Studies show that snoring is not just a headache to the people trying to sleep near the snorer, but can also cause headache to the snorer. Some of the recent studies establish a link between chronic snoring and headaches. However, it is not clear if the snoring causes headaches or if it is the other way around.
A study conducted by the National Institute on Aging found that people who suffer from chronic headaches were like to be chronic snorers when compared to those who suffered from headaches occasionally. “We have known that headaches are common in people with sleep apnea, but we found that snoring per se is an important predictor of headaches, even in people without apnea,” said Ann I. Scher, PhD, the lead researcher of the study.
Scher compared 206 subjects who suffered from chronic headaches, which was defined as a minimum of fifteen headaches per month, with 507 subjects who suffered from headaches occasionally. It was reported that twenty four percent of the chronic headache sufferers were also chronic snorers. After making adjustments for the various characteristics like alcohol consumption and obesity, which are associated with snoring, the daily headache sufferers were about 3 times likely to report snoring, when compared to those who had headaches occasionally.
Scher is planning to do further studies to find if anti snoring devices can also help to cut down headaches in chronic snorers. “The headaches could be causing the snoring, or the snoring could be causing the headaches, or both,” she said. “Chronic headaches can result in disturbed sleep, and pain medications can aggravate [snoring]. On the other side, sleep deprivation or excessive sleep can trigger migraine attacks in some people.”
Stephen Silberstein, MD, who is a specialist in headache opinioned that people with frequent headaches might not be cured just by curbing the snoring problem with some stop snoring solutions. “Snoring is merely a symptom,” he said. “I think it is important to find out why people are snoring. If they have sleep apnea then snoring strips aren’t going to fix the problem. And if it is something else, they need to know what it is.”
Silberstein added that a common cause of chronic headaches is medication overuse, and some of the medications can also lead to snoring. “Any acute medication taken in excess can produce daily headaches,” he said. Apparently, sedatives and muscle relaxant medications are known to trigger snoring issues.