Morning Headaches Linked to Depression
Frequent Morning Headaches May Be Sign of Mental Disorder
WebMD News Archive
Jan. 12, 2004 -- Frequent morning headaches may be a sign of
more than just poor sleeping habits. A new study shows that chronic morning
headaches are frequently associated with depression and anxiety disorders.
Researchers say waking up with a headache has traditionally
been associated with sleep disorders, such as insomnia, obstructive sleep
apnea, and snoring. But until now researchers didn't know how common the
problem was in the general population or if it was associated with other
Morning Headaches Are a Common Problem
In the study, published in the Jan. 12 issue of the Archives
of Internal Medicine, researchers surveyed a representative sample of
18,980 people in several European countries and asked them about morning
headaches, mental and sleep disorders, use of alcohol or drugs, and other
They found morning headaches affect about one in 13 people over
15 years of age. Overall, 7.6% of those surveyed said they suffered from
morning headaches, with 1.3% reporting them daily and 4.4% saying they had them
The study also showed that morning headaches were slightly more
common in women than in men and in people between 45 and 64 years old.
In addition researchers found that people with anxiety and
depressive disorders were much more likely than others to report chronic
morning headaches. Nearly 29% of those with depression or anxiety disorders
said they also suffered from frequent morning headaches.
Morning headaches were also about twice as common among people
with insomnia or a sleep disordered breathing condition.
Researchers say the findings show that a variety of factors may
be involved in causing morning headaches, and they are not limited to sleep