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When do the morning headaches stop?
I am really new to this and possibly being impatient as I've only been on CPAP for 2 nights so far. I've read soooo many posts of those who had instantaneous relief and immediately upon starting CPAP therapy woke without the morning headaches. I have not been so lucky. Only positive thing so far is that my hubby has not noticed any snoring any more (at least for the very brief periods he is awake and I am not).

I have had high blood pressure for 15 years and am on about 4 different meds for it. The sleep doctor told me that during REM the spikes in blood pressure can go up to 200 or so and my apnea is significant during REM. I've also learned that waking with morning headaches is usually due to REM apneas.

So until I am able to buy my own CPAP machine I am saddled with a ResMed S9 Escape BRICK with no data. How do I know if I am having any leak problems with the mask? How do I know if my AHI has lowered down to almost nil? How do I know if I am still having apneas, particularly REM apneas? I won't be able to tell via any data, so is there any other way for me to tell this?
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Hi Cate. Yes, people do sometimes have instantaneous results, but for most of us it's a bit of a journey. If you've had high BP for years and you're on multiple medications then it's likely to take a little while to undo the damage done.

Unfortunately you will need a better machine to get the details you need, so you should try to get that. I think it's a crying shame that they still keep pushing the bricks, but I guess that's part of the business plan.

The fact that your snoring is under control is a sign that the machine is doing some good already. Another sign that many people notice is a significant reduction in bathroom visits during the night.
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My morning headaches mostly stopped after 2 weeks. I still get them, but they are occasional and not as painful. I still don't get enough sleep likely due to restless legs waking me and I've been using a machine steadily since mid-June. With a non-auto, your machine doesn't adjust for nights where you might need more pressure, which also sucks. If you still have headaches after 2 weeks, bump you pressure up a notch. Then wait 4-7 days before bumping it up again. Small amounts. You will hit that sweet spot where the headaches stop.
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I have followed your previous posts and understand your frustrations. First, let me say that everyone responds different to CPAP. I've also had high blood pressure for years, but my headaches went away after a couple weeks. It all depends if your therapy is working for you and if your pressure settings are optimal.

Unfortunately, you do have a "brick", and for the life of me, I can't see how your doctor can adjust your pressure needs if he has no data to go on. I am beginning to understand that the Canadian health care system is not easy to navigate, and you may or may not get a data capable machine, unless you buy yourself.

If you still experience headaches after a couple more weeks, you should move your pressure up to 6.5 or 7. It may be too low for you.

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Thanks for all the replies! It's good to hear that not everyone has immediate results. I will have my fingers crossed there is light at the end of the tunnel! When I first mentioned the morning headaches to my regular family doctor he told me without skipping a beat that I have cluster headaches, which I know are more common in males. I then had to talk to him about my other symptoms etc. I usually get these headaches anywhere between 3 and 6am and going back to sleep doesn't ever happen. I usually get up, take a painkiller and make a coffee. This has been going on almost every day for well over a year or more.

I was also wondering to myself if I need to adjust the pressure. However, I am leery to do so without medical guidance or some sort of reassurance that this cannot be harmful. I also have no clue as to how to do this. I was thinking that maybe I should perservere for another 2 weeks and if no changes, try and speak to the sleep doctor. Not sure whether or not I can get to speak to him outside of getting an appointment, and it's my feeling that they will just tell me to wait until my appointment November 18. After my family doctor referred me to the sleep specialist, it took me over 2 months just to get in to see the doctor for a consultation, so I don't have a lot of hope of seeing him sooner unfortunately.

Yes our healthcare system is free, but wait times are through the roof! Thanks for all the helpful responses!!!!
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Don't despair. Right now you might be anxious to see results and so the posts about people who find "immediate relief" are popping out at you. I think immediate relief of all symptoms is exceptional not normal.

Sleep apnea has a complex collection of symptoms. When people report immediate relief they are often talking about the one or two symptoms that vex them the most while many other symptoms go away more gradually.

Unfortunately we don't get to pick which ones go away first, and like in my case we may not even realize all the symptoms that came from apnea. So you might not notice what other things are getting better while you focus on the one you wish would get better.

The good news for you is that your system is already responding (less snoring). That's a start and it indicates your body is responding to the therapy, right? So give it some time and be on the lookout for things that are getting better even if it's not your biggest complaint.

Revisiting the brick vs data capable machines... one thing that a even data capable CPAP machine can't tell you is apneas during REM sleep because CPAP machines don't have brainwave sensors to discern REM sleep. If I'm not mistaken, the machine can't even tell whether we are awake or asleep. Maybe there are rules of thumb you can use to estimate when you are in REM and match up the events in the data, but you won't find REM in the data.

