Stress – Stress can cause muscles to tighten and pull which can lead to a tension headache. Best remedy: Engage in stress reducing activities such as meditation, writing in a journal, reading, listening to music or laughing.
Sleep – Not getting enough sleep can easily lead to a headache as well increasing the chances of other triggers such as stress and hormones. Best remedy: Create a sleep routine that works for you and stick to it.
Diet – Lack of food and protein can lead to a headache to migraine while eating certain foods high in “nitrites, nitrates, yellow food dyes, or monosodium glutamate can be especially problematic” states Dr. Ashina of Harvard. Best remedy: Avoid foods that coincide with headaches, if any.
Hydration – Drinking plenty of water during the day is critical for our bodies. When we drink too many sugary or flavored drinks, our bodies are not getting as much water as they may need leading to headaches and migraines. Best remedy: Drink a couple glasses of water and allow the headache to subside naturally.
Alcohol – Alcohol itself can be a cause of headaches although it is not known if it is the alcohol that causes the headaches or something else in the drinks. Best remedy: When drinking alcohol, a good method to avoid headaches is to drink a glass a water in between drinks to keep your hydration levels up.
Environment – Headaches seem to happen more often during the fall and spring months. Although scientists are not sure why this occurs, the suspected culprits include bright lights, smoke, humidity, intense scents and even cold weather itself. Best remedy: keep a journal of when headaches occur and the days conditions. After a few weeks, some noticeable variations may stand out such as smoke, bright light or cold weather.
Devices – Our device count has grown over the last decade and while some things have increased in size such as TV, our personal devices have shrunk. Spending a lot of time on smaller devices can lead to eye strain and headaches. Best remedy: Take breaks every hour so your eyes can relax. Stop using devices 1-2 hours before bed for best sleep.
Hormones – Drastic changes in hormone levels such as estrogen is associated with migraines in women. On average, women do get more headaches than men. Best remedy: Utilize hormone balancing therapies.
Caffeine Withdrawal – Routine consumers of coffee, tea or caffeinated drinks can see an increase in headaches if there is a sudden change to how much caffeine you are intaking. This is thought to be due to caffeine’s ability to cause blood vessels to constrict and when not present, allows the blood vessels to widen with each heartbeat and is thought to be the source of pounding pain in migraines. This may also be the chief reasons migraine medications like Excedrin contain caffeine. Best remedy: Drink a small amount of caffeine to help your body adjust.