Sleep Apnea and Morning Headaches: The Surprising Connection
Rancho Cucamonga, CA

Sleep Apnea
Choice Family Dentistry

Do you wake up every morning with a pounding headache that just won’t go away? Have you been struggling to get a good night’s sleep despite your best efforts? If so, you might be surprised to learn that the cause of your discomfort could be linked to something called sleep apnea. In this blog post, we’ll explore the surprising connection between these two common ailments and what you can do to alleviate your symptoms and feel better than ever before. So grab a cup of coffee (or tea!) and read on to discover how sleep apnea and morning headaches are more closely related than you might think!

What is Sleep Apnea?

Sleep apnea is a condition in which breathing pauses or becomes very shallow during sleep. The airway can become blocked due to the tongue and soft palate collapsing back into the throat, or due to obstruction of the airway by excess tissue in the throat. Sleep apnea can cause snoring, but not everyone who snores has sleep apnea.

Sleep apnea is a serious condition that can lead to high blood pressure, heart disease, stroke, and other health problems. People with sleep apnea are at risk for car accidents and work-related injuries.

There are two types of sleep apnea: obstructive sleep apnea (OSA) and central sleep apnea (CSA). Obstructive sleep apnea is more common and is caused by a blockage of the airway. Central sleep apnea is less common and is caused by a failure of the brain to send signals to the muscles that control breathing.

People with sleep apnea often have difficulty staying asleep, and they may wake up feeling tired even after a full night’s rest. Sleep studies can help diagnose sleep apnea. Treatment options include lifestyle changes, mouthpieces or dental appliances, surgery, and continuous positive airway pressure (CPAP).

Source: Medical Centric

Types of Sleep Apnea

There are three types of sleep apnea: obstructive, central, and mixed. Obstructive sleep apnea (OSA) is the most common type. It occurs when the throat muscles intermittently relax and block the airway during sleep. Central sleep apnea (CSA) occurs when the brain fails to send signals to the muscles that control breathing. Mixed sleep apnea is a combination of both OSA and CSA.

OSA is further divided into two subtypes: mild and severe. Mild OSA refers to 5-15 episodes of obstruction per hour, while severe OSA refers to more than 30 episodes per hour. CSA can also be mild or severe, depending on how often breathing stops during sleep.

Mixed sleep apnea is relatively rare, occurring in about 5% of people with sleep apnea. However, it’s important to be aware of this because it can be more difficult to treat than either OSA or CSA alone.

Symptoms of Sleep Apnea

If you’re struggling with morning headaches, it could be a sign of sleep apnea. Sleep apnea is a serious sleep disorder that causes breathing to repeatedly stop and start. This can happen hundreds of times throughout the night and can result in poor-quality sleep. In addition to morning headaches, other symptoms of sleep apnea include:

• Loud snoring

• Waking up gasping for air

• Dry mouth or sore throat upon waking

• Insomnia or difficulty staying asleep

• Excessive daytime fatigue

 If you’re experiencing any of these symptoms, it’s important to see a doctor. Sleep apnea can lead to serious health complications, including high blood pressure, heart disease, and stroke.

Causes of Morning Headache

If you suffer from morning headaches, you may be surprised to learn that sleep apnea could be the cause. Sleep apnea is a common sleep disorder that causes periods of interrupted breathing during sleep. These periods of interruption can cause oxygen levels to drop, which can lead to morning headaches.

In addition to causing morning headaches, sleep apnea can also cause other health problems, including high blood pressure, heart disease, and stroke. If you think you may have sleep apnea, it’s important to see a doctor for a diagnosis and treatment.

Connection between Sleep Apnea and Morning Headaches

We often associate morning headaches with a lack of sleep, but for some people, it could be indicative of a more serious condition. Sleep apnea is a condition that causes disruptions in your breathing patterns during sleep. These disruptions can occur dozens, or even hundreds, of times throughout the night.

One of the main symptoms of sleep apnea is excessive daytime fatigue. This can lead to morning headaches, as well as other problems such as difficulty concentrating and irritability. If you suspect that you might have sleep apnea, it’s important to see a doctor so that you can get treatment.

Untreated sleep apnea can have serious consequences, including an increased risk of heart disease, stroke, and high blood pressure. So if you’re regularly waking up with a headache, it’s worth looking into whether sleep apnea could be the cause.

Treatment Options for Sleep Apnea

If you suffer from sleep apnea, a condition in which you stop breathing for short periods of time during sleep, you may also be dealing with morning headaches. Luckily, there are treatment options available that can help to ease both sleep apnea and morning headaches.

One common treatment for sleep apnea is the use of a Continuous Positive Airway Pressure (CPAP) machine. This machine helps to keep your airway open by providing a steady stream of air through a mask that you wear during sleep. While CPAP machines can be effective, they may not be the most comfortable option and can take some getting used to.

Another option is oral appliance therapy. This involves wearing a custom-made mouthpiece during sleep that helps to keep your airway open. Oral appliance therapy is often more comfortable than CPAP machines and can be easier to adjust to.

If neither of these treatments seems right for you, there are other options available as well, such as surgery. Whatever treatment option you choose, working with your doctor to find the one that’s right for you is important in order to get the most relief from your symptoms.

Alternative Treatments for Morning Headaches

There are a number of alternative treatments for morning headaches that can be effective in managing the condition. Some of these include:

  • Acupuncture: This ancient Chinese practice involves placing thin needles into specific points on the body to alleviate pain.
  • Biofeedback: This relaxation technique helps you become more aware of your body and how to control it.
  • Chiropractic care: This hands-on therapy can help align the spine and improve nerve function.
  • Massage therapy: This popular treatment can help relax muscles and improve circulation.


As we have discussed, there is a strong connection between sleep apnea and morning headaches. We hope this article has highlighted the importance of getting adequate sleep and also how to identify warning signs of underlying health issues that could potentially be causing your morning headache. If you are experiencing frequent or severe morning headaches, it is wise to seek medical help so that the cause can be determined and treated promptly. Taking care of your own health should always take priority!

1. Why does sleep apnea cause morning headaches?

When you have sleep apnea, your breathing is interrupted during sleep. This can lead to oxygen deprivation, which can trigger a headache in the morning.

2. How can I tell if I have sleep apnea?

If you snore loudly, wake up gasping for breath, or have daytime fatigue, you may have sleep apnea. A doctor can diagnose sleep apnea with a sleep study.

3. What are the treatments for sleep apnea?

The most common treatment for sleep apnea is CPAP (continuous positive airway pressure), which delivers air through a mask during sleep. Surgery and mouth appliances are also options for treating sleep apnea.