Are you waking up feeling as if your health just isn’t where it should be? Don’t ignore symptoms of illness, especially if they are heightened in the mornings. Here are five illnesses that can feel worse in the morning, according to experts. Read on—and to ensure your health and the health of others, don’t miss these Sure Signs You’ve Already Had COVID.
Feeling dizzy or lightheaded in the mornings could be a sign of low blood pressure. «Your blood tends to pool in your trunk when you lay down,» says audiologist Julie Honaker, PhD. «When you get up, the blood then heads to your legs and abdomen, causing a drop in blood pressure. «Normally, the body can restore your blood pressure quickly. But when it happens too sluggishly, it’s called orthostatic hypotension, which can make you feel dizzy.»
Headaches in the morning could be caused by sleep disorders such as insomnia. «People with insomnia struggle to fall or stay asleep,» says Michael Breus, PhD. «Insomnia is associated with a higher risk of headaches. Sleep disturbances are reported to trigger migraines, and tension headaches are more likely to become chronic in people who experience poor sleep quality.»
Waking up tired could be a sign of sleep apnea, doctors say. «Sleep apnea is a problem with the upper airway, the part of the airway that runs from the voice box to the back of the throat,» says Aris Iatridis, MD, a pulmonologist and sleep medicine specialist at Piedmont Physicians Georgia Lung. «As they are lying in bed asleep, they start choking and the body starts to panic a little bit. Adrenaline kicks in, the chest starts to work, the heart starts beating faster, they wake up for two to three seconds, then their body goes back to sleep and they don’t remember a thing about it. Sleep apnea patients perceive that they go to bed, they lie in bed for eight hours and are fully asleep, they wake up the next morning and feel just as tired as they did the night before.»
Feeling nauseous in the mornings could be a sign of low blood sugar. «People with diabetes may experience nausea in the morning,» says Diana Gariglio-Clelland, RD. «Why? Diabetic patients may experience hypoglycemia, or low blood sugar levels, in the morning due to too much long-acting insulin. And this can, therefore, lead to nausea.»
Muscle pain in the morning could be a sign of fibromyalgia. «Anyone can feel a pinprick to a small extent, but a person with fibromyalgia may feel it amplified,» says Dr. Elizabeth Volkmann, assistant professor of medicine in the division of Rheumatology at UCLA. «We look for pain in specific parts of the body: discrete areas, not like soft tissue swelling over a joint. We usually pinpoint muscle areas: 18 points throughout the body.»