Migraine Triggers – Weather, Water, Sleep, The purple shirt I wore Friday?


Okay, a purple shirt won’t give you a migraine; but sometimes it feels like everything you see and do can put a migraine into motion. While this isn’t entirely true, there can be many triggers as every individual is different. There are a few standard ones that are good to know. Now, remember that not every one of these triggers may apply to you. There may be more. There may be less. Work with your headache specialist to try to identify the ones that are most related to your situation.

First, one to remember and easiest to accomplish is to drink more water. Dehydration can trigger a migraine and not just on hot days either. It may happen faster when it is hot, but it doesn’t mean it can’t happen on any other day. So, drink plenty of fluids.

Second, drinking excessive caffeine can trigger migraines. A morning cup o’ joe or the occasional afternoon pick-me-up is certainly fine. It is when you starting to drink multiple per day every day that it can add up to one major pounding headache. Especially if you try to quit and do so cold turkey. So, much like everything I will tell you in this blog, enjoy it in moderation. Plus, for the love of all that is holy, don’t drink those energy drinks. No one needs what is in those things.

Third, not getting active can trigger migraines. This one is also pretty simple to fix. Get up. Get moving. Next day, do it again. It is important that this is a priority for your schedule. Maybe you can’t get 60 minutes every time you work out but all the little bits add up. Aim for 10,000 steps per day and that will add up to a lot of exercise over time. Don’t think of it as a mountain to climb, but rather a series of consistent little hills to get over.

Fourth, not getting enough sleep is a huge trigger for migraines. I could spend lots of time describing the chemical basis of this, but that would put you to sleep…..wait maybe that is a good idea! But seriously, you want to aim for 8-9 hours at night most nights.

Fifth, and final for this post, is too much stress will trigger a headache. I could spend an entire post (and maybe I will) on how to manage stress. I think the big thing to recognize now is what your stresses are and begin to think of ways to decrease them for yourself and your brain.

This is a start, but again, there can be many. Keeping a diary can help pinpoint some for you as well. So, I bid you happy hunting.

About Alison


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