Waking up dizzy in the morning is a more common problem than you might think, and more often than not, it’s no cause for concern. However, it could be a sign of an underlying health concern. Morning dizziness is not usually a problem on its own but is often a side effect of something else.
Some contributors to waking up feeling dizzy every morning could be low blood pressure, dehydration, too much alcohol, ear infections, or sleep disorders such as sleep apnea.
Sometimes, if you wake up and get straight out of bed quickly, the sudden change in position can cause you to feel a bit lightheaded. This often has to do with a shift in fluid in the inner ear.
Also, illnesses such as flu, viruses, and sinus blockages can cause short-term dizziness. This is also linked to the inner ear becoming inflamed if an infection is present.
Waking Up Dizzy – Possible Causes
Let’s take a more in-depth look at the possible causes of waking up dizzy in the morning.
1. Substance Use
Everyone can relate to that feeling of waking up after a long night of drinking and feeling like everything in the room is spinning. Closing your eyes makes it worse. This is mainly linked to the dehydration you experience after a night on the pop.
2. Sleep Apnea
Sleep apnea or obstructive sleep apnea can be common symptoms related to morning dizziness. Sleep apnea is a breathing condition that occurs while asleep, which can mean your airways become blocked, causing breathing to stop and start inconsistently. In some cases, this can be life-threatening and will need to be discussed with a sleep expert in person to get an accurate diagnosis.
Because of the disruption in breathing patterns, it’s not surprising how this can leave you feeling lightheaded the following morning.
Symptoms to look out for include, but aren’t limited to:
- Waking up with a dry mouth
- Difficulty focusing throughout the day
- Gasping for breath in the night
If you share a bed with someone else, they will likely know about your sleep apnea before you do. If you’re concerned, ask your partner if they’ve noticed unusual breathing patterns. At the same time, you’re asleep and ask them to monitor it for a few nights or even keep a diary that you can present to your sleep physician.
People who have ever suffered from labyrinthitis or vertigo can only explain it as a feeling of being inebriated. The room feels like it’s spinning, and when you stand up or get out of bed, you can think that you’re about to fall over, almost like a complete loss of balance.
Vertigo, or labyrinthitis, is caused by an infection in the inner ear that usually occurs alongside a cold, flu, or virus. Rest and drinking plenty of fluids are recommended. However, you must seek advice from your doctor as soon as possible if the infection warrants antibiotics.
Labyrinthitis is likely to feel a lot more intense than general morning dizziness, and other symptoms include:
- Loss of balance
- Blurred vision
- The inability to stand upright
- Ringing in the ears
Anemia is a condition that arises as a result of low iron, which means you’re lacking in red blood cells, the ones our bodies use to fight infections. It can mean that you’re left with a lack of oxygen, which can, in turn, leave you feeling fatigued and dizzy and can also cause heart palpitations.
A quick blood test will tell your doctor if you’re anemic, and iron tablets will be prescribed to correct the imbalance.
5. Low Blood Pressure
Low blood pressure can occur for several reasons, and one of the side effects is waking up in the morning feeling dizzy.
Conditions such as Parkinson’s, anemia, heart disease, and stress can contribute to low blood pressure and elements such as diet, pregnancy, or injury.
There are some aids you can purchase for us at home, such as compression socks which can help with the feeling of dizziness in the morning caused by low blood pressure. However, you’ll need to consider speaking with your doctor and controlling the underlying condition.
6. Poor Circulation
Poor circulation means your blood isn’t moving around the body quite as it should. It means your body isn’t receiving the correct amount of oxygen it needs to function. This includes the brain; if the brain lacks oxygen, movements such as standing up or getting out of bed in the morning can cause you to be dizzy.
If poor circulation is left untreated and becomes severe, it can lead to conditions such as an irregular heartbeat, heart attack, or even heart failure.
If your fluid intake throughout the day is low, this can lead to you becoming dehydrated. At the same time, you sleep, which, in turn, can cause waking up feeling dizzy in the morning. This can be identified by waking up feeling thirsty, having headaches, and waking up with a dry mouth.
This is a simple one to fix, and there are plenty of things you can do can prevent this with practices such as:
- Drinking more water during the day (though not too late, that can cause you to wake up during the night needing to urinate).
- Drink less caffeine during the day.
- Speak with your doctor about any medications that could be causing you to urinate more than usual.
- Lower your alcohol consumption.
- Keep the temperature of your sleeping environment cool.
- Keep a glass of water by the bed.
Illness which causes vomiting and diarrhea, can also cause you to become dehydrated quickly, so if this is the case, ensure that you keep up your fluid intake.
8. Low Blood Sugar
Low blood sugar is a side effect associated with diabetes and people who rely on insulin. Low blood sugar can occur in these cases if you’ve miss-dosed your insulin, haven’t been sticking to your required diet, or have consumed too much alcohol. It can also happen if you’ve over-exerted yourself.
Signs you should be looking out for regarding low blood sugar can include:
- Blurred vision
- Sweating, overheating
- Lack of focus
Low sugar is not solely related to diabetes. It can also be linked to other health conditions and will call for a thorough examination from your doctor.
Many medications can cause several adverse side effects, with morning dizziness being just one of them. If you’ve recently started experiencing dizziness after waking up, which you think could be related to a new medication you’ve begun taking. Please speak to your doctor about the side effects to see if there is a different course of treatment you can take.
Some medications which have been shown to cause you to wake up feeling dizzy include:
- Antiviral medication
How to Prevent Morning Dizziness?
Once you have established the underlying cause of your morning dizziness, which is something that should have been discussed with your physician. There are a few things you can do at home to reduce that faint feeling when you wake up; these include:
- Reducing alcohol intake
- Looking after your diet, eating plenty of whole foods
- Reducing stress where possible
- Getting plenty of time outdoors
- Having a consistent sleep schedule
- Quitting smoking
- Staying hydrated throughout the day
- Avoiding caffeine in the evening
As we have seen, waking up feeling dizzy in the morning can be a direct result of many underlying health conditions. The effect of bad habits such as the overuse of caffeine, a bad diet, or an unstable sleeping regime.
You must first concentrate on ruling out any health issues and getting them controlled or medicated by speaking with your doctor or physician.
Many people who experience morning dizziness are often experiencing an inner infection, which can be highly disorientating, and massively affect your balance. In this case, plenty of fluids and rest are recommended, as well as a trip to your doctor for possible antibiotics to clear the infection. Doctors can also sometimes offer a medicine that can steady your balance and lessen the spinning feeling.
If you feel that the medication you have recently started taking is causing you to wake up in the morning feeling dizzy, then this is also an issue that should be raised with your doctor. There may be something they can do regarding switching your medication.