Current Pain and Headache Reports

, Volume 7, Issue 4, pp 281–287

Sleep-related headache syndromes

  • J. Steven Poceta

DOI: 10.1007/s11916-003-0048-7

Cite this article as:
Poceta, J.S. Current Science Inc (2003) 7: 281. doi:10.1007/s11916-003-0048-7


The relationship between sleep and sleep disorders and headache remains unclear. Clinical experience and numerous studies document some sort of relationship, but the exact nature remains understudied and complex. Changes in sleep duration and sleep quality appear to be capable of affecting headaches of different types. Obstructive sleep apnea can cause or exacerbate headaches in a susceptible person. Obstructive sleep apnea also may cause a specific headache when awakening, which is different from migraine or tension headache and disappears after treatment of the sleep and breathing disturbance. Hypnic headache is another type of sleep-exclusive headache that has been proposed. Hypnic headaches are brief, moderately severe, and affect the elderly primarily.

Copyright information

© Current Science Inc 2003

Authors and Affiliations

  • J. Steven Poceta
    • 1
  1. 1.Scripps Clinic and The Scripps Research InstituteLa JollaUSA