5 Common Headache Triggers

Sometimes it’s hard to always keep your head in the game – especially when an annoying headache or debilitating migraine takes over!

There can be many triggers, ranging from environmental to dietary, but below are five common ones you should be aware of. In fact, just being aware of these factors and learning how you can avoid them can help you ward off any future head-pounding episodes!

  • Fluctuating Sleep Habits. Not getting enough sleep, jet lag, and even sometimes sleeping too much can trigger a raging headache or migraine episode. An altered sleep schedule affects brain activity and can make you more open to aches and pains, as well as decrease memory and lower concentration.
  • Stress. Different for everyone, stress and anxiety can be set off by common things such as work deadlines, new social interactions, or driving in an unfamiliar area. Mostly it depends on the specific situation. Your stress level depends on how you personally react to common and uncommon life events and how prone to anxiety you are. Not surprisingly, stress directly correlates with headaches and migraines and can be a widespread trigger that is often challenging to manage.
  • Altering Hormones. Ever-changing hormone levels, especially estrogen in women, can trigger headaches and migraines. Many times, the week prior to a menstruation period, a woman’s estrogen level fluctuates and can set off a throbbing headache.
  • Bright Lights. Intense sunlight or fluorescent light can easily lead to head pain due to eye strain or a light-induced, overactive stimulation in the brain.
  • Missing Meals. Fasting or skipping a meal can bring on a headache or migraine without warning, due to low blood sugar or mild dehydration. Frequently skipping meals, yo-yo dieting, malnutrition, or iron deficiency anemia can easily be the enemy of a peaceful mind.

In addition to the triggers mentioned above, here are some more that may cause you a debilitating headache.

Keeping an eye out for what specific triggers set you off is the best way of avoiding an excruciating headache or migraine. Keeping a daily diary of your routine – including meals, drinks, sleep patterns, medications, activities, and more – can help you identify what to look out for to avoid triggers and take control. Sharing that information with a trusted doctor, such as Midwest Neurology Associates, can make all of the difference. A fresh set of eyes can help you discover that something you think is fine is actually leading to unnecessary headaches. To find