What Kind of Headache Are You Suffering?
Cluster headaches are associated with sleep apnea symptoms, distinct from sleep apnea headaches. Cluster headaches occur during sleep, whereas sleep apnea headaches occur upon waking. Unlike sleep apnea headaches, cluster headaches often include:
- Runny nose
- Stuffy nose
- Tearing up of the eyes
- Puffy eyes
- Droopy eyes
Cluster headaches often occur in clusters, which means you may get a few headaches in a day’s time around the same times over a period of a few months. For most people, cluster headaches are short-lived and typically are gone within an hour.
Hypnic headaches, which occur at night, are another sleep-related headache that may affect people with obstructive sleep apnea. This type of headache is most common in older adults.
While sleep apnea headaches begin after you wake up, hypnic headaches generally begin about four to six hours after falling asleep and often cause a person to wake up, which is why they have earned the nickname “alarm clock headaches.” Like cluster headaches, hypnic headaches are typically gone within an hour.
Many people with OSA describe their headaches as “migraines,” even though they may not officially be migraines. The pain sure feels like a migraine headache to OSA sufferers. The migraine-like headaches that OSA sufferers experience will last much longer than any other type of headache and may be accompanied by nausea and sensitivity to light and sound.