Whether you are a chronic sufferer of headaches, or you just get them occasionally, most people can agree that they could do with less of them in their life. Preventing headaches are all about avoiding headache triggers in your everyday activities. Here are some easy solutions which propose ways to avoid common headache triggers and thus help prevent headaches.
1. Watch your diet
Your diet can be one of the biggest triggers of headaches. Commonly known headache triggers include: hard cheeses, cured meats, MSG, alcohol, and even bananas. Coffee and chocolate have conflicting reports about them. Sometimes they are known as triggers, and sometimes they help prevent them.
When and how much you eat can also be a trigger. Generally it is considered low blood sugar is a common headache trigger so having large gaps in between meals can increase your susceptibility towards headaches. This is why doctors recommend eating many small meals throughout the day to regulate the peaks and valleys of your blood sugar.
2. Cut down on your screen time
Believe it or not, how much time you spend on your screens can trigger headaches. It generally has to do with the light that your screens produce. Your phones, tablets, and computers create blue light which mimics sunlight. With that said, your eyes aren’t meant to look at the sun for hours a day. By changing what kind of light your phone or laptop puts out or purchasing blue light blocking glasses, you can reduce the chance that your screen will cause your next headache.
3. Keep a diary
Keeping a headache diary is a great step towards preventing headaches. Everytime you get a headache, write down important information about it to track for future use. Things to keep a note of include:
- Start and end time
- Pain from 1 to 10
- Food eaten that day
- Significant smells before the headache
- Sources of stress
- Where the pain is located
- Type of pain(constant, throbbing, waves)
By writing this all down, you give yourself valuable information about your headache triggers. The best way you can prevent headaches is to avoid these triggers.
4. Improve your sleep
A major trigger of headaches during the day is actually caused by what you do at night. Namely, the amount and quality of sleep you get. Headaches are much more likely to occur if you aren’t getting enough sleep or deep sleep at night. Try to focus on getting a full 8 hours of deep sleep in order to prevent future headaches. Common sleep problems include a poor mattress or pillow, undiagnosed sleep apnea or poor sleeping habits. By fixing some or all of these problems, you can get better sleep, and therefore, less headaches.
Meditation has been known to decrease stress and lower blood pressure with routine use, both of which are known headache triggers.
6. Stay Hydrated
Dehydration is another known trigger for headaches. One which is very easy to counteract. Just follow the 8×8 rule recommended by physicians. The 8×8 rule stands for 8oz glasses of water 8 times a day. Following this will make sure you are never dehydrated again, preventing future headaches.
Exercise can be both a boon and a curse for headaches. By overexerting yourself or dehydrating due to working out, you can actually cause yourself to get a headache. Furthermore, working out with a headache has been shown to actually increase the headache’s intensity. But time and time again it’s been shown that consistent exercise is a good way to reduce the amount of headaches you get. There are two reasons for this. One, exercise releases dopamine which reduces stress on the brain. Two, consistent exercise improves sleep quality. So by exercising you are managing to positively affect two of the largest headache triggers. If you plan on exercising a lot, you just need to be aware to not exercise if you have one already.
Hopefully this list was informative on not only teaching you about headache prevention, but also on what might cause your own headaches in the future. By being aware of your triggers, you can take your health in your own hands.
Image Credits: istockphoto.com
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