Is Your Morning Headache a Sign of Sleep Apnea?

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Headache in bedYou wake up, and then immediately you notice the unpleasant pain in your head. Does this happen to you every morning? If so, it might be a sign of a sleep disorder. In particular, chronic headaches might be a sign that you have sleep apnea – a disorder that could lead to far worse problems if left alone. Read on to learn why those migraines might be warning you that you aren’t enjoying quality rest.

What is Sleep Apnea?

If you experience frequent pauses in your breathing while you’re asleep, you have sleep apnea. These pauses are usually due to the airway becoming blocked somehow, which can happen hundreds of times during the night. People with sleep apnea keep waking up when their breathing is interrupted; as a result, they often feel tired during the day even if they think they got a full night’s sleep.

How Does Sleep Apnea Cause Headaches?

When your breathing stops, your brain receives less oxygen. This causes the blood vessels in your head to widen, triggering vascular headaches. Sleep apnea-related headaches usually don’t last very long, but they can occur frequently. In general, more severe sleep apnea will result in more painful headaches.

What Other Effects Does Sleep Apnea Have?

You should especially consider morning headaches to be a potential symptom of sleep apnea if you also notice:

  • Loud snoring or interruptions in breathing during the night (which someone else would likely tell you about)
  • A lack of energy during the day
  • High blood pressure
  • A sudden increase of weight
  • Irritability, depression or mood swings

How Can You Treat Headaches Caused by Sleep Apnea?

Typically, treating your sleep apnea will also stop any recurring headaches that it’s causing. In many cases, you can improve your symptoms with an oral appliance. When worn at night, an oral appliance can adjust your tongue and/or jaw so that the airway remains open while you’re asleep. There are numerous different kinds of appliances you can get depending on your needs; for example, some are designed for patients with smaller mouths, while others can accommodate for orthodontic work.

There are also some changes you can make at home that make it easier to overcome sleep apnea. For instance, sleeping on your side (instead of on your back) can prevent tissues in your mouth in throat from collapsing and blocking your airway. Some patients benefit from using a humidifier; adding moisture to the air can sometimes encourage clearer breathing.

It’s important to stick to your sleep apnea treatment once you’ve begun; the disorder tends to worsen over time, and the symptoms associated with it also become …

6 Best CPAP Masks For Side Sleepers

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People sleep in many different positions and sleep apnea tolerant individuals often “toss and turn” during their sleep as they find it difficult to take breaths in one definite position. Most sleep apnea patients are side sleepers and the CPAP masks we will cover should help you sleep properly in that position. Broad varieties of […]

The post 6 Best CPAP Masks For Side Sleepers appeared first on Snooze EZ.

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How Forks and Knives Can Cause Crooked Teeth

Originally at: Cut up meat on a fork

I’m almost done reading a fascinating book called, Consider the Fork: A History of How We Cook and Eat, by Bee Wilson.

Wilson-Consider The Fork

There’s an interesting section on development of cutting tools for preparing meals over the past few centuries. The author goes into great detail about the social, economic, political and technological factors that made cutlery more accessible to the well-off and the aristocracy.

What caught my attention was her mentioning of scholarly work in the anthropology literature proposing that up until only recently did modern humans have a natural overbite, where the upper front incisors rest in front of the lower incisors. Normally, humans’ incisors lined up edge-to-edge. She cites the work of Dr. C. Loring Brace, a biological anthropologist from the University of Michigan who proposed that how we prepared our meals was just as important as what we ate when it comes to the way our teeth formed and are positioned.

Over the years, Brace built up a large database of human teeth. The prevailing theory during his time was that our overbite was the result of the adoption of grains many thousands of years ago, which requires less chewing. However, he discovered that the modern overbite is a relatively recent finding. In Western Europe, Brace found that the change from edge-to-edge to overbite status occurred in the late 18th century, mostly in wealthy people. This was around the time when the well-to-do had access to forks and knives to pre-cut meat before eating.

The poor were using their teeth to clench and rip, tear or cut the meat off the bones. Brace showed that this conversion to an overbite took longer to take hold in the American Colonies when he excavated a grave from a 19th-century insane asylum, prison and work house. He found that 10 out of 15 still had edge-to-edge bites. 

