What causes my head to shake?

Do you ever feel like your head has a mind of its own, shaking uncontrollably when all you want is some peace and quiet? Well, congratulations! You’re not alone. In fact, there are many reasons why our noggins start wobbling like a bobblehead on crack.

The Shakes Can Take Many Forms

Before we get into the nitty-gritty of what causes our heads to shake, let’s take a moment to appreciate the variety of shakes out there. From mild trembles to full-on seizures that would make Elvis jealous (assuming he’s still alive), our brains can shake it up in many ways:

  • Essential tremors
  • Parkinson’s disease
  • Multiple sclerosis
  • Alcohol withdrawal tremors
  • Caffeine overdose jitters
  • Anxiety-induced shakes

No two head-shake experiences are alike – just like snowflakes or fingerprints… except slightly less unique.

Essential Tremors: When Your Brain Goes Full Earthquake Mode

Are you finding yourself having an essential need for your coffee cup holders or spilling food from forks at dinner times? Then essential tremors may be your elixir. These pesky little twitches tend to appear as we age and mainly occur in either hand but it could happen anywhere where muscles exist. It means the neurons firing off inside our noggin aren’t playing nice with each other and causing uncontrolled shaking motions.

Pro-tip: If anybody tells you they’ve never had an essential tremor or seen somebody with one, they’re lying – because literally every human being who lives beyond their 50s faces this challenge.

But hold onto your hats folks; essential doesn’t mean necessary, no more than “vanilla” makes ice cream taste better!

When Did You Start Shaking?

If you notice that one morning after waking up your hands are making your toast disappear faster than normal, take a closer look at when the tremors started. If it’s been months or years since you first noticed them, then it could very well be essential tremors.

Fun fact: Essential Tremor is hereditary in nature and can skip generations (just like intelligence). So if grandma had shaky legs after her morning coffee too, don’t panic!

What Can You Do About It?

Unfortunately, there isn’t a cure for essential tremors. But that doesn’t mean all hope is lost; here are some things you can do to handle these head-shaking jitters:

  • Reduce caffeine intake
  • Relaxation techniques like meditation
  • Wear weights on your wrist or ankle (look out weight-lifting enthusiasts!)
  • Medications such as beta-blockers and anti-seizure drugs
  • Deep Brain Stimulation surgery – in rare cases

So long as the shaking doesn’t interfere with your daily life and activities of natural living – eat sleep work repeat routine– consider yourself lucky!

Parkinson’s Disease: When Your Brain Quivers To Its Own Beat

Parkinson’s disease tends to appear later in life (after 60) more often than not although it mainly characterized by motor difficulties such as stiffness shuffling gait etc its noticeable because of body shakes called “pill rolling” where an individual seems to be rubbing two fingers together constantly.

Hot tip: Contrary to popular belief about those with Parkinson’s disease being unsteady while walking all thanks to their bobbing heads & sloppy movements people with parkinsons can walk better backwards.. amazed? Me too!

If you suspect that you may have this frustrating condition causing earth quakey quivers inside your noggin… get thee’ overhauled by a neurologist immediately.

Why Are We Shivering All Over?

The root cause of Parkinson’s disease lies in the depletion of dopamine-producing cells located in the midbrain. Without proper levels of this chemical messenger, our brain becomes a hotbed of miscommunication resulting in some major shaking.

Interesting fact: Parkinson’s disease takes its name from James Parkinson who described the first clinical description of ‘shaking palsy’… that was his own way to call it guys!

How Do You Shake The Shakiness Away?

While there isn’t an actual cure for Parkinson’s Disease either, a combination of medications and therapy can help alleviate symptoms:

  • Levodopa medication
  • Carbidopa & levodopa
  • Apomorphine (injections)
  • Physical therapy or speech therapy

It is vital to have early diagnosis and treatment not just for your health but also so you don’t cause unintentional distractions during peace & quiet moments particularly at religious congregations….

Multiple Sclerosis: When Your Immune System Turns Against You

When white blood cells start invading our brain tissues instead of attacking viruses like they’re supposed to, we get “Multiple Sclerosis”or MS termed by us nerds-in-white as ‘the great imitator’.

With MS – the bundle nerve fibres running throughout body act surprised when faced with immune attack randomly interrupting their communication process by fatiguing making things harder than necessary….lol typical humans!

Are We Vibrating Like A Phone?

Symptoms include muscle weakness or spasms that result in jerky movements like shivering. Patients may experience tremors so severe that they are unable even hold onto something without letting go eventually ..sorry! Highfive anyone? nope okay..

Pro-tip: Just because someone has trembling muscles does not necessarily mean it’s due to MS – keep calm especially if occurring aids walking mobility.

Alcohol Withdrawal Tremors: T-Minus “H” Hour

Here’s one more reason why alcohol won’t do us any favors; once dependent on it our brain becomes used to it and starts expecting the dose everyday, so when we abruptly stop or decrease consumption volume – the brains cells get confused resulting in unintentional swaying motions..

Well, since no one would imagine life without their beloved stimulus elements covid environment is here to take all credits for making booze as essential good its recognition deserve!

When Are We Drinking Too Much?

If you notice that your hands are shaking uncontrollably within a few hours of stopping or decreasing your alcohol intake, then chances are it’s due to withdrawal tremors – in which case, our sincere yet somewhat heartless recommendation is don’t do too much at once.

Pro-tip: Don’t go cold turkey on alcohol if you’ve been drinking heavily. It can be dangerous (especially people battling other psychological battles) consult medical professionals before starting detox programmes

Caffeine Overdose Jitters: Buzzing Like A Bee

What cups us up every morning could also theoretically shake us up this hard … Be careful with those cappuccinos woyzers! People who seem addicted likely suffer from caffeine overdose symptoms such as increased anxiety impaired sleep quality muscle twitches naturally including salivation jolts ‘jollllts’.

Does Your Head Shake On Its Own?

The natural stimulant found in coffee acts directly on the central nervous system (CNS) causing “funny neurological effects” like shaky hands and head.

Pro-tip: Coffee may not be serious with words but what it lacks there is compensated well with mood elevating chemicals which sometines trumps cigarettes incase y’all wondering…

Anxiety-induced Shakes: When Our Brain Just Can’t Handle The Pressure

We’re living through some tough times right now thanks to pandemic related stress & restrictions ultimately triggering anxiety induced shakes! Due to over-active fight-or-flight response – secretion of adrenaline creates physical sensations like trembling arms sweaty palms and jelly beans for legs.

Let’s Talk About Anxiety

Anxiety can lead to heightened stress, depression and a whole host of other nasties. It could stem from work pressure or life uncertainties – therapy would be ideal in such cases!


Who knew shaking our heads like we’re at a metal concert could mean so many drastically different things? From essential tremors to multiple sclerosis, alcohol tremors raring its head time and again caffeine jitters anxiety-induced fears – the list goes on. But one thing every human being must remember is that they’re never alone – so when your body decides to perform it next unscheduled dance party do the hustle away!

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