Morning Headaches? Sleep Apnea May Be the Culprit

sleep apnea and headaches

A good night’s rest can be the key to greater productivity during the day. However, there are over 22 million people in the United States suffering from sleep apnea who are not as productive as they would like to be. Sleep apnea is a common disorder in which a person has frequent interruptions in their sleep pattern or shallow breathing during sleep. Pauses in breathing can last anywhere from a few seconds to several minutes. People with sleep apnea often start breathing again with a loud snort or choking sound that can disturb natural sleep.

Do you suffer from morning headaches?

Sleep apnea and other sleep disorders are often the cause of early morning headaches. Rather than waking up with a feeling of being refreshed and ready to take on the day, sleep apnea sufferers have trouble breathing at night. This makes it difficult to get the proper amount of oxygen transported through the blood. This puts people with sleep apnea at a higher risk for conditions like high blood pressure, heart attack, stroke, and early morning headaches.

How to detect sleep apnea

Morning headaches can prevent you from having the best day possible, even with the use of pain relieving medication. If you suspect that you may have sleep apnea, the best thing to do is to make an appointment to see your doctor.

Other signs and symptoms of sleep apnea beyond headaches include:

  • Loud snoring
  • Pause in breathing
  • Gasping for air
  • Daytime fatigue
  • Feeling unrefreshed
  • Difficulty concentrating
  • Loss of memory
  • Irritability

Once you visit your doctor, he or she may recommend you make a visit to a sleep specialist for a sleep study that can take place in a lab or at your home. During the test, your sleep specialist will connect you to sensors that will collect data while you sleep. The sleep specialist will then analyze the results to confirm if you have sleep apnea.

CPAP treatment

The treatment for sleep apnea is often to wear a CPAP mask during your sleep apnea. There are various models that cover your nose and/or mouth that will force air into your passageways while you sleep. Your sleep specialist will prescribe the amount of pressure for your CPAP machine that will be based on your height, weight, and breathing patterns. You should begin to feel more refreshed with reduced headaches soon after starting your therapy.

It is important to get a hold of your sleep apnea before it turns into more serious health problems like a stroke, heart attacks, and high blood pressure. Taking a proactive approach to your health concerns will not only have an effect on you but on others around you as well. You will have more energy for your family as well as becoming more productive in the workplace. You can expect to think more clearly giving you the energy you need to conquer the day.

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