Sleep Apnea Headaches
In addition to snoring and feeling tired during the day, sleep apnea can cause regular headaches. The reason a large portion of sleep apnea sufferers experiences frequent headaches is that carbon dioxide levels in the body increase with sleep apnea. Every time you go to sleep and stop breathing, the air becomes trapped in the lungs as carbon dioxide. The carbon dioxide then enters the bloodstream, in addition to the lack of oxygen, which causes the blood vessels to dilate around the brain. The dilation is the cause of the throbbing feeling in the head.
Sleep apnea headaches typically occur in the morning, immediately upon awakening. They occur often, perhaps 50% of the time or more. It occurs on both sides of the head. Normally, it will resolve within a half-hour of awakening.
Sleep apnea can also cause two other types of headaches.