Insomnia and Headache With Febrile Illness

Q: I am a 19 year old male and I weigh 160 pounds. I haven’t slept for two days. After I got some sleep, I woke up with a severe headache that has been persisting for about a day. I took ibuprofen and that seemed to help my situation. The highest temperature I’ve had, was 101 degrees Fahrenheit. What are the most effective ways to relieve sleep deprivation headache?
-By Ace

Reply:

Headache Due to Flu-like Infection

One cause of your headache could be the infective process going on in your body, which is giving you fever.

It is very common for infections like flu, sore throat, sinusitis etc. to give headaches. Such headaches get better as the infection subsides. Meanwhile, pain relievers may be taken for symptomatic relief.

Do you have any other symptom- like running nose, congestion, throat pain or anything else?

Risk of Meningitis

Sometimes, infections may climb up from the throat to reach the meninges (covering layer of the brain). This could be a serious complication.

So any headache with fever should be watched for the following signs:

  • Progressive headache, not getting relieved by any means.
  • Stiffness in neck
  • Nausea or vomiting
  • Irritation by bright lights
  • Neck pain
  • Feeling very weak or lethargic

Any of these symptom could be suggestive of meningitis and needs immediate attention. One is required to go to the doctor at the earliest.

Headaches Due to Inadequate Sleep

Another possibility would be that your headache has a psychogenic origin. whether it is a tension headache or sleep deprivation headache, the category is basically the same.

Sometimes we are stressed up or thinking about some problem. This interferes with sleep.

Such headaches are typically dull and persistent. You may feel them all the time. They are felt as a pressure on the forehead or the sides over the ears. Occasionally, they may become sharp.

You may read about managing headaches due to inadequate sleep here.

If still your headaches don’t improve, you may require some anti-anxiety medication. These are prescription drugs given after examining the patient. You may take them for some time to get relief.

Take Care,

Buddy M.D.