How often do you press the snooze button in the morning? According to a study, most people hit snooze at least once — and there’s no shame in that. But for some, waking up may feel like the most challenging task of the day, especially if you’re constantly waking up with a headache. To help you become more of a morning person, it’s crucial to determine what is causing your morning headaches so you can find the relief you crave.
A common conclusion is that you suffer from migraines, and if that is the case, you’ll likely find yourself relying on migraine medication to relieve the symptoms. However, the reason for your headaches may be related to undiagnosed sleep apnea. To help you wake up with a clear head, ApneaMed is here to explain how sleep apnea can cause headaches and how to treat the underlying condition.
What Is Sleep Apnea?
Obstructive sleep apnea is a sleep disorder that causes an individual to get a poor night’s sleep due to repeated cessation of breathing throughout the night. While sleeping, the individual’s soft palate collapses and blocks their airway.
As a result, the person finds themself gasping or choking in an attempt to reopen their airway — often unaware that this is even happening while they sleep. Because of this, they often wake up feeling completely unrested even after getting what they believe to be a whole night’s sleep, sometimes with a headache.
How Sleep Apnea Causes Headaches
Because sleep apnea causes an individual to stop breathing throughout the night due to an obstruction in their airway, air often becomes trapped within their lungs. This de-oxygenated air is full of toxic carbon dioxide that enters the bloodstream and causes the individual’s brain vessels to dilate. As a result, the individual wakes up with a painful headache that dissipates over time as the vessels begin to contract.
Determining if you are suffering from migraines or a sleep apnea headache is the first step to getting the treatment you need. Signs of a sleep apnea headache include:
- The headache disappears within an hour or two of waking up
- The headache is felt throughout both sides of the head, instead of one particular area
- The headaches occur frequently
- Common symptoms of migraines such as visual impairment, light sensitivity, and nausea are not present.
How to Treat Sleep Apnea Headaches
There are a few ways to treat sleep apnea headaches and find the relief you crave.
If you notice the onset of a headache or have been suffering from one since you woke up, make sure you are drinking enough water throughout the day to keep your body hydrated. Hydrating your body will help relieve the symptoms more quickly. Hydrating your body has been shown to reduce the discomfort of headaches within the first 30 minutes.
Take a Bath
Waking up with a pounding headache is one of the most frustrating ways to start the day. Should time allow, take a warm bath which can help improve your symptoms by increasing the circulation within your body and relieving muscle pain — and as a result, improve your headache.
Get Enough Sleep
Those with sleep apnea struggle to get good quality sleep regularly. To increase the chances, you must go to bed at an early enough hour that you can get at least eight hours of sleep each night.
Use an Oral Appliance
A common sleep apnea treatment, known as an oral appliance, has demonstrated its ability to reduce the likelihood of a morning headache. An oral appliance provides relief by moving the individual’s jaw forward to prevent the soft tissues from collapsing and blocking the airway. It is convenient, comfortable, and effective for all levels of obstructive sleep apnea.
Reduce Sleep Apnea Headaches with ApneaMed
Whether you’ve been properly diagnosed with sleep apnea or suspect you might be suffering from it, you must maintain your recommended treatment consistently to prevent your sleep apnea from worsening or causing sleep apnea headaches. ApneaMed can supply the products you need to help alleviate your obstructive sleep apnea symptoms.
If you have any questions about ApneaMeds’ at-home sleep apnea test or our sleep apnea treatment equipment, contact our team to learn more.