October 20, 2020
Morning Headaches? It Could Be Sleep Apnea
When you wake up in the morning, have you been experiencing headaches? If this occurs consistently, it’s not just a normal “hangover” or grogginess. In fact, this issue could be due to a common sleep disorder called sleep apnea. This occurs when your throat or tongue blocks your airway, making it difficult to breathe, which leads to interruptions during sleep. However, it can cause a wide range of symptoms as well. Read on to learn why sleep apnea treatment could be the best solution for your consistent headaches in the morning.
Why Does Sleep Apnea Cause Headaches?
Starting your day off on the wrong foot with a headache is not only uncomfortable, but it may set your productivity back. When sleep apnea occurs, the blockage in your airway limits the amount of oxygen in your blood that gets transported to your brain. This in turn puts you at risk of serious issues like high blood pressure, strokes, and headaches (specifically in the morning). This aching can show up as general tension, a cluster headache, or a migraine.
How Do You Know if You Have Sleep Apnea?
Sleep apnea is often difficult to detect because it occurs at night, however you and your bedpartner should be on the lookout for these common symptoms (in addition to morning headaches):
- Loud snoring
- Interrupted breathing during sleep
- Waking up gasping for breath
- Daytime drowsiness
- Waking up with a dry mouth
- Difficulty staying asleep
If you notice these symptoms, contact your sleep dentist right away. Keep in mind that the only way to know with certainty whether or not you’re affected by sleep apnea is to participate in a sleep study. This is an easy sleep test that can be conducted in a lab or at home.
Are You at Risk?
While anyone can be affected by sleep apnea, certain factors can increase your risk, including:
- Being overweight
- Being male
- Having a thick neck circumference
- Having a narrow airway
- Family history
- Heavily consuming alcohol
Effective Sleep Apnea Treatment
Thankfully, your morning headaches and other symptoms can be relieved with sleep apnea treatment from your dentist. Unlike the traditional noisy, bulky, and uncomfortable CPAP machine, sleep apnea therapy with an oral appliance is simple! This is a custom-made device that positions the jaw and/or tongue to clear the airway for successful breathing, allowing you to count sheep in ultimate peace.
Morning headaches and poor quality of sleep aren’t problems you have to live with. Contact your sleep dentist today to get some relief and wake up in the morning with a clear head.
Meet the Dentist
Dr. Kent Smith is an experienced sleep dentist who has helped over 10,000 patients enjoy better rest with personalized sleep apnea therapy. He is double Board-Certified in dental sleep medicine, President of the American Sleep and Breathing Academy, and on the Advisory Committee of the Australasian Academy of Dental Sleep Medicine. If you have any questions or want to schedule an appointment, he can be reached through his website or by phone at his Irving or Frisco locations.