Why do I feel dizzy when I wake up? Exploring the Link Between Sleep and Dizziness 

Uncover the reasons behind your morning dizziness, from vertigo to dehydration. Explore insights to enhance your sleep health and overall well-being. 


Do you find yourself feeling dizzy when you wake up? You may not be alone. In fact, there are people who wake up and feel dizzy nearly every single day. But why do we feel this way? Is there a reason? Fortunately, there is, and we're going to explore the connection between sleep and dizziness.

In this article, we're going to discuss some of the various reasons why you may be feeling dizzy after you wake up. From vertigo to dehydration to even sleep apnea, we're going to uncover nearly every potential connection to help you get a better idea of what might be the reason for your dizziness.

You May Be Experiencing Vertigo

One of the first reasons why you might feel dizzy when you wake up is vertigo, specifically benign paroxysmal vertigo (BBPV). BBPV can actually cause vertigo whenever you change your head position, when you roll over, or even tilt your head back. Even though they can be short, these episodes can be very intense.

One study conducted on night shift workers in a hospital actually showed that they felt dizzy upon waking due to this condition. Their abnormal sleep and poor sleep hygiene led them to experience BBPV, leaving them dizzy, as it is one of the common symptoms of the condition. So, if you’re a night-shift worker and experience dizziness when you wake up, this might be why!

Dehydration or Low Blood Pressure Could Be the Cause

If you feel dizzy upon waking but know that it is not due to night shifts that you have to work, dehydration and low blood pressure could also be a cause. When you are not hydrated appropriately, your blood sugar can drop, leading you to feel lightheaded or dizzy, and it is also common for this to happen after you wake up.

Because we don't go to sleep with the ability to hydrate ourselves, it is very important for us to be hydrated before we go to sleep so we can avoid headaches and other unpleasant feelings upon waking up. The best way to counteract dehydration or low blood pressure that can cause dizziness is to make sure you're hydrated. Drink enough water throughout the day and when you first wake up in the morning to get your day started on the right foot (Source: Harvard Health Publishing). 

You May Have Low Blood Sugar

Alternatively, low blood sugar can also cause you to feel lightheaded or dizzy upon waking up. If you have diabetes, you likely know this to be true because this is a common symptom that you deal with on a regular basis. You may also feel dizzy, especially if you don't have diabetes, due to drinking alcohol, which can cause low blood sugar too. 

In many cases, it can be very difficult to overcome this dizziness. So, it's important to be mindful of staying hydrated and ensuring that you get enough nutrients so you can avoid the feelings of dizziness, whether you have diabetes or simply go out for a drink with friends.

Medication Could Be Making You Dizzy

Contrary to what you might believe, your medication may also be causing dizziness when you wake up. Some medications can actually cause a sense of lightheadedness from time to time, especially after waking up either from a nap or when you get up in the morning. Whether you are on immunosuppressant drugs or antibiotics, many of these drugs can actually cause dizziness.

With so many medications potentially causing dizziness upon waking up, it's important to stay hydrated and eat a balanced diet to help counteract some of the effects of the medication. In many cases, you'll be able to support your sleep health while also ensuring you can stay on the medication that you are required to. Otherwise, if you can, finding an alternative with the help of a doctor can ensure that you find the right medication for you while also ensuring you get the best sleep possible! 

Sleep Apnea Can Cause Dizziness

Another reason why you may feel dizzy when you wake up is sleep apnea. If you have been diagnosed with sleep apnea, you may suffer from dizziness upon waking up because of the lack of oxygen in your blood. There are a few reasons why this makes you feel dizzy. 

Sleep apnea causes you to not breathe for a few seconds at a time when you are sleeping and can often occur over several cycles throughout the night. This means that you not only suffer from poor sleep quality but also have less oxygen in the blood, which is definitely an issue that can cause you to feel unpleasant when you wake up.

Poor Sleep Quality 

A final reason why you may feel dizzy upon waking up is because you ultimately have poor sleep quality. If none of the other causes that we've discussed align with your situation, you could just be suffering from poor sleep quality. A study conducted on teachers showed that 22.9% of them suffered from dizziness, and 63.6% of them demonstrated poor sleep quality (Source: International Archives of Otorhinolaryngology). Even if you're not a teacher, there is a clear connection between poor sleep quality and dizziness. 

Final Thoughts on Sleep and Dizziness

Dizziness can be quite a drag when you wake up in the morning, but if you know what's causing it or the potential connections, you can make decisions and changes to help your sleep health improve. The more aware you are of why you feel dizzy, the more likely you are to feel better, not just when you go to bed but when you wake up and get ready for the day.


Written by

Marie Soukup

Marie Soukup is a seasoned copywriter, editor, and Integrative Nutrition Health Coach with a certificate from the Institute of Integrative Nutrition (IIN). With five years of experience working with brands across diverse industries, Marie is passionate about holistic health and crafting compelling content.

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