All of us may get headaches. Big or small, once a month or several times a week, our headaches are bothersome nuisances or truly debilitating. Here are some ways you can help prevent your headaches:

1. Keep a headache calendar.

Track your headache(s) in a monthly calendar, how severe it was from 1 to 10, any medications you took along with side effects and how long the headache lasted. Also track any possible triggers such as foods, alcohol, sleep changes, weather changes or stressors. Tracking your headaches can be as simple as using a symptom tracker built into newer mobile devices, a headache-tracking app or logging them on your calendar. By keeping these records, you may be able to identify headache triggers and work on cutting them out of your lifestyle.

Contact us at ChristianaCare Neurology Specialists to schedule an appointment with our headache specialists at 302-623-3017.

2. Establish regular sleep habits.

Keep a regular sleep pattern, allowing eight hours of sleep per night. Try to keep regular bedtimes and wake times without major fluctuations between the weekdays and weekends. Headaches may be worsened by sleep deprivation, oversleeping or shifting sleep schedules.

3. Don’t have too much caffeine.

Avoid having too much caffeine intake – coffee, soda, tea, etc. Try to limit your intake to two cups per day or less. Cut off caffeine eight hours before you want to go to bed. For example, if you go to bed at 10 p.m., stop drinking caffeine by 2 p.m.

4. Eat healthy and stay hydrated.

Keep a healthful diet and stay well hydrated. Frequent small meals tend to be better than a few larger ones. Avoid caffeine, alcohol, MSG and processed meats. Some people also do well with a gluten-free diet or eliminating other ingredients like dairy or soy. Tracking your meals can help you identify potential dietary triggers for headaches.

5. Exercise regularly.

Exercise regularly, several days per week, with a combination of stretching, aerobic and strengthening exercises. Yoga is very good for headache sufferers. Adults should aim for 150 minutes of moderate-intensity physical activity per week.

6. Reduce stress.

Learn stress reduction techniques such as meditation, deep breathing, imagery exercises or biofeedback. Give it a try and follow along with our guided meditation.

7. Limit headache medications.

Limit “as needed” medications for headaches to a maximum of two to three days per week to avoid worsening headaches. Taking an “as needed” medication more than two to three times per week will make headaches worse in the long run.

8. Try natural supplements to reduce headaches.

Consider trying natural supplements to help reduce headache frequency. Options with good headache benefits include magnesium, riboflavin and Coenzyme Q10 (CoQ10).

And don’t forget: if your headaches are persistent, consult your doctor. Schedule an appointment online with us today or call us at 302-623-3017.