at the same time of the night.

Sinus headache

It is a type of pain that has its origin in the paranasal sinuses , structures that are part of the respiratory tract and that are found inside various bones of our head. People with sinusitis , for example, may feel pain or increased pressure in the head when lying down, which can feel like a headache.

Headache from inflammatory foods

There are a variety of foods that when eaten in excess promote disturbances in people. Foods such as dairy derivatives, cheeses, synthetic additives and those that contain monosodium glutamate, which is used in sauces, creams, among others, are very tasty when placed in our food but apart from being additives, they have inflammatory properties, so if their consumption is excessive , especially during dinner, they generate headaches that appear during the night.

Sleep disorder

Sleep disorders are those disorders that affect the person while trying to fall asleep or once it has been achieved. Among these disorders, there is one called “explosive headache”, which was described some time ago and which today is still unknown why it originates. The only thing that is known about this disorder is that it is an intense pain that appears at night just when the person goes to sleep. It is more common in women, it can appear for a single day or last a few months, but in most cases it disappears spontaneously.

Cluster headache

It is a type of migraine that appears frequently in men and is triggered two or three hours after the person falls asleep during the night. It is a very intense pain that lasts a few minutes , approximately 15, and is located on one side of the head behind the eye. Generally, it appears at the same time, always disturbing sleep. Its cause is still unknown, but it is believed that it may be a hereditary element. It can be triggered by stress, alcohol, seasonal changes, and exposure to certain allergens.

How to avoid a headache at night

If you have headaches at night and especially when they cause an interruption to your sleep, it is important that you consult your doctor to determine the precise diagnosis and treatment to follow. The way in which this pain will be avoided will depend on the cause that originates it, if this cause can be determined. For example, people with hypnic headaches, as their cause is unknown, use some medications that alleviate the condition, such as some types of anti – inflammatories, such as indomethacin, lithium or melatonin.

If the headache at night is severe and the sensitivity extends beyond the head to the ears, it may be due to a sinus disorder. In this case, the most advisable thing is to attend the specialist doctor who is the otolaryngologist in charge of the area, who will determine the protocol to follow. To control symptoms, you have to take over-the-counter NSAIDs and wait for them to take effect.

You should avoid foods that promote inflammation, limit your daily caffeine intake, since it can be a double-edged sword, and drink enough water, this will help avoid headaches at night.

In those cases of cluster migraines, treatments will be used to control headaches and to prevent pain in the future. These can be over-the-counter pain relievers . In other cases, the doctor will indicate a treatment with corticosteroids and will eliminate the consumption in the person of alcohol and tobacco that can be triggers.

Recommendations in case of headache at night

If you have this type of headache at night, we recommend that you do the following:

  • Take into account the type of pain first and differentiate it from other types of headache, since it can be due to other causes such as stress, which is why it is considered common pain.
  • Relieves pain, this means that once you feel the headache at night, take over-the-counter pain relievers, wait about one to two hours for them to take effect.
  • Call 911 when pain is accompanied by other symptoms such as: difficulty seeing, walking, speaking, nausea, vomiting, fainting, or high fever. This means that the headache can be from other diseases, such as meningitis or stroke.
  • Do not abuse caffeine consumption during the day and less at night. Although many drugs contain caffeine because it reduces headaches, consuming too much can lead to other types of headaches.

This article is merely informative, at FastlyHeal .com we do not have the power to prescribe medical treatments or make any type of diagnosis. We invite you to see a doctor in the case of presenting any type of condition or discomfort.

If you want to read more articles similar to Headache at night: causes and how to avoid it , we recommend that you enter our Brain and nerves category .

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