Do you have regular, uninterrupted, consistent sleep? Reports show that not many Americans claim that they do. As a result of sleep deprivation, we suffer the adverse effects – one painful side effect is headaches. Here are four things you should know about sleep and headaches.

  1. Obstructive Sleep Apnea (OSA), or pausing and abnormal breathing during sleep, is known to cause morning headaches.  The sleeping/ breathing pattern caused by OSA prevents the body from fully oxygenating. The lack of oxygen triggers a headache when waking.
  2. Minimizing sleep disturbances are a way sufferers can modify their behavior and help prevent slipping from an episodic migraine headache sufferer (<15 migraines per month) to a chronic migraine sufferer (>15 migraines per month).
  3. Falling into a regular, deep sleep every night is a great way to stave off tension headaches.
  4. If your headache actually wakes you up, you may suffer from a rare from of headaches called hypnic headaches.  These are often referred to as ‘alarm clock headaches’.

If you don’t know what type of headache you have, keep a headache diary. Track the date, time of day, triggers, foods and medications you’ve recently eaten, rate the severity of the pain, and how you gained relief. In the meantime, melatonin (.5mg/ dose) can be used safely every night to help aid sleep.

For your personal headache consultation, contact me for the next available appointment. We can often schedule same day appointments for existing patients (408) 866-8820.