Wake Up Call: The Lofta Sleep Blog

Why sleep apnea can cause morning headaches!

August 11, 2021

Sleep Apnea Headaches

Sleep apnea is a potentially serious disorder in which a person’s breathing repeatedly stops and starts while sleeping. There are three types of sleep apnea known, the first is (OSA) Obstructive sleep apnea, the second, (CSA) Central sleep apnea and the third, (CSAS) Complex sleep apnea syndrome. All three have varying levels of severity depending a lot on the individuals health and current lifestyle.  

As this occurs over and over, the air becomes trapped in the lungs for extended periods of time. The de-oxygenated air that is full of toxic carbon dioxide then builds up in the bloodstream and causes vessels in the brain to dilate. The dilation results in painful headaches that feel similar to migraines. It is estimated that up to 50 percent of people who wake up with headaches have sleep apnea and don’t know it. 

There are a few differences between sleep apnea headaches and migraines.

  • Sleep apnea headaches normally disappear within an hour of waking up whereas migraines will linger for several hours
  • A migraine is typically on one side of the head, while a sleep apnea based headache may affect both sides
  • Migraines often have additional symptoms such as visual impairment, light sensitivity and nausea. 
  • Sleep apnea headaches may occur more often than migraines.

    There are several ways to get a better night's sleep and avoid the oxygen deprivation that leads to frequent morning headaches. Lofta offers a simple and easy approach to getting diagnosed. 


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    Sources: 

    - Sleep Apnea Headaches: 
    https://bocaratondentalsleepmedicine.com/blog/2021/04/sleep-apnea-connected-to-headaches/