6 Easy Tips for Headache Prevention
Frequent, recurring headaches while not a serious condition can still be debilitating in daily life. Constant throbbing, pressure, or pain can serve as a distraction, nuisance, or even downright disruption to daily activities. While there's no way to completely prevent headaches, there are definitely ways to help reduce their severity and frequency.
#1 Eliminate Food Triggers
One of the most common causes of recurring headaches is poor diet. The first and arguably most important step you can take in reducing headache severity and frequency is to cut out food triggers from your diet. These include foods with excess preservatives and chemicals, especially fast food. Eliminating these foods for several weeks should prove especially helpful in reducing your headaches.
- Foods containing MSG
- Foods containing aspartame
- Cured meats
- Aged cheese
- Ice Cream
#2 Avoid Dehydration
Another common cause of recurring headaches is dehydration. Studies show that most Americans are dehydrated and don't even realize it. It's recommended that you drink 8 glasses of water that are at least 8 oz in size daily to keep hydrated, and more during the summer months when you body becomes dehydrated faster.
#3 Reduce Stress
Stress headaches can come from a variety of circumstances whether it's a change of job, move across town, the end of a relationship, or a death in the family. To help reduce headaches you should consider a few stress reduction techniques. If your life feels chaotic and unorganized, start a planner and schedule your days ahead of time so there are no surprises. If you feel overwhelmed, consider taking a vacation even a day or two off can make a world of difference. If your stress feels severe, consider consulting your doctor, who will likely recommend breathing routines or even biofeedback tests to establish the source of your stress.
#4 Establish a Regular Sleep Schedule
Sleep schedules that are broken or erratic can often lead to headaches as. On one hand, too much sleep can lead to sleep hangovers, in which you experience persistent grogginess and headaches throughout the day. But on the other hand, too little sleep will leave your body scrounging for extra energy. Experts recommend a solid 6-8 hours of sleep per night for your body to function at optimal efficiency. It is also recommended that most of your sleep come between the hours of 10pm and 3am. During these hours, it's easiest for your body to metabolize sleep.
#5 Establish a Healthy Exercise Schedule
With a healthy amount of exercise in your life, your body will always feel better. Exercise creates endorphins, which are known as natural pain killer. They also help you feel more awake and energetic during the day. However, when creating an exercise routine it's important to keep your physical limits in mind. Pushing yourself too hard can increasestress and worsen headaches.
#6 Keep a Headache Prevention Diary
Keeping a diary of your daily activities and the occurrence of your headaches can help you and your doctor pinpoint the cause of your headaches. Write down the times of day your headaches strike, and also log the following:
- What you eat
- What you drink
- Your sleep schedule
- Your physical activities
If, after trying natural remedies, your headaches persist or worsen, you should consider consulting your doctor. Though rare, headaches can sometimes be the symptom of a more serious condition. By following these simple tips, you should be able to reduce your headaches to a much more bearable level.