Very often we hear people complain of a throbbing pain on one side of the head commonly known as migraine. The symptoms, however, can vary. Many people experience nausea, vomiting, photophobia, and even phono-phobia (sensitivity to sound). Making healthy changes in your lifestyle like having a good sleep, eating a nutritious and balanced diet, and exercise can significantly reduce the pain as well as the frequency of migraine headaches.
Frequent migraine attacks can leave you exhausted and affect your cognitive capabilities including thinking, learning, remembering, or making decisions. Below we have mentioned some of the lifestyle changes that you need to make in order to reduce the pain and improve your overall health.
1. Healthy amount of sleep
You can’t work properly if you do not get enough sleep. Sleep research shows that all adults need 7-9 hours of sleep every day to recharge their bodies. Not getting a healthy amount of sleep can put you at the risk of medical conditions such as heart diseases, diabetes, and high blood pressure. The less you sleep, the more your body promotes the growth of proteins that can cause severe migraines and minimizes the body’s ability to endure pain.
Thus, having a sleep schedule can definitely help in reducing the migraine headaches. Not only can this boost your immune system and increase productivity but you may also be able to reduce anxiety and depression by having a good and uninterrupted sleep every night.
2. A balanced diet
Your diet makes all the difference! Eating junk food or not eating enough can adversely affect your physical as well as mental health. Studies show that consumption of foods that are rich sources of omega-3 fatty acids can help reduce migraine headaches. Fish like salmon and tuna, eggs, broccoli, and spinach are high in omega-3 and associated with pain-reducing effects.
Skipping meals can also trigger migraines. Eat healthy whenever you feel hungry and do not compromise your meals for anything. Some experts have found that tyramine can be linked with migraine. So do remember to avoid food items which contain tyramine, processed foods, or chocolate. Dehydration can also cause migraine and a watermelon might be just the solution to this problem. Eat well so you stay well.
3. Exercise to recharge yourself
No matter how busy and exhausting your schedule is, take some time out to exercise. It will not only help you in improving the quality of your sleep, but will also minimize symptoms of anxiety and depression. Recent studies have shown that exercising regularly reduces the frequency of migraine attacks and improves brain functions.
But how is this possible?
When we move our body or indulge in any physical activity, our body releases endorphins which help the body deal with stress related feelings and serve as pain-killers. Exercises as simple as walking and cycling can do wonders for you. However, do not push yourself beyond the limits as over-exercising itself can trigger headache or migraine.
4. Reduce stress
Whenever we have to make any decision in life such as moving out of a place, resigning from a job, or marrying, we usually overthink and stress about it. This increase in stress level often triggers anxiety disorders which further cause migraine. Research shows that nearly all migraine patients have high levels of stress. People who have anxiety disorders are more prone to migraine than people who do not suffer from any mental illnesses.
So how can you reduce stress? Engage yourself in things you love to do. Meditate, read, write, paint, etc. Don’t stress out yourself over things you cannot control. Keep yourself busy and try to focus on one thing at a time. There’s no need to rush things or panic.
5. Consult your medical advisor
Some people have comparatively lower pain tolerance levels than others. The intensity of the migraine also varies from person to person. If you are not able to reduce the frequency of migraine headaches or minimize the pain and have tried changing your lifestyle, it is not a problem. Talk to your medical advisor as they know your medical history and might be able to help you better.
A lot of migraine patients take pain-killers such as ibuprofen or paracetamol to help reduce pain. However, it is always better to try to make healthy changes in your lifestyle before moving to medications.
6. Control caffeine and alcohol intake
Excessive intake of caffeine affects the adenosine levels in the blood that trigger migraine attacks. Drinking alcohol leads to your body losing more fluid than it has consumed which causes dehydration, making you prone to frequent headaches. For some people, caffeine actually helps as a pain-killer for migraines. But they still need to keep in check their caffeine intake as higher levels can lead to restlessness and dependency.
If you drink a lot and have noticed that it triggers your migraine, it’s high time you control your drinking habits. Smoking can also cause intense headaches. It is therefore healthy for you to get rid of all that weakens your body and your brain. Withdrawing from drinking might not be an easy decision for a lot of people, but it is the right one. It is not just migraine that you can prevent by controlling your drinking habits. You are protecting your body against chronic diseases such as liver disease and digestive problems.
It is never too late to start again. If your migraines are stopping you from performing well at work or concentrating in class, it’s about time you make some healthy lifestyle changes. Put your health above anything else in order to fully enjoy everything. Make sure to have a good amount of sleep. But if you struggle, you can find guidance on the internet to buy a quality mattress. For instance, if you are an Australian who struggles to find a good mattress, you can find guidance at best mattresses in Australia for buying a comfortable mattress that promises a comfortable and undisturbed sleep on the internet.