While most of us are familiar with a certain sensation: the dull ache in your head that signals the onset of a full-blown headache, it can be difficult to know how to exactly approach it. However, those, who suffer from chronic headaches or migraines, know that this can mean the beginning of hours of pain – and even minor headaches can dampen your mood and make your day more difficult to power through.
As with most health matters, the best defense against pounding headaches is often a good offense. Here are strategies to help prevent headaches and minimize the pain if they do develop.
Watch what and when you eat.
Skipping meals can cause a drop in your blood sugar levels, possibly triggering a headache. If you wake up with morning headaches, a snack such as fruit before bedtime may help. Researchers have also found that sufficient magnesium in your diet can help. This chemical relaxes your blood vessels, helping to prevent or lessen headache pain. To get more magnesium in your diet, eat whole-grain versions of bread and pasta and add some leafy green vegetables to your meals. Other magnesium-rich foods include almonds, cashews, pumpkin seeds, halibut, and soybeans.
Do what you can to minimize stress.
Stress is a known trigger of headaches. While it is impossible to remove all stress from your life, you can learn to cope better with those inevitable stressful moments and situations. Experiment until you find a technique that will help calm your mind and body quickly. This may be deep breathing, taking a walk, or talking to a loved one. You may find that stress relief is all you need to reduce the frequency or severity of your headaches.
Get plenty of sleep.
As with many other aspects of your health, sleep is a critical factor if you want to minimize your headaches. Lack of sleep and a general state of fatigue can contribute to headaches. It is important for headache sufferers to not only get enough sleep but also must maintain a regular sleep schedule. Try waking up at the same time every single day no matter what time you went to bed the previous night. This will force your body to adapt to a new circadian rhythm, which will jumpstart a more normalized sleep schedule.
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