Possible causes of waking up dizzy include dehydration, ear infections, low blood pressure, medication side effects, and more. The treatments for morning dizziness can depend on the cause.

Most people experience dizziness from time to time. Dizziness presents in different ways, but it can include:

  • feeling faint or lightheaded
  • feeling off-balance or disoriented
  • a sensation of spinning

Dizziness is often temporary and may not always have an apparent cause. However, regularly waking up feeling dizzy or off-balance may be a symptom of an underlying condition.

In this article, we discuss the possible causes of waking up dizzy, prevention tips, and when to see a doctor.

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People who are dehydrated during the night can sometimes wake up feeling dizzy or off-balance. Other signs of dehydration can include:

Reasons for waking up dehydrated can include:

  • not drinking enough fluids during the day
  • sleeping in a hot environment
  • excessive alcohol consumption
  • illnesses that cause vomiting and diarrhea
  • taking medications that cause a person to urinate more
  • drinking too many caffeinated beverages, which make a person urinate more

Low blood pressure, or hypotension, can cause dizziness in some people.

Blood pressure can also suddenly fall when a person changes from a lying or sitting position to a standing position, for example, when they get out of bed in the morning. This sudden drop in blood pressure is called postural or orthostatic hypotension.

Symptoms of postural hypotension can include:

Low blood pressure can sometimes be a symptom of another condition, such as Parkinson’s disease or Addison’s disease. Prolonged bed rest and certain medications, such as beta-blockers, can also cause low blood pressure.

For people who experience postural hypotension, standing up or getting out of bed slowly and gradually can help prevent dizziness or fainting. Wearing compression stockings during the day may also help some people.

If a medication is causing low blood pressure, a doctor may recommend changing the dosage or switching to another drug. Treating any underlying conditions can also help prevent symptoms of low blood pressure.

Early morning dizziness can be a symptom of low blood sugar, or hypoglycemia. Low blood sugar is more common in people with diabetes, particularly those who take insulin.

In people with diabetes, causes of low blood sugar can include:

Symptoms of low blood sugar can include:

  • shakiness or trembling
  • headaches
  • fatigue
  • blurred vision
  • difficulty concentrating or confusion
  • excessive sweating

However, anyone can experience low blood sugar, and there may not always be an obvious cause. People who regularly experience symptoms of low blood sugar should see a doctor.

Labyrinthitis is a viral or bacterial infection of the inner ear that can lead to dizziness. The infection causes inflammation of the delicate structures of the inner ear, or labyrinth, which play an important role in maintaining a person’s balance.

Labyrinthitis can sometimes make it difficult for a person to stand up or stay upright, particularly when getting out of bed.

Other symptoms of labyrinthitis can include:

Labyrinthitis is most commonly due to a viral infection and often occurs following a cold or the flu. Treatment typically involves rest and drinking plenty of fluids.

For people with more severe symptoms, a doctor may recommend medications to reduce dizziness and nausea. They may also prescribe an antibiotic if the cause is a bacterial infection.

Some medications can cause dizziness as a side effect. These medications may include:

A person should speak with their doctor if they are taking a medication that they think is causing morning dizziness. The doctor may recommend changing the dosage or switching to a different treatment.

Obstructive sleep apnea (OSA) is a sleep disorder that can sometimes cause morning dizziness. OSA occurs when a person’s breathing is repeatedly interrupted or blocked during sleep. These interruptions disrupt sleep and can affect oxygen levels in the blood.

Other symptoms of OSA can include:

  • loud snoring and gasping while sleeping
  • needing to urinate more frequently during the night
  • dry mouth and headaches in the morning
  • concentration and memory difficulties
  • excessive fatigue during the day

In the long term, OSA may increase a person’s risk of developing several chronic conditions, such as heart problems, diabetes, and asthma.

People with symptoms of OSA should see a doctor for an evaluation. Depending on the underlying cause of a person’s OSA, treatment options can include lifestyle interventions, wearing a breathing device at night, and surgery.

Some lifestyle interventions may help prevent or reduce morning dizziness or feeling off-balance. Healthcare professionals may recommend:

People who occasionally wake up dizzy or off-balance are unlikely to need medical care. However, people who regularly experience morning dizziness should speak with a doctor.

It is also important to consult a doctor if other concerning symptoms accompany the dizziness. A person should seek immediate medical attention if dizziness occurs along with:

Most people experience dizziness occasionally, and it is usually not a cause for concern. However, regularly waking up feeling dizzy may indicate an underlying condition.

Possible causes of dizziness can include dehydration, ear infections, low blood pressure, and medication side effects.

People who regularly wake up feeling dizzy or experience other concerning symptoms alongside the dizziness should see a doctor.