To the Editor.—
The question by Dr Wagshul (1982;247:1883) regarding a patient in whom early morning bilateral headaches develop only if he returns to sleep after awakening, and the excellent answer by Dr Donald Dalessio calls to mind another explanation for early morning headaches, as first reported in The Journal ten years ago as "turtle headache."1 Turtle headache occurs on awakening, characteristically in a patient who, desiring to return to sleep and finding the daylight a nuisance, pulls the bed covers over his head or retracts his head beneath the blankets. On awakening for the second time, he has bilateral, often generalized, headache, which is probably of the hypoxic type.2It is typical of turtle headache that it occurs only under the circumstances described by Dr Wagshul: Headache develops only if the patient returns to sleep after having awakened. Specific questioning might disclose the turtle habit. It has
Gilbert GJ. Turtle Headaches. JAMA. 1982;248(8):921. doi:10.1001/jama.1982.03330080011004
Customize your JAMA Network experience by selecting one or more topics from the list below.
Create a personal account or sign in to: