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Late night cycling and early morning headaches

Posted: 1 Apr 2019, 10:42am
by lazylegs55
Hi Everyone,
Just a question about night time cycling, i tend to do a lot of cycling to and from work (roughly 16k either way) and when i work a late shift i find that upon waking i tend to have a dull headache that takes a few hours to go even after taking on plenty of water during the previous evening and during the morning.
I was thinking of taking an electrolyte before my night time ride home but am unsure as to the timing of this supplementation or if this will make any difference to the morning headaches, hoping someone else here can give me any advise on this.

Thanks for reading/advising on this :)

P.s i'll be at work in an hour or so, so apologies if i can't reply until later on.

Thanks again .

Re: Late night cycling and early morning headaches

Posted: 1 Apr 2019, 4:54pm
by 531colin
Get your blood pressure checked.
Shift working is stressful, and peak blood pressure is generally first thing in the morning (diurnal variation in blood pressure)
You don't say if you get similar headaches if you commute NOT on your bike; the cycling may or may not be completely irrelevant, but that's not where I would start, I would start with a simple blood pressure check.

Re: Late night cycling and early morning headaches

Posted: 2 Apr 2019, 8:30pm
by brynpoeth
I think my digestion slows down too much in the night sometimes, I sleep through and get a headache
To avoid this I drink a lot of water/tea, maybe too much, have to get up for a pee in the night but that is much better than getting a headache
Try to eat early if possible

Re: Late night cycling and early morning headaches

Posted: 3 Apr 2019, 9:42am
by Audax67
I get something like this if I'm out to a meeting or similar in the evening and just have my usual light meal before going. If I'm out to a dinner I don't get it. The symptoms are very like a hangover. Back when I was on the regional FFCT committee we had some champion wafflers who kept us back pretty late: the hangover could be crushing.

I am on metformin, however, which inhibits the release of glycogen reserves from the liver, so I reckon that some secondary metabolic gubbins is kicking in and its waste products are mildly toxic.

Re: Late night cycling and early morning headaches

Posted: 13 Apr 2019, 1:19pm
by lazylegs55
Hi, Thanks to everyone and apologies for the late reply.

531colin wrote:Get your blood pressure checked.
Shift working is stressful, and peak blood pressure is generally first thing in the morning (diurnal variation in blood pressure)
You don't say if you get similar headaches if you commute NOT on your bike; the cycling may or may not be completely irrelevant, but that's not where I would start, I would start with a simple blood pressure check.


With regards to BP i have had mine checked recently and it showed no signs of being to high or low (checked once at Dr's and also a recent health screen at work), also i use a health tracking watch and although i'm doubtful as to it's accuracy i feel it's close enough. Maybe i'm just not getting enough hydration during the evening. Thanks all the same though :)

Audax67 wrote:I get something like this if I'm out to a meeting or similar in the evening and just have my usual light meal before going. If I'm out to a dinner I don't get it. The symptoms are very like a hangover. Back when I was on the regional FFCT committee we had some champion wafflers who kept us back pretty late: the hangover could be crushing.

I am on metformin, however, which inhibits the release of glycogen reserves from the liver, so I reckon that some secondary metabolic gubbins is kicking in and its waste products are mildly toxic.


This seems similar to what i'm experiencing, i get a half hour break 90 mins before i cycle home and tend to eat the 2nd half of my lunch at this time normally a sandwich (2 rounds of wholemeal bread and filling, and maybe a piece of fruit if i haven't eaten it at my 10 min break earlier on). Perhaps i am not getting enough carbs in before the ride.

brynpoeth wrote:I think my digestion slows down too much in the night sometimes, I sleep through and get a headache
To avoid this I drink a lot of water/tea, maybe too much, have to get up for a pee in the night but that is much better than getting a headache
Try to eat early if possible


As mentioned in the above i tend to eat about half of my lunch at about 8:30, i also try and keep fairly well hydrated during the course of the day (without feeling/sounding like a water balloon :D) One thing i have noticed the last few times is if i have a glass of milk before sleep i tend to not get the headaches or at least not as bad, might be that im low on calcium ?

Anyway thanks again for all of your replies :)

Re: Late night cycling and early morning headaches

Posted: 13 Apr 2019, 8:30pm
by gbnz
lazylegs55 wrote: One thing i have noticed the last few times is if i have a glass of milk before sleep i tend to not get the headaches or at least not as bad, might be that im low on calcium ?)


It could be a simple dehydration issue. Milk is often advised for dehydration issues, something to do with it being absorbed more easily / to a greater extent than plain water. And I routinely find headache type issues are due to dehydration.

As a one off, it could be worth trying one of the rehydration type products from Boots et al, which prove/disprove a dehydration issue.

What sort of temperature is your work enviornment held at? (Nb. Or does your role entail physical work)

Re: Late night cycling and early morning headaches

Posted: 17 Apr 2019, 8:48am
by lazylegs55
Thanks for the reply, i'll try out one of the re hydration products and see how i get on with them. As to working temp i'm guessing its around 20 - 24 deg C one other thing is that i'm on my feet for 8 hours of the shift not sure that this would affect hydration levels though (this is just a FYI).

Thanks again.