When it comes to headaches, there’s no denying how painful and debilitating they can be. In some cases, headaches can be so bad that they make it difficult to function at all. I’ve had regular headaches for several years so I totally understand. If you’re also someone who suffers from headaches, you know how important it is to find ways to prevent them from happening in the first place. Here are nine tips for prevention:
1. Get enough sleep
One of the most common triggers for headaches is lack of sleep. If you’re not getting the recommended seven to eight hours of sleep each night, you’re more likely to experience headaches.
When you’re super busy or stressed (see #5 below), it’s obviously hard to get more z’s. It may help to create a restful bedroom environment, have a sleep schedule, and avoid caffeine at night (see #3).
2. Preventing headaches: Drink plenty of water
Dehydration is another common trigger, so make sure you’re drinking enough water each day. It’s especially important to drink plenty of water if you’re going to be drinking alcohol or caffeine, or if you’re exercising regularly.
I’ve started taking electrolyte powder lately and that’s been helpful. If plain water is boring to you, try adding a slice of lemon to make taking a sip more attractive.
3. Avoid excessive caffeine and alcohol
Too much caffeine and alcohol can also trigger headaches. So, try to limit your intake if possible.
However, keep in mind that one of the most common withdrawal symptoms from caffeine is a headache, so don’t go cold turkey if you’re a heavy coffee drinker. It’s a fine balance, right?!
4. Eat regularly to prevent headaches
Believe it or not, skipping meals can also lead to headaches. Not to mention being hangry (hungry + angry).
Make sure you’re eating regular meals and snacks throughout the day so your blood sugar remains stable. I’m thankful hubby makes sure I eat regularly.
5. Avoid triggers
If you know certain things trigger your headaches, try to steer clear of them as much as possible. For example, if bright lights or loud noises make your headaches worse, do your best to avoid them.
Another common trigger for headaches is stress. Reducing tension-type headaches that develop as a physical response to your emotions isn’t easy but it is possible. Some people find taking supplements helps, while others turn to acupuncture or something else.
6. Take breaks to prevent headaches
If you know you’re going to be doing a lot of work or spending a lot of time in one place, take breaks often. Doing so will give your body a chance to rest.
In other words, don’t overdo it, if possible. Everyone has limits, even you.
7. Consider a humidifier or medication
If you live in a dry climate or spend a lot of time in heated or air-conditioned environments, using a humidifier can be helpful. It can keep your sinuses moist and help prevent headaches.
As for medication, it helps some people who have debilitating headaches. It might be an off-the-shelf pill like acetaminophen or that your doctor prescribed certain meds for migraines. Always follow the recommended instructions, never taking too many.
8. Practice yoga or meditation
Both yoga and meditation can help relieve tension in the neck and head, which can help prevent intense pain. Yoga may help those whose headaches stem from bad posture.
Yoga also relaxes the mind, body, and spirit, as does meditation. Perhaps you will try both to find the right one for you.
9. Try a headache relief patch
If you frequently get headaches, you may want to try a headache relief patch. These patches contain a blend of natural ingredients that help relieve tension and pain. You can also try a pain relief cream.
Frequent headaches can also be a sign of an underlying disease, so reach out to your doctor if you are concerned about that. Preventing headaches can be tricky, but the tips above provide a great starting point. Feel free to add more suggestions for headache prevention and coping strategies below.