If you read my earlier post on migraines you already know that chiropractic care is essential if you are prone to headaches or migraines. But, I know that some of you A students out there want to take action in other ways to make sure you head off these annoying inconveniences before they start. Here are some tips:
Get more sleep. Shoot for 8 hours, even if it seems impossible. Use room darkening shades, quiet all outside noise, get off of your phone, and close your eyes. When you are well rested you will be less likely to have any type of problem, headaches included.
Sleep on a supportive pillow. The best type of pillow will vary from one person to another, but in general you need something that supports the curve of your neck without forcing your chin toward your chest. When you lay on your back, you should feel gentle pressure against your neck and your nose should point straight up toward the ceiling. If your nose is starting to angle toward your toes, you need a different pillow. For more information on sleep checkout this video below on sleeping tips for headache and migraine sufferers.
Get off of your phone and computer, and turn off the TV. All of these emit blue light. Receptors in the retina of a person's eye (called photoreceptors) are most sensitive to blue light, which is why scientists believe blue light exposure can worsen migraine pain. Sunlight emits blue light too, but it is in combination with other colors so the effect is different. Be especially strict about this before bed – blue light decreases your body’s production of melatonin, a hormone that tells your brain when to sleep and when to wake.
Stay away from certain foods. Caffeine from soda, coffee and chocolate, MSG (which is in an alarming number of processed foods), artificial sweeteners, beer and wine, and additives in processed meats (especially nitrates) are all triggers. Read labels! For my list of 5 foods to avoid if you have headaches or migraines check out the video below.
Neutralize stress. Unresolved stress accumulates, and is the cause for 90-95% of all diseases and disorders, per the CDC. That’s right – heart disease, stroke, cancer, diabetes – from stress. It’s in your hands! That means you need a regular activity to neutralize the stress that you will inevitably encounter. Things like yoga, massage, meditation, reading, and walks outdoors are a great place to start. Find something you enjoy! If you take up yoga and absolutely hate it, chances are it won’t be relaxing for you.
If you implement these changes along with your adjustments, you will be headache-free in no time!