Reasons You Could Be Waking Up with a Migraine

A few years ago, I started having a lot of pain—headaches, neck and shoulder pain, teeth clenching, and trouble sleeping. I went to several doctors, but no one seemed to be able to pinpoint the source of my problems. Finally, I decided it was time to treat myself as if I were one of my own patients.

It was through this process that I discovered the source of my pain and issues – allowing me to take control of my life and feel great again.  Headaches, including severe migraines, can be experienced due to a number of factors.  However, I’ve found, in treating hundreds of patients, that many of these migraines and headaches can often be traced back to the following reasons:

  1. Your Jaw. You are probably familiar with the term TMJ, which stands for temporomandibular joint – it’s the “hinge” that connects your jaw to your skull. When a person experiences pain or tenderness in the jaw area, they are actually suffering from what is known as temporomandibular disorder, or TMD. There is a strong association between tension headaches and jaw problems – yet, many patients are unaware of the jaw dysfunction and only notice the headaches.


  1. Your Teeth. As a part of TMJ, many individuals may unknowingly clench or grind their teeth at night, a condition known as bruxism. Bruxism can lead to frequent headaches and even migraines because of the chronic pressure that is applied to the bones and muscles. That pain can migrate to the neck, shoulders, and back.


  1. Your Snoring. Or might I add, the snoring of your partner! Your sleeping, or the lack thereof, can very much be a factor in headaches you’re experiencing.  Many assume snoring is just natural for some individuals, or a natural development with age.  However, snoring is an indicator of your body not functioning and breathing as it should.  Sleep Disordered Breathing and Obstructive Sleep Apnea cause hypoxia, a decrease in the level of oxygen, which eventually changes the vasculature inside the brain which can cause headaches.


  1. Your Leaky Gut – It’s true!  What’s going on in your gut can have a dramatic effect on your head.  As you can probably imagine, environmental toxins, bacteria, processed foods, stress, or medications can irritate your gut. These irritants can cause tiny pinpricks in the lining of the small intestine, and as a result, undigested food, bacteria, and toxins can leak through the intestinal wall and enter the bloodstream. When bacteria and toxins escape the intestines and enter the bloodstream, they cause widespread inflammation – which can cause chronic illnesses.

If you’re experiencing repeated headaches or migraines, there is a reason for it.  Understanding the cause can be can seem overwhelming – there could be a number of reasons!  Consider some of the factors I’ve listed and visit with an experienced physician who specializes in TMD, craniofacial pain and sleeping disorders – you may find the silver bullet to your pain!  Contact me today regarding any questions you may have by emailing/calling/visiting