Why Do You Wake Up Dizzy?

Medically Reviewed by Carol DerSarkissian, MD on May 27, 2023
3 min read

If you wake up feeling weak, woozy, or unsteady, it can be a sign of anything from not getting enough to drink to a medical condition like sleep apnea.

Learn the common causes of morning dizziness and how to manage those conditions. And call your doctor if you feel dizzy regularly, or if you feel like the room is spinning after you get out of bed.

Many kinds of medicine can cause dizziness -- in the morning or at other times. Among them are antidepressants, anti-seizure drugs, blood pressure medications, allergy medicines, prostate drugs, and sedatives.

Talk to your doctor or pharmacist if you suspect one of your medications is causing you to feel dizzy. That can be a sign you need to make adjustments to the dose or the type of drug.

If you don't drink enough fluids, or the right fluids, you can become dehydrated. Too much alcohol or caffeine can leave you dehydrated. Too little fluid in your system makes it hard for your brain and body to work right, which can lead to dizziness.

Of course, you can't drink water in your sleep. But, if you skimp on water and other liquids for several hours before bedtime, you might be especially dehydrated in the morning. Certain medications, like heart medicine, put you at an even higher risk of dehydration.

If you also feel confused, thirsty, and don't need to pee when you wake up, you could be dehydrated. Drink some water. And make sure you get enough fluids during the day to help you avoid morning dizziness from dehydration.

When you have heart failure, it means your heart isn't pumping blood around your body as well as it should. When it's severe, your heart can't handle the natural drop in blood pressure when you stand up. As a result, you can get dizzy.

People with heart failure are also often taking a lot of medicines for their condition, including blood pressure pills and diuretics. The medicine can add problems with dizziness.

Sleep apnea is a condition that causes you to stop breathing for several seconds at a time throughout the night. That lowers the amount of oxygen in your blood, which can make you dizzy.

Sleep apnea also makes it hard to get good quality sleep. When you're sleep-deprived, you may feel weak, shaky, or like you don't have your balance.

If you're often dizzy in the morning and you snore, or if you feel exhausted after what should have been a good night's sleep, talk to your doctor about a test for sleep apnea.

Low blood sugar (hypoglycemia) can cause hormonal and chemical changes in your body that may make you feel shaky or dizzy in the morning.

People with diabetes who take insulin or sulfonylurea drugs have a high risk of low blood sugar. But you don't have to have diabetes to have low blood sugar from time to time. Some other causes include medications, drinking alcohol without eating, and other health conditions such as severe liver disease.

Most of the time, morning dizziness isn't the only sign of low blood sugar. You might also feel confused or sweat heavily. You can raise your blood sugar by eating or drinking something that contains sugar, such as orange juice.

Canals in your inner ear help you keep your balance. If you damage your inner ear, it can throw you off balance and make you feel dizzy or feel like the room is spinning. That's called vertigo.

That dizzy feeling can come at any time. It typically happens when you change positions from lying down to sitting or standing, like when you get up in the morning.

If you have vertigo, you might also feel nauseated or throw up. The condition isn't serious and often goes away on its own. If not, a doctor, physical therapist, or audiologist can guide you through a series of movements that will restore the balance in your ears.