Can Sleep Apnea Cause Migraines

Can Sleep Apnea Cause Migraines

Sleep apnea can lead to migraines but don’t worry, the treatment is available at Koala® Center for Sleep and TMJ Disorders. For more information call us at one of our clinics today or request an appointment online. We serve patients from all over the USA. Locations in Bloomington IL, Peoria – Dunlap IL, Lafayette IN, Mishawaka IN, Columbia MO, Kansas City MO, El Paso TX, and Wausau WI.

How does sleep apnea contribute to migraines?

People living with migraines are much more likely to experience sleep disorders, up to eight times compared to those who do not experience migraines. Although there is a strong correlation between obstructive sleep apnea and morning headaches, the morning headache symptoms are different from a chronic migraine headache. Sleep apnea-induced headaches will often improve or subside on there own (usually in a couple of hours, but in many cases sooner), while a migraine could last for up to 72 hours without the right treatment. In addition, while migraine headaches throb, apnea-induced headaches usually ache. Furthermore, while sleep apnea can trigger tension-type headaches in some individuals, in others, it can cause migraine attacks.

What do sleep apnea headaches feel like?

Sleep apnea headaches usually occur while the person is awake, however, some people experience them frequently throughout the night; the most common time for such headaches is right before going to sleep as well as upon waking in the night. Some of the most common complaints about sleep apnea headaches include feeling tired and intense pain that is often described as sharp and piercing.

How long does a sleep apnea headache last?

A sleep apnea headache usually lasts around 2 to 4 hours. A headache caused by sleep apnea is defined as a recurrent morning headache and meets one or more of the following features:

  • Occurs more than 15 times a month
  • Occurs on both sides of the head, has a pressing quality, and is not associated with photophobia (sensitivity to light), sensitivity to sound, or nausea
  • A headache that resolves within 4 hours

Why am I getting migraines in my sleep?

There are several factors that can contribute to nighttime migraines. In particular, unhealthy sleep habits can elevate the severity of migraines. A study involving 147 women who suffered from migraine attacks was conducted to determine the relation between sleep and migraines. Of the 147 participants, not a single one reported feeling rejuvenated after waking up; instead, they all complained about disturbed sleep due to the throbbing pain. However, a follow-up study was conducted that revealed that the patients experienced less intense and less frequent migraines when they changed their sleep habits, including improving their sleep hygiene. Migraine attacks that come on during sleep appear during the REM (Rapid Eye Movement) stage, about five to six hours after sleep begins. Inadequate sleep causes an insufficient production of serotonin and dopamine which can lead to migraine attacks during sleep. If you are experiencing migraines during sleep, come to Koala® Center for Sleep & TMJ Disorders for professional diagnosis and treatment. We can help you figure out what is causing your migraines and address the underlying cause for long-term relief. To provide care for as many people as possible, Koala® Center for Sleep & TMJ Disorders has convenient locations near you in Bloomington, IL; Peoria – Dunlop, IL; Lafayette, IN; Mishawaka, IN; Kansas City, MO; Columbia, MO; Wausau, WI; and El Paso, TX. To find out which Koala® Center for Sleep & TMJ Disorders is closest to you, visit our Locations page! We look forward to serving you!

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