Do I have a sleep disorder if I wake up with severe headaches?

This question was asked in Lockhart, Texas on 07/31/2012.
I feel sleepy all the time and fall asleep everywhere I am. I wake up with severe headaches. Is this normal? What sleep disorder could I have?

Doctors Answers (3)

Syed Nabi, M.D.
Answered on: 8/1/2012 8

You could have sleep apnea. Obstructive Sleep Apnea: is condition when you stop breathing in your sleep. Untreated OSA increases risk of developing cardiac and brain disorders specially arrhythmias, heart failure, hypertension, dementia, strokes, Alzheimer?s disease, etc. There?s also an increased risk of motor vehicle accidents associated with untreated sleepiness. Treatment options currently available for sleep related breathing disorders including oral devices, surgery, and positive airway pressure therapy. Positive airway pressure therapy is currently the most effective and gold standard of care.

Richard J. Schumann Jr., MD
Answered on: 8/1/2012 8

You may have sleep disordered breathing (apnea) or possibly insomnia as a partial manifestation of sleep disordered breathing.

J. Douglas Hudson, MD, DABSM
Answered on: 8/1/2012 8

Waking up with a headache may be secondary to lack of oxygen from sleep apnea. When you stop breathing at night, your oxygen levels fall which results in an elevation of your carbon dioxide levels. This causes the vessels inside your head and on your scalp to dilate. This dilation is painful. Being sleepy all the time is also a symptom of obstructive sleep apnea. You should see a sleep specialist.