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Snoring & Sleep apnea

Sleep apnea and morning headaches

admin 172 views December 17, 2019

Starting your day on the wrong foot is never any good. The reasons can be many, especially a lack of sleep or morning headaches. Here we discuss “Does sleep apnea cause morning headaches?” and how to cope.

Sleep apnea and headaches symptoms

One study showed 35% of people complained of headaches, and 19% had daily morning headaches. Nearly 67% of that 19% were diagnosed with sleep apnea. Headache symptoms often become triggers of OSA, so links between headache and sleep apnea undoubtedly exist.

What’s more, people with chronic daily headaches tend to snore 2.5 times more than those who don’t. Those with obstructive sleep apnea and headaches symptoms often end up with insomnia, fragmented sleep and frequent awakening.

Does sleep apnea cause morning headaches?

If you awake with headaches and dizziness, you’re likely to have OSA. But does it work visa versa: can sleep apnea cause severe headaches? The answer is “yes”. Suffering from sleep apnea means your airway is partially or completely blocked during sleep. This leads to decreased oxygen to your brain and can put you at risk of high blood pressure, heart attack, stroke, and morning headache. 

Location of sleep apnea headache

Different triggers cause different headache types, and that’s why we may experience day long pain, episodical pain or pain in different parts of the head. Here are three common headache types:

  • Tension. Tension sleep apnea headache location is usually around your forehead, the back of the head and neck. It may be caused by muscle tension during low quality sleep. Can sleep apnea cause headaches and neck pain? Yes. 
  • Migraines. These are associated with the pain on one side of the head and throbbing or pulsing feelings. But often sleep apnea and migraine headaches are felt on both sides.
  • Cluster. Cluster headaches and sleep apnea accompanied by intense pain on one side of the head are often located behind or around the eye. It may last from between 30 minutes to 2 hours several times per week.

How to get rid of headaches?

Having an OSA headache demands serious treatment, and it’s better to start with a doctor’s consultation. The most common and effective sleep apnea headache relief is continuous positive airway pressure (CPAP)

As the main reason for headaches is the lack of oxygen to the brain because of obstructive breathing, CPAP works directly. It improves sleep and breathing quality, and decreases the frequency and intensity of headaches.

Changing your lifestyle, sleeping hygiene and tracking your sleep are needed. You may try using Goodsomnia Lab, for instance, to simplify this process and get to know more about your sleep. You just need to download this mobile application, use it every night and monitor sleep and snoring statistics in dynamics. In most cases, a doctor will have the expertise to get rid of sleep apnea headaches faster. 

Note, you should question yourself first “what does a sleep apnea headache feel like?” and if you know your body, you will know the answer.


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