Instead of waking up and greeting the morning rested and ready to take on the world, you find yourself stumbling to the bathroom with dizziness and a groggy feeling in your head. You may even find yourself feeling the room spin as you take a shower, or needing a minute to clear your head as you brush your teeth. What’s going on when you wake up dizzy? And is there any way to make it go away?
What is dizziness?
Dizziness is actually not its own condition. Instead, dizziness is a symptom that something else is going on. It occurs as a feeling of lightheadedness, the room “spinning,” or a general feeling of being unbalanced. Dizziness can be accompanied by actually fainting or seizures. It places individuals who may have other health conditions or who are elderly at risk for falls.
Reasons for morning dizziness
There are many different possible causes for dizziness — from an underlying medical condition to medication to a long night of having too much fun. In general, however, morning dizziness is something that occasionally happens to a lot of people and isn’t a big cause for concern.
If you notice you’re dizzy in the morning right after you wake up, it could be just a result of the sudden change of balance as your body adjusts from a reclining position to a standing one. Dizziness can occur when the fluid in your inner ear shifts, so changing positions quickly could trigger it temporarily.
If you have a cold or sinus issues, you may notice the dizziness gets worse because you have excess fluid and swelling in your sinuses, which are linked to the inner ear.
Here are some other common issues that could lead to morning dizziness.
If you’ve been diagnosed with sleep apnea or have a partner who’s informed you that you snore a lot, your nighttime breathing patterns may be to blame for your morning dizziness. Sleep apnea is actually an obstructive breathing condition, which means you temporarily stop breathing at night if you have it. Those interruptions in breathing can lead to lower oxygen levels, which could cause dizziness in the morning when you wake up.
One of the most common causes for waking up with dizziness is actually dehydration. If you drink alcohol before bed, for example, you may be especially dehydrated when you wake up in the morning. Even if you don’t drink any alcohol, you may get dehydrated if you work in a hot environment, don’t drink enough liquids, take diuretics, drink a lot of caffeinated beverages, or sweat a lot.
Low blood sugar
Waking up dizzy in the morning could also be a sign that you have low blood sugar, so you’re dizzy before you eat any food in the morning. If you have diabetes and take insulin or other medications, you can become hypoglycemic in the morning if you don’t eat enough the night before or if your medication dose is too high.
You can be hypoglycemic even if you don’t have diabetes, too. If you regularly experience periods of dizziness, fatigue, or feeling sick and weak in between meals or snacks, talk to you doctor to be tested for hypoglycemia.
If you’re taking any regular medications, they may be the culprit behind your morning dizziness. Talk to your doctor about what side effects your current medications might have and if your prescribed medication is the cause. There may be a solution, like taking your medicine at a different time, that could help.
How to reduce morning dizziness
The most important thing you can do to reduce morning dizziness is to stay hydrated during the day. Even if you don’t feel thirsty, your body can still be at risk for getting dehydrated, especially if you have a very physically active job, if you work outside, or if you engage in a lot of intense exercise.
Aim for at least eight cups of water a day and more if you’re very active, pregnant, or are a type of person who tends to sweat a lot. Sweating will increase dehydration.
Avoid drinking alcohol, especially before bed, and drink a full glass of water before bed and after waking up before you even get out of bed. To make it convenient, you can keep a water glass or bottle right next to your bed to drink water first thing in the morning.
If these measures don’t work, you may have a medical condition that’s causing your dizziness. In this case, you should consult your doctor to try and determine the cause of your dizziness.
If you’re regularly waking up with dizziness, or having any regular episodes of dizziness throughout the day or all day, be sure to talk to your doctor to rule out any possible medical conditions that could be causing the dizziness. There are many conditions that could lead to dizziness, so it’s important to be tested if your dizziness doesn’t go away or if it’s happening every morning.