Headaches are often a sign that your body needs a good, old-fashioned rest. Obviously, the best thing you can do is to make sure you get an appropriate amount of sleep every night. Either too much or too little shuteye can leave your head pounding, so make sure you get a steady eight hours each night. For more top sleep tips, click here. If you feel a headache coming on, it’s a good idea to lie down in a dark room and take a little nap, snoozing for an hour or so. Doing this is a great way to stop a headache dead in its tracks, allowing you to get on with the rest of your day.
Eat small meals, regularly
If you haven’t eaten anything in a while, that head-pounding might be a result of low blood sugar. In this case, eating something right away might nip the aching in the bud. Some studies suggest magnesium-rich food, like spinach, tofu, olive oil or pumpkin seeds, may be especially helpful. If you graze on small meals throughout the day, rather than three large ones at breakfast, lunch, and dinner your blood sugar will stay more consistent, preventing you from experiencing crashes.
Dehydration is one of the most common headache triggers. Unfortunately, by the time you realise you are thirsty, you’re already dehydrated. A good way to prevent dehydration is to drink at least 1.5 litres of water, per day. You can even spice your water up a little bit, with a dash of lemon or sprinkling of mint.
Go easy at happy hour
Hangover headaches are some of the worst. If having a drink is on your agenda, make sure you space out your beverages and/or eat high-fat foods so that the absorption of alcohol is delayed and the effects of the hangover are blunted. Never drink on an empty stomach either, as that will make your headache ten times worse.
Stay out of the sun
If you’re heading to the beach on a sunny summer afternoon, make sure you pack plenty of fluids and a beach umbrella if you’re prone to migraines. According to a 2009 Harvard University study, a person’s risk of having a severe headache goes up 7.5% for every 5-degree-Celsius rise in temperature. Wearing sunglasses can help, as can shade or air conditioning when you feel yourself getting overheated.
Being a couch potato sets you up for headaches, according to a Swedish study. When researchers looked at 43,770 people with recurrent headaches and migraines, they found that physical inactivity was the strongest lifestyle factor associated with headaches. Another study found cycling to be very beneficial, as well as yoga.