22 Dec 2016

Are morning headaches one of the symptoms of sleep apnea?

Waking in the morning with a headache once in a while may not be indicative of having sleep apnea. However, if you find that you’re waking regularly with a headache , you may be suffering from one of sleep apnea’s symptoms1.

Why are headaches a symptom of sleep apnea?

When you suffer from sleep apnea, your airway is partially or completely blocked during sleep. Because of this closure, the amount of oxygen in your blood being transported to your brain is reduced, which puts you at risk for headaches — specifically morning headaches. 

Determining if you have sleep apnea

Morning headaches are a very common symptom of sleep apnea. If you are waking up with a headache, you are likely starting your day off on the wrong foot, which can be very frustrating and prevent you from living your life to the fullest. The first step in taking your life back is to start a discussion with your doctor.

You can prepare by taking a brief sleep quiz and talking with your doctor about the results. Your doctor may refer you to a sleep therapy specialist for a sleep study, which can take place in a sleep lab or even in your own home. During the test, sensors will collect your sleep data, which a sleep specialist will use to determine if you have sleep apnea. 

Treating the symptoms of sleep apnea

If test results indicate that you do have sleep apnea, treating this condition could possibly help reduce your headaches. One of our sleep therapy specialists can help determine which treatment option is best for you. The gold standard treatment for most people suffering from sleep apnea is CPAP therapy.

Those with mild to moderate sleep apnea may benefit from using a custom-made oral appliance. Even starting a program of diet and exercise can help reduce extra weight and possibly improve sleep apnea symptoms like headaches.

Want to know more about how to reduce your symptoms of sleep apnea? Download our comprehensive guide to the Three Pillars of Health, an ebook that explains how nutrition, exercise and sleep work together to help keep you healthy.

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References:

  1. Clues You Might Have Obstructive Sleep Apnea http://www.webmd.com/sleep-disorders/sleep-apnea/features/sleep-apnea-clues#1