There are as many different headache treatments as there are headaches–and more. So it’s very hard to know when to try certain remedies. Sleep apnea treatment can be a very effective approach to treating your headaches, but when should you try it? Here’s a guide.
Do You Have Morning Headaches?
Experiencing headaches first thing in the morning might be the first sign that sleep apnea is to blame. To avoid morning headaches, first, make sure you’re getting enough sleep. Go to bed on time–and make sure you fall asleep quickly. Also, make sure to avoid drinking alcohol or taking any sedatives before going to bed. These can both contribute to sleep apnea and/or result in morning headaches. Dehydration is another cause of morning headaches so make sure you drink enough water every day.
If you sleep eight hours every night, are not drinking alcohol, are not taking sedatives, and are drinking plenty of water but you’re experiencing morning headaches, you should begin to suspect that sleep apnea is the cause.
Other potential causes of morning headaches include:
- TMJ Disorder
- Caffeine withdrawal
- Anxiety or depression
- Certain medications
- Brain tumor (very rare)
Finding the cause of your morning headaches will be your best bet for finding relief.
Do You Have Other Sleep Apnea Symptoms?
Headaches are commonly related to sleep apnea. If you have frequent headaches, you should be on the lookout for other sleep apnea symptoms or related signs, such as:
- Daytime sleepiness
- Loss of focus
- Low energy
- Loud snoring
- Choking, coughing, or snorting at night
- Clenching/grinding teeth
- Memory problems
- Mood changes
If you experience any of the symptoms above, you should consider the possibility that sleep apnea really is to blame for your migraines. Even if it’s not directly related, sleep apnea treatment might help by relieving other related causes, such as high blood pressure.
Have You Been Diagnosed with Sleep Apnea?
If you’ve been diagnosed with sleep apnea but you aren’t using your sleep apnea treatment, either because you can’t adapt to CPAP or because you don’t think it will make a difference–change your mind now. Seek out a more comfortable treatment like oral appliance therapy or just try your treatment and see how much of a difference it will make.
If you haven’t been diagnosed with sleep apnea, this will be your starting point. If you experience any of the symptoms of sleep apnea, we encourage you to book a new patient appointment at Advanced Dental Sleep Treatment Center in Omaha. After meeting with our sleep apnea dentists for a consultation, we will coordinate a diagnostic sleep study for you. This involves wearing a device while you sleep for one night. Then, a physician will review your test results and diagnose your sleep apnea.
With an official diagnosis, our sleep dentists can help you find the best treatment option for your needs. After using sleep apnea treatment, your morning sleep apnea headaches will begin to reduce.
How to Avoid Morning Headaches
In addition to getting sleep apnea treatment, there are other lifestyle changes that can help you avoid morning headaches.
Stick to a Consistent Sleep Schedule
A consistent sleep schedule can help you avoid morning headaches because it ensures you get the right amount of sleep every night. When you sleep too much or too little, it can result in morning headaches. Go to bed and wake up at the same time every day, even on your days off for the best results.
Optimize Your Sleep Environment
When your sleep environment is too hot, too loud, or too bright, it can disrupt your sleep. The more your sleep gets disrupted, it can cause deprivation and headaches. Try to sleep in a dark, cool room, without noise. You can use a white noise machine or turn a fan on to create background noise.
Limit Screen Time Before Bed
Too much screen time before bed can make it hard to fall asleep and stay asleep. Try to limit screen time and avoid blue light before bed. You can wear blue light blocking glasses or turn on the nighttime settings on your device.
Regular exercise (150 minutes per week or 30 minutes per day/5 days per week) can help you sleep better and enhance your overall health. Just make sure you’re not exercising too close to bedtime otherwise it can make it difficult to fall asleep.
High stress levels can also contribute to morning headaches. Consider practicing relaxation techniques daily like journaling, meditation, and yoga to keep your stress levels low.
Track Symptoms in a Journal
Although getting sleep apnea treatment can help prevent morning headaches related to sleep apnea, this doesn’t mean something else in your life isn’t causing you headaches. If you still experience frequent headaches, keep a log and track activities, food, smells, etc. in your day to try to find a pattern.
Eat a Balanced Diet
Eating too much processed food, or too much sugar can lead to headaches. Try eating a balanced diet of fruits, vegetables, lean meats, and whole grains.
Avoid Excessive Caffeine
Try not to consume more than three 8-ounce cups of caffeine per day. Drinking too much caffeine can disrupt sleep and contribute to headaches.
Is Your Current Headache Treatment Not Working?
Many people with chronic headaches find that they just can’t get good results even though they may try many headache treatments. If you’re in this category, then it might be that you have isolated the cause of your headaches: sleep apnea, and now you need to treat it.
If you are looking for headache treatment in Omaha and think sleep apnea might be responsible for your pain, please call (402) 493-4175 for an appointment with a sleep dentist at the Advanced Dental Sleep Treatment Center.