Headache After Nap – Causes, Symptoms and Prevention

A lot of people report with a Headache after Nap. Many times the Headache is so intense that it becomes debilitating. Sleep and headache are linked because some parts of the brain control both.


Along with a Throbbing headache you might also experience:

  • Nausea
  • Anorexia
  • Stress and Anxiety
  • Body aches and general lethargy
  • Dizziness
  • Shakiness
  • High heartbeat
  • Lack of concentration and coordination


Several factors contribute to Headache after Nap, some of which are;

Irregular sleeping pattern:

People who do not follow a proper sleeping schedule and stay up for most of the night, mostly wake up with a headache. An irregular sleeping pattern can cause an imbalance of neurotransmitters in the brain, which lowers the pain threshold. Any of the sleep-related problems can trigger a headache:

  • Excessive sleep
  • Lack of sleep
  • Disturbed sleep


Insomnia is the most common sleeping disorder in people who have frequent migraines. Lack of sleep headache is another common disorder that affects the quality of life.

Hypnic headache:

Hypnic Headache is a rare condition that exclusively occurs during the night when you’re asleep, waking you up from a good night’s sleep. Headache after Nap usually lasts from a few minutes to 6 hours on average. While, in most individuals, the duration was just 30-60 mins.


People who snore are very likely to wake up with a headache. Since Snoring is a habit thus it can lead towards a chronic headache condition. An Important underlying condition is sleep apnea which must be diagnosed and treated as soon as possible.

Tooth grinding:

Tooth grinding causes mechanical stress and people who are habitual tooth grinders often complain of a Headache after Nap. Constant grinding may also develop a TMJ Headache.

Choice of the wrong pillow:

Choosing the pillow with the wrong height can tense up your muscles in the neck and back of the head since your head is held in the same position for the most part of the night. This mostly causes tension Headache after Nap.


Sleeping throughout the night and not drinking enough water during the day can be a cause of dehydration Headache after Nap. Headache might have mild symptoms and can be cured simply by drinking water.


The brain is supported by cerebrospinal fluid in its surroundings but as the pressure of CSF drops, the pressure changes can cause a Headache. Other symptoms that can accompany a Headache after Nap are Anorexia, Photophobia, Dizziness, weakness, etc.

Headache After Nap


If the frequency of Headache after Nap is increasing almost daily. Your doctor might ask a few questions to reach the underlying cause which can then be treated.



  • Take a good night’s sleep.
  • Identify your triggers and manage them accordingly.
  • If you’re insomniac, avoid Caffeine before sleep.
  • Hydrate yourself before sleep.
  • Exercise during the day.
  • Avoid stress.
  • Decrease your day time naps to ensure good sleep during the night.
  • Choose a pillow that supports your head and neck properly.


Each cause is to be treated individually to avoid a Headache after Nap. For that, your underlying cause must be identified and diagnosed by a healthcare professional.


Why does a nap that is meant to relieve my headache, is causing it?

People who do not follow a proper sleeping schedule and stay up for most part of the night, mostly wake up with a headache. 
Irregular sleeping pattern can cause imbalance of neurotransmitters in the brain, which lowers the pain threshold. 

When should I be worried about a Headache after Nap? 

If no of headaches are increasing day by day and you have to take analgesic around 15 times a month, consult a doctor as soon as possible.

What other symptoms should I look for? 

Nausea, dizziness, loss of concentration, and shakiness. 

How do I treat a Headache after Nap? 

Regulate your sleeping habits, avoid napping during the day and stay hydrated