Headache, snoring and sleep apnoea


To evaluate reported headache prevalence among the general population and patients suffering from snoring and obstructive sleep apnoea syndrome (OSAS), a cross-sectional study was performed among those aged 30–64 years residing in Kopparberg county in central Sweden. Consecutive patients referred to the sleep laboratory in the catchment area who fulfilled objective diagnostic criteria (snorers = 448, OSAS = 324) and a random sample of the general population (n = 583) responded to the same questionnaire. Patients were selected following sleep apnoea screening with 100% specificity for both OSAS and snoring. Responders from the general population were divided into snorers or non-snorers on the basis of self-report. To validate the self-report question on snoring in the questionnaire, 50 males and 49 females, randomly selected from the sample of the general population, underwent sleep apnoea screening in their homes. Headache among both men and women was found to be more prevalent among heavy snorers and OSAS patients compared with the control group. Morning headache, in particular, was at least three times more common among male and female heavy snorers and OSAS patients then among the general population. Headache in the control group was more common among snorers than non-snorers. Among responders, 5% of the general population reported experiencing headache often or very often upon awakening. For the heavy snoring and OSAS groups, 18% reported experiencing headache often or very often upon awakening. The results indicate that headache is common among heavy snorers and OSAS patients regardless of gender.

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Correspondence to J. Ulfberg.

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Ulfberg, J., Carter, N., Talbäck, M. et al. Headache, snoring and sleep apnoea. J Neurol 243, 621–625 (1996). https://doi.org/10.1007/BF00878656

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Key words

  • Headache
  • Sleep-disordered breathing
  • Static charge sensitive bed