Have you been waking up to pounding headaches in the morning? Many people may not know this, but obstructive sleep apnea could actually be causing your morning headaches. Experiencing morning headaches is commonly associated with sleep apnea. Continue reading to find out why sleep apnea can cause morning headaches and a few tips to help provide relief from those headaches!
What is a Sleep Apnea Headache?
A sleep apnea headache occurs in the morning directly after waking up. Generally, these headaches don’t last longer than 30 minutes but sometimes they can last several hours. Sleep apnea headaches feel like a pressing or pounding pain on both sides of the head. These symptoms can be very similar to a migraine, though with sleep apnea headaches you don’t typically experience nausea or sensitivity to light and/or sound.
- Age – The likelihood of sleep apnea headaches increases as we get older.
- Family History – A history of headaches and sleep apnea can increase the risk of developing sleep apnea headaches.
- Smoking and Alcohol Consumption – Smoking and drinking alcohol can irritate the airways and relax the muscles, which can increase symptoms of sleep apnea.
- Obesity – Individuals with obesity can have worsened symptoms of sleep apnea which can include sleep apnea headaches.
- Being Female – Women are more likely to experience sleep apnea headaches.
What Causes Sleep Apnea Headaches?
Individuals that suffer from sleep apnea can experience moments throughout the night while asleep where they stop breathing or have trouble breathing. The breathing issues that come along with sleep apnea can decrease the amount of oxygen that your body is breathing in. When sleep apnea symptoms occur repeatedly, air can get trapped in the lungs, which can increase the levels of carbon dioxide in the body. This oxygen deprivation plus the high levels of carbon dioxide can cause sleep apnea headaches.
The best way to treat sleep apnea headaches is to treat the main root of the problem, which is sleep apnea. When you are treating your sleep apnea correctly, your morning headache symptoms will reduce greatly. One of the most common and effective forms of treatment is CPAP therapy. CPAP therapy utilizes a CPAP machine that uses air pressure to keep the airways open. For more information about CPAP therapy, diagnosis and treatment, visit our website!
Morning headaches can be frustrating and can disrupt our everyday activities. It is important to understand what is causing these headaches so you can treat them correctly and effectively. If you are experiencing headaches that might be related to sleep apnea, contact us, we are here to help you get the answers that you have been looking for!