Hypnic headache

Sat, Oct 10, 2009

HypnicHeadacheSleep Disorders

Hypnic headaches mostly strike the elderly people, age 50 and over. 

Hypnic headaches is divided into the following types:

  • moderate
  • throbbing
  • bilateral
  • unilateral

Unilateral hypnic headache

  • This type of hipnic headache wakes the person once or many times during night
  • This headache starts a few hours after sleep begins and can last from 15 min to 3 hors or longer
  • There is normally no nausea, photophobia, phonophobia or autonomic symptoms associated with the headache
  • Hypnic headache commonly occur at the same time every night possibly linking the headaches with circadian rhythm, but polysomnography has recently suggests that hypnic headaches may be linked to REM sleep


  • Lithium carbonate 200-600 mg at bedtime is an effect treatment for most patients.  
  • For those people who can not tolerate Lithium, Verapamil, indomethacin or methylsergilide may be tried
  • Two patients have also responded to flunarizine 5 mg
  • It has also been shown that 1-2 cups of coffee ortrikes 1-2 mg of caffeine before bed can prevent hypnic headaches.

How hypnic headache is diagnosed?

  • Hypnic headache syndrome s diagnosed when it s at least 15 times per month for at least one month
  • Differential diagnosis of hypnic headaches in the elderly people are also identified by one or a few of the following causes:
    • drug withdrawal
    • temporal arteritis
    • sleep apnea
    • oxygen desaturated
    • pheochomatoma
    • intracranial causes
    • primary and secondary neoplasms
    • communicating hydrocephalus
    • subdural hematoma
    • vascular lesions
    • migraines
    • cluster headaches
    • chronic paroxysmal hemicrania.
  • All other causes must be ruled out before the diagnosis of hypnic headache can be made. (Wikipedia)

Watch Vide: How to Reduce & Relieve Headaches

Learn how to do scalp calisthenics, or a scalp massage, to relieve headaches with expert medical tips in this free online headache relief video clip. Expert: Dr. Susan Jewell is a trained doctor and scientist in clinical research medicine:

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