Sleep apnea is a rather common sleep disorder that causes a repeated starting and stopping of breathing during sleep.
There are three main types of sleep apnea, with the most common being obstructive sleep apnea, involving the relaxing of the throat muscles. Another type is central sleep apnea, in which the brain fails to deliver the right signals to the muscles - and the final type is complex sleep apnea, which is essentially a combination of both obstructive sleep apnea and central sleep apnea.
Headaches, particularly those that occur upon waking up, do share a strong association with sleep disorders like sleep apnea. In fact, they’re a very common symptom of sleep apnea.
Those who suffer from sleep apnea experience a partial or complete blockage of the airway during sleep - which actually reduces the amount of oxygen being delivered to the brain through the blood. This in turn puts a person at risk for serious health conditions such as high blood pressure, heart attack and stroke, and, of course, headaches in the morning.
How you start each day matters - and waking up with a headache is not conducive to a healthy and productive life. If you’ve been experiencing morning headaches often, speak with your doctor. He or she may refer you to a sleep specialist in which you’ll then be required to take part in a sleep study to determine whether a sleep disorder like sleep apnea is the underlying issue.
If your sleep test does indicate that you have sleep apnea, finding a suitable treatment such as a dental appliance for sleep apnea (if your condition is mild to moderate) is the next best step. Treatment can go a long way in preventing morning headaches while also improving your quality of sleep and reducing loud snoring.
It’s important to see a medical professional if you find that you’re regularly waking up with a headache, or even if you have a sleep partner that complains of your loud snoring during the night.
A custom-fitted sleep apnea oral appliance from our experienced Dr. Maureen Fenn on the Danforth might be just what you need to find relief from morning headaches and the other issues associated with a sleep apnea sleep disorder.
Contact us today to inquire about sleep apnea appliances.
We are conveniently located near Greektown on the TTC Danforth Avenue subway line between Greenwood Avenue and Coxwell Avenue.
1411 Danforth Avenue, Toronto, ON M4J 1N2