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everyday headache triggers

5 Times A Day You Might Be Setting Yourself Up for A Headache

You could be triggering a migraine or headache and not even know it. Arm yourself with these tips.

If you’re a headache or migraine sufferer, you probably spend a lot of time and effort trying to prevent head pain. If you ignore your headache triggers, you could be unwittingly egging on a throbbing head. Here are five times you might be setting yourself up for a headache or migraine.

When You Aren’t Sleeping.

Poor sleep is a trigger for both headaches and migraines for some, and too much sleep is also a trigger. But what’s the right amount? Seven to nine hours a night is the recommended amount of sleep for adults. Try going to bed and waking up at the same time every day (even on weekends!) to reinforce a natural sleep-wake cycle. Learn more about what causes sleeplessness.

When You Miss a Meal.

A skipped meal can be a trigger for some migraine sufferers. So even if you slept through your alarm this morning or are slammed with a big deadline at work, make time to eat regular meals. But be careful what you eat: Some foods can be migraine triggers, too. See these four simple food swaps that may help reduce head pain.

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When You Skimp on Water.

It’s no secret that water is good for you for lots of reasons. But a symptom of mild to moderate dehydration can be a headache, and there is some evidence that migraine sufferers may be more sensitive to dehydration. But how much water should you drink? Experts recommend about 13 cups per day for men and about nine for women.

When You’re Stressed.

More stress may equal more headaches, as it’s a headache and migraine trigger for some. Tension headaches are the most common type of headache — and stress is the most common trigger. Tension headaches are typically marked by a dull ache on both sides of the head and are often paired with a stiff neck and shoulders. Learn how yoga can reduce stress for some.

Happy Hour.

For some, happy hour can feel a lot more like headache hour. Red wine may be more prone to triggering migraines in some people, thanks in part to the fact that it contains histamines. And that cheese plate that looks so tempting on the menu? It could be a migraine trigger, too.

If you suffer from summer headaches, tracking your symptoms in a headache diary may help you identify your personal headache triggers. And, if needed, do not hesitate to consult your physician


    1. Mukamal KJ, Wellenius GA, Suh HH, Mittleman MA. Weather and air pollution as triggers of severe headaches. Neurology. 2009 Mar 10;72(10):922-7. doi: 10.1212/01.wnl.0000344152.56020.94. Erratum in: Neurology. 2009 Oct 27;73(17):1428. PubMed PMID: 19273827; PubMed Central PMCID: PMC2677474.

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