Waking up feeling dizzy can be a frightening and disorientating experience, especially if it’s happening for the first time. But even though some occasional dizziness is completely normal, things get even scarier when dizziness becomes a daily occurrence. In fact, morning dizziness might be a symptom of an underlying condition such as Benign Paroxysmal Positional Vertigo.
As a result, more and more people are wondering — why do I feel dizzy when I wake up? Fortunately, you don’t have to wonder for long, as this article will take an in-depth look in order to learn more about morning dizziness.
What Is Morning Dizziness?
Generally speaking, morning dizziness refers to a combination of feelings of weakness, light-headedness, faintness, wooziness, and unsteadiness. Therefore, dizziness is different from feeling nauseous or experiencing vertigo. Actually, some doctors believe that vertigo is a variant of dizziness that makes people feel like the room is spinning.
It’s important to mention that dizziness may vary from one person to another. For instance, while some could experience every feeling associated with dizziness, others could just feel weak or lightheaded when waking up. As such, you only need to experience one symptom in order to conclude that you suffer from morning dizziness.
Why Do I Feel Dizzy When I Wake Up: 7 Possible Causes
What’s interesting about dizziness is that it isn’t a disorder. Instead, dizziness is usually a symptom of other health problems or conditions. As an example, dysfunctions in the circulatory system or peripheral vestibular system can often cause morning dizziness. Additionally, some medications, recreational drugs, or even alcohol can increase the risk of dizziness.
Let’s check out a couple of these possible causes to get a better idea of why you might experience morning dizziness.
1. Low Blood Sugar
For it to work properly, your brain uses a sugar-like chemical called glucose, which gets converted into energy. As a matter of fact, each time you eat, your body transports glucose from your digestive system directly to your bloodstream and then to your brain.
Therefore, when you miss dinner, you’ll most likely experience morning dizziness the day after as your blood lacks the necessary glucose to allow your brain to function as it should.
When you are dehydrated, you lose blood volume, which makes your blood pressure drop and reduces the amount of oxygenated blood that your brain receives. Thus, you can experience dizziness when lying down or suddenly getting up. It’s worth mentioning that alcohol is a common factor in dehydration-related dizziness, so you should try to avoid excessive amounts of it.
Diabetes is an illness that impacts blood sugar levels. More specifically, people suffering from diabetes lack an enzyme whose purpose is to allow glucose to enter the bloodstream. As a result, they often experience fainting and dizziness.
4. Sleep Apnea
Anything that prevents you from breathing properly reduces the volume of oxygen that your brain receives, which might leave you woozy or dizzy. In fact, most people suffering from obstructive breathing disorders tend to wake up randomly during sleep feeling nausea and dizziness.
Although sleep apnea is a very common type of breathing obstruction, there are others, such as asthma, emphysema, and chronic bronchitis, that could cause dizziness.
5. Orthostatic Hypotension
Orthostatic hypotension is a disorder caused by poor brain irrigation due to insufficient blood flow. It usually occurs when you get up quickly after lying in bed or sitting down. Luckily, dizziness caused by orthostatic hypotension only lasts for a couple of seconds.
6. Benign Paroxysmal Positional Vertigo (BPPV)
BPPV is a condition of the peripheral vestibular system of our inner ear. To put it simply, it refers to the crystals that sit in your inner ear that can become detached due to head trauma or age-related degeneration. When that happens, your brain starts to receive signals regarding movement even though you are stationary.
So, if you are dealing with constant dizziness or vertigo, especially when rolling in bed or turning your head, you are most likely suffering from BPPV. It’s important to note that BPPV-related dizziness lasts anywhere between 15 and 20 seconds. Even worse, you might also experience fainting, vomiting, nausea, lightheadedness, and nystagmus.
Last but not least, when dizziness occurs in the morning of an important day, anxiety could be the main cause. If that’s the case, you might need to check with a psychiatrist, as he’ll be able to prescribe anti-anxiety medication.
What Should You Do About It?
There are a couple of things you can do to relieve or even prevent morning dizziness, depending on what’s causing it. From improving your sleep quality to reducing dehydration, the following tips should help you fight dizziness:
• If you are planning to have a couple of drinks in the evening, adopt a one-for-one strategy, alternating between alcohol and water. That way, you can lower the risk of dehydration, which, in turn, can prevent morning dizziness.
• In order to improve sleep quality, you should choose a mattress that can evenly distribute body weight, reducing pressure on your lower back, hips, and shoulders. Why? Because a high-quality mattress will improve circulation and help oxygenate your brain more effectively.
• Avoid excessive meals that cause spikes in your blood sugar. Additionally, try to include complex carbohydrates as part of your diet to regulate the sugar levels in your body.
• Exercising will promote blood flow and eventually prevent blood circulation-related dizziness. Not only that but physical therapy can also be a great way to fight morning dizziness and other disorders that could cause it.
When Should You Visit a Doctor?
Usually, morning dizziness is not caused by a serious disorder and will go away after some changes in your lifestyle. Yet, if you regularly experience dizziness when you wake up, you should contact a local doctor as soon as possible. Furthermore, you need to seek medical treatment if, besides dizziness, you also experience any of these symptoms:
• Breathing problems
• Double vision
• Chest pain
• Inconsistent heart rate
• Severe migraines
• Ongoing vomiting
• Speech problems
• Blurred vision
• Ear ringing