Wilson also writes that in China, meat was usually cut up using the multipurpose tou Chinese cleaver before serving to the aristocracy. Pre-chopped foods facilitated eating with chopsticks and was commonplace about 900 years before the knife and fork were used in Europe. Brace found the pickled remains of a young Chinese aristocrat who was found to have an overbite, around the time that chopsticks began to appear. As a result, it is estimated that the overbite was found in China 800 to 1000 years before Europe.

However, Brace found that some peasants still had edge-to-edge bites well into the 20th century. One of Brace’s articles mentions Dr.  Weston Price in his book Nutrition and Physical Degeneration, who documented changes in occlusion within one generation in …

How to Get Your Whole Family Sleeping Better – Part 1 [Podcast 79]

Originally at: sleeping children

In this episode, Kathy and I will discuss an extremely important topic, which is how you can get your entire family sleeping much better. If you or your child has a sleep problem, it becomes the entire family’s sleep problem. Even if you are single, this information is too important to miss.

We will talk about:

  • The concept of sleep debt, something you don’t want to default on (leading to illnesses)
  • The optimal number of hours of sleep for various age groups
  • How, what, why, when, and with whom we should eat 
  • Basic good sleep habits that are essential for optimal health
  • How you can sleep like no one else.

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Show Notes:

Delayed sleep phase syndrome

Harvard Health article on sleep debt

How our faces are shrinking podcast 

The post How to Get Your Whole Family Sleeping Better – Part 1 [Podcast 79] appeared first on Doctor Steven Y. Park, MD | New York, NY | Integrative Solutions for Obstructive Sleep Apnea, Upper Airway Resistance Syndrome, and Snoring.

from Doctor Steven Y. Park, MD | New York, NY | Integrative Solutions for Obstructive Sleep Apnea, Upper Airway Resistance Syndrome, and SnoringBlog – Doctor Steven Y. Park, MD | New York, NY | Integrative Solutions for Obstructive Sleep Apnea, Upper Airway Resistance Syndrome, and Snoring…

Sleep Talk: Episode 49 – Social Time

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Episode 49: Social Time

What is social time and what happens when it is out of sync with sun time and our own internal time? Daylight saving time is an example of social time, that can have significant consequences on health. We discuss social time and daylight saving time with Prof Till Roenneberg, researcher and author, who has a long research career in sleep and biological rhythms.

Dr Moira Junge (Health Psychologist) and Dr David Cunnington (Sleep Physician) host the monthly podcast, Sleep Talk – Talking all things sleep.

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Audio Timeline / Chapters:

  • 00:00 – 02:27 Introduction
  • 02:27 – 24:52 Theme – Social Time
  • 24:52 – 25:49 Clinical Tip
  • 25:49 – 28:15 Pick of the Month
  • 28:15 – 29:15 What’s Coming Up?

Next episode: Sleeping in the Heat

Links mentioned in the podcast: 


Guest interviews:

Prof Till Roenneberg started to work on biological rhythms with Jürgen Aschoff at the age of 17. He studied Biology and Neuroscience in Munich and at the University College, London, and worked for several years at Harvard University. He studies the human clock and sleep both in the laboratory and the real world and is currently putting together the Human Sleep Project, a research network that aims to understand sleep by measuring activity and other variables with simple devices in thousands of people outside of laboratories. He has received several international research and teaching prizes, has created and coordinated many international research networks, and worked in close collaboration with industry for many years. His is currently President of the European Society for Rhythms Research, EBRS, President of the World Federation of Societies for Chronobiology, WFSC. He has published over a 170 papers and a book (“Internal Time” Harvard University Press, 2012).

Regular hosts:

Dr Moira JungeDr Moira Junge is a health psychologist working in the sleep field, who has considerable experience working with people with sleeping difficulties in a multidisciplinary practice using a team-based approach. Moira is actively involved with the Australasian Sleep Association (ASA) and a board member of the Sleep Health Foundation. She has presented numerous workshops for psychologists and is involved with Monash University with teaching