In any case don't fret about what you can't change. Do realize that you have lots of information here about different people's success and failures, hits and misses on ADP criteria, etc etc.. Look for the ways that stories people who got their auto machines might line up with your symptoms. Use what you know about your case when you talk to your medical providers.

Someone said a demonstrable range of 4 or 5 (I forget) with an AHI over 10 might be a key. Another expert member said on another thread that it might be fairly easy to demonstrate the required range when you include AHI side-sleeping versus on your back (both of which should be in your sleep study report). Someone else said yeah when my doc saw those numbers on the sleep study report it was an easy decision to prescribe an auto machine.

I don't know which info is pertinent to your situation, but I submit to you that people have talked about enough situations here that you can do the research to determine as best a layman can what your symptoms qualify for in your medical system.

Docs care but they are busy. If you meet the criteria and show that info to the docs they will respond. And if your data ends up not supporting an auto machine, you get to be disappointed but not discouraged. Just go get your data capable fixed CPAP machine and use what it does for you to keep getting better anyways.

What comes next might be more in your hands than you might think. Use whatever data you have coupled with the good counsel of the expert people in this forum.

Don't dwell on the negative stories except to offer your own helpful info, give comfort when the spirit moves you, and to learn from other people's experiences. Focus on the positive stories to learn how people proactively got what they needed from a lethargic system of overworked providers and how you might do similar.

You have found a good place. Good things are beginning to happen for you. Don't obsess about the data for now, and do keep the log and track how you are feeling until you get your permanent machine. Feel free to come here and post your observations and questions. Go with it and give it a little time to work.

Especially be encouraged by the testimonies of people who are feeling better and actively engage in improving their own situation like you are learning to do.

Saldus Miegas
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@Saldus Miegas: Thanks for a very detailed and thoughtful reply! I think there is a lot of merit in what you (and others) have said about trying to advocate for myself. I think I want to understand this completely and be very knowledgeable when I speak to said healthcare providers, but unfortunately although I am learning lots, there is still soooo much to learn! About having a demonstrable range that I believe you said was a 6 point spread between 4 AHI and 10 for your example; I don't really understand that, nor do I have any test results to look at from my 2 sleep studies. So that I'm guessing will be up to the doc based on the results he has been looking at.

I have started a log 2 days ago as I began CPAP therapy at someone's suggestion (might have been yours-I don't know without looking back) and I am logging time getting up in am, time going to bed in pm, how I feel, woke up with headache or not (I wish lol), and anything else out of the ordinary. Time spent sleeping, # of awakenings, I guess that's about it.

I am sure my husband would agree with you that I am overanalyzing this, and to step back and be patient. Reading other peoples posts and experiences, learning as much as I can, and trying to self help myself along in the therapy until I have the opportunity to look at my own data and/or see the sleep doctor.

Thanks everyone, all your replies are very much appreciated! This is an awesome forum thanks to you all!
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I set my apap at a constant pressure of 7 for 1 night just to see what would happen... my AHI was surprisingly low; close to 1 - but the headache I lost from the first night of therapy was back, and my husband remarked that I had been snoring! Some docs like to start people on lower pressures to get them used to having pressure, and build up from there... Do you have a copy of your titration? was 6 the optimal pressure for you? Or is it a newbie pressure to ease you in? My *guess* is that you need more pressure.
هههههه هههههه هههههه هههههه هههههه هههههه هههههه هههههه هههههه هههههه هههههه هههههه هههههه هههههه
Tongue Suck Technique for prevention of mouth breathing:
  • Place your tongue behind your front teeth on the roof of your mouth
  • let your tongue fill the space between the upper molars
  • gently suck to form a light vacuum
Practising during the day can help you to keep it at night

هههههه هههههه هههههه هههههه هههههه هههههه هههههه هههههه هههههه هههههه هههههه هههههه هههههه هههههه
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The technician the night of my sleep titration at the lab told me she had 5 whole months of experience, so I'm not really feeling confident about her ability, but on the other hand, maybe that's long enough to feel experienced??? I really don't know. She said she found 6 was good for me and there was no snoring and my mouth remained shut all night. I don't have a copy of the titration or any other test unfortunately. Wish I did!
Also want to ask if the hydration makes much of a difference. Cause these morning headaches feel quite 'sinusy', not that I can take sinus meds due to hi bp. I started my hydration on the S9 at 2.5 and last night put it at 3. Is that a typical % for hydration?
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Hi cate1898,
As far as humidity gose, some like a lot of humidity and others use very little or none at all.
If you are having dry mouth, you might turn it up a notch. This is another one of those trial and error things.
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