Even the heathiest people suffer from occasional headaches. Your frequent headaches might not be caused by an underlying health problem; they could be sparked by seemingly ordinary activities you engage in daily. Modifying your routine and avoiding your headache triggers may be one of the best ways to alleviate your pain without having to take strong medications.
Headache Trigger #1: Weather
The weather can be a significant trigger for headache sufferers. Headaches can be triggered by several types of weather, including fluctuations in barometric pressure, temperature and humidity as well as high winds, storms and dry and dusty environments.
Unfortunately, there isn’t much you can do to remedy a weather-related headache. You can’t change the weather, but by looking at the forecast you can predict when you may suffer a headache and have over-the-counter painkillers at hand to alleviate your discomfort.
If you have frequent headaches you may want to keep a journal and jot down each time you have a headache and what the weather was like on that day. Documenting these correlations can help you identify which weather conditions you’re especially sensitive to so you’re aware of your triggers.
Headache Trigger #2: Lack of Sleep
Not getting enough sleep is linked to two types of headaches: migraines and tension headaches. Migraines are usually strong headaches with accompanying sensitivity to light and sound. They can last from hours to days.
Tension headaches cause mild to moderate pain in various parts of the head and aren’t usually worsened by light or sound. A lack of deep sleep can reduce your ability to handle pain, thus making you more prone to developing these types of headaches.
Aim to get between seven and nine hours of uninterrupted sleep each night. Anything less than seven hours of sleep can lead to fatigue and an increased sensitivity to pain. Long-term sleep deprivation can cause serious health problems, including diabetes, high blood pressure and even heart failure.
If you’re having trouble falling asleep at night, you may benefit from natural sleep aids like melatonin, valerian root or magnesium.
Headache Trigger #3: Bright Lights
Bright lights are potentially an unavoidable part of your everyday life. They can be difficult to avoid, whether you’re at the grocery store, doctor’s office or at work. Flickering lights can also trigger migraines in those who are sensitive to them.
Wearing sunglasses, a hat or a cap while outside can significantly reduce light intensity. However, avoid wearing sunglasses indoors as this can make your photophobia even worse. Adjust the brightness of your computer, TV and phone screens and rely on natural light, which is far less problematic than artificial light, when possible. If bright lights at work are a problem, ask your employer for light accommodations or to be moved next to an exterior window.
Headache Trigger #4: Dehydration
If you’re having trouble keeping your headaches at bay, make sure you’re not dehydrated. Dehydration headaches typically have symptoms similar to those of other types of headaches, like mild to severe pain on one side of the head or nausea. Other signs of dehydration include thirst, dry mouth, muscle cramps and dark yellow urine.
To prevent dehydration headaches, make sure you’re drinking enough water. Aim to drink at least 64 ounces of water per day, especially if you work outdoors or work out regularly. Avoid drinking soda and coffee – they usually contain a lot of caffeine and can accelerate dehydration.
Headache Trigger #5: Aged Foods
Certain foods and food combinations can trigger headaches in migraine-susceptible individuals. Aged foods and beverages like aged cheese, wine and aged meats contain a substance called tyramine that can induce migraines.
If you’re prone to headaches, eliminate tyramine-rich foods from your diet. Migraine suffers who are unsure of their triggers should document what they eat in a migraine trigger log so they can identify and eliminate any migraine-inducing foods from their diet.
Manage Your Headache with the Help of Optimum Health Rehab in Georgia
If you’re suffering from headaches and are looking for safe and sustainable headache management strategies, our experienced team at Optimum Health Rehab is here to help you. We offer many treatments, from chiropractic care to trigger point injections, and we’ll use our expertise to find the best solution for you.