• jess jess
    September 17, 2008
    painful pressure-like headache during sleep
    jess jess
    September 17, 2008

    I have frequent headaches and migraines. I also tend to get a painful, pressure-like feeling in my head from sleeping, is this normal?  The best way to describe the feeling is like a compression on my head, making my whole skull ache.  It seems to be affected by whatever my head is resting on (pillows, blankets, etc), it feels worse when laying against something.  I wake up with these most mornings (although I have awoken to them in the middle of the night) and they usually resolve themselves with some caffeine or an ibuprofen.  Having lived with them from a very young age, I had always assumed they were "normal" until I mentioned it to other people who told me they had never experienced such a thing.



  • Teri Robert
    Health Guide
    September 21, 2008
    Teri Robert
    Health Guide
    September 21, 2008



    It's time to discuss these headaches with your doctor.


    Headaches or Migraines that form during sleep or that you have when you wake up are often triggered by sleep issues -- too much, too little, disrupted, or poor quality sleep. Also, taking ibuprofen more than two or three days a week can make matters worse by causing medication overuse headaches, aka rebound. For more information in this, see Medication Overuse Headache - When the Remedy Backfires.


    Please do talk with your doctor?



  • marniemac September 20, 2008
    September 20, 2008

    Jess -  I'm no doctor but it's true that most people don't get head pain from sleeping.  I have had those kinds of headaches, too.  I usually get them when I have messed up my sleeping pattern somehow.  For instance, I will get those headaches if I get too much sleep or not enough.  I try to go to bed at the same time and get up at the same time, even on the weekends.  You also might consider that you are allergic to something in your bedroom.  You could try replacing your pillows and comforter with hypo-allergenic materials.  Also, you could make sure you are not elevating your head  too much when you sleep.  Do you have pets that sleep in your bedroom?  Mine do and I can't bear to kick them out, even though they snore, shed copious amounts of hair,  scratch themselves at length and jingle their collars, emit hideous smells from time to time (have they been drinking from a septic tank? or what?) and otherwise make themselves at home.   My doctor did once suggest I kick them out.   But I haven't.



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