Alarm Clock Headaches

Do you experience headaches only during sleep that causes you to wake up and lasting for up to 4 hours? If so, you may have what is called “Hypnic Headache” or ‘Alarm Clock Headache’. This is an uncommon headache disorder that occurs predominantly in females over 50 years old.

Pain is commonly on both sides of the head, but can also be on one side. Usually a dull or throbbing quality, but no restlessness as seen in patients who have cluster headaches.

Most patients engage in some activity after waking up (eating, drinking, showering, reading etc.) Some patients report improvement with a cup of coffee.

Before this diagnosis is given, other causes of headache developing during and causing awakening from sleep should be ruled out, such as sleep apnea, nocturnal hypertension, low blood sugar and medication overuse.

If you are awaken from sleep frequently due to a headache, please call us for a consultation.