How to Avoid a “Weekend Migraine” This Weekend

Follow these steps to stay headache-free.

There’s never a good time to have a migraine. But the weekend? That’s just not fair. However, many headache and migraine sufferers experience an uptick in symptoms over the weekend. The phenomenon has even been given a nickname: “weekend headaches.”

Here are some tips to help you stay head pain–free, so you can enjoy your weekend to the fullest:

Maintain a Consistent Sleep Schedule. Weekends are prime time for staying up late and sleeping in even later, but changes in your sleep habits may increase your risk of weekend migraines. While fatigue is a common trigger of migraine headaches, some people also find that oversleeping may act as a trigger. If your sleep schedule tends to vary from week to weekend, try going to bed and getting up at the same time every day.

Fight Stress Before It Starts. It’s no secret that stress can sometimes trigger migraines, but some people may also get migraines once the stress passes, according to research published in Headache. 1 That means it’s important to not only fight the stress you already have but to also keep new stresses at bay. Exercise, adequate sleep, and some much needed “me” time may help.

Eat As Usual. Weekend activities — from attending potlucks to running errands — can greatly influence your eating habits. If you are prone to weekend migraines, try to eat as you do during the week, both in terms of the foods you choose and the times you eat them. Going too long between meals, not getting enough water, and splurging on sugary snacks and processed foods may trigger migraines in some.

Journal Your Migraine Symptoms. A migraine diary may help you identify triggers specifically related to your weekend activities — triggers that may be to blame for your weekend migraines. This article explains what you should chart and Excedrin’s My Migraine Triggers app, which was developed with a neurologist, enables you to create a detailed log wherever you go.

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1. Nattero G, De Lorenzo C, Biale L, Allais G, Torre E, Ancona M. Psychological aspects of weekend headache sufferers in comparison with migraine patients. Headache. 1989 Feb;29(2):93-9. PubMed PMID: 2708043.



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