For several years, I suffered from horrible migraines. My day would consist of taking 2 Excedrin Migraine with a Pepsi chaser about every 6 hours and then whimpering myself to sleep with a cold compress on my forehead. Not a good way to live.
When I finally went to the doctor, he told me my headaches were caffeine related. Shocking, I know. Considering a dose of Excedrin Migraine contains 130mg of caffeine and a Pepsi has 36-38mg … well, that was WAY too much for my system. No wonder I was waking up with a headache – the 8 hours of sleep I was getting was allowing me to detox from the massive doses of caffeine and I’d wake up feeling like I was going to die.
I slowly weaned myself off caffeine over the course of about 6 months. I still drink caffeine now, but I make sure it’s in a more natural state – like that in green tea or chocolate. I don’t seem to have the reaction to this natural-based caffeine as I do to the chemically made caffeine in sodas, energy drinks & medications.
So, what could be causing your headaches?
- skipping meals
- the weather – Check out Weather.com’s Aches & Pain index
- your hairstyle – I find if I use headbands or pull my hair up a lot, I get a headache.
- good ‘ol stress
- strong scents
- too much time at a computer/eye strain
- foods – especially cheese, red wine and deli meats that contain nitrates
- excess – or lack of – caffeine (these are called rebound headaches – basically, you drink a LOT of caffeine, then go into withdrawal after not having it for a while, like when you wake up. Here’s a great article explaining different types of headaches)
- Take a cool shower
- Lay in a dark room with a cool compress or ice pack on your forehead or back of neck/shoulders
- Peppermint oil – add a few drops to the cool compress or in the corners of your shower. You can also rub a few drops directly onto your temples or neck.
- Gently rub your temples and/or the space between your thumb and forefinger
- See a chiropractor
- Acupuncture – as recommended by @SweetsbySarah on Twitter. (And I wholeheartedly agree with!)