The Link between Snoring and Chronic Headaches

Many of the people Dr Levi sees at The Sleep Clinic also complain of chronic headaches. Research from the U.S. has confirmed what sleep specialists have long suspected-  that people with chronic daily headaches are almost twice as likely to be snorers.

Which Came First – The Snoring or a Headache?

A recent study of more than 600 participants revealed a strong link between snoring and chronic headaches, however, researchers were unable to determine whether it was the snoring which was causing the or vice versa. What is clear, however, is the link between the two. “Snoring…is an important predictor of headaches, even in people without apnoea,” said lead researcher Ann I. Scher, PhD, in an interview with WebMD. She and her team found that:

  • 24% of chronic daily headache sufferers were habitual snorers
  • 14% of the occasional headache sufferers were habitual snorers

The link between snoring and headaches was even more pronounced when participants’ headache risk factors, including obesity and alcohol consumption, were considered. When controlling for these other contributing risk factors, daily headache sufferers were almost three times as likely to report nightly snoring as people who had occasional headaches.

DrScher believes further study is needed to ascertain whether treatment to reduce snoring will also reduce headaches in chronic sufferers.

Headache Medication and Snoring

It is well documented that chronic headaches can result in disturbed sleep. It is equally well documented, however, that using pain medications to ease headaches and promote sleep can aggravate snoring.  This medication-induced snoring disturbs sleep and leads to a cycle of a headache, pills, and snoring that can have a profoundly negative effect on a person’s quality of life.

Snoring and Migraine Headaches

Another study published in the Journal of Neurology offers hope for migraine sufferers who are also snorers. The study found that sleep apnoea treatment with continuous positive airway pressure (CPAP) not only improved the sleep disturbance; CPAP treatment also improved migraines.

There’s no reason to let snoring disrupt your life. Consult Dr Levi, an expert with over 20 years’ experience in sleep medicine, to receive a customised treatment plan to effectively reduce your snoring and improve your quality of life. Call Dr Levi’s Sleep Clinic today on (02) 9283 1900 or use our online booking form.