Weird Things that Might Be Causing Your Headaches
Unless you’re nursing a hangover headaches are rarely self explanatory, and they can range from annoying to completely debilitating. There isn’t a perfect science to getting rid of them either, but you can reduce your odds of getting them in the first place. Here are some unexpected things that might be causing your headaches.
Sodium is a necessary mineral for keeping the electrolyte levels balanced in the body, but too much can cause a variety of issues. One that you might not have considered is causing headaches. Researchers are not sure why exactly high salt consumption can lead to headaches, but it might have something to do with the fact that it raises your blood pressure, which in turn makes your blood vessels expand.
To limit your salt intake avoid processed and prepackaged foods as much a possible and go for clean and fresh instead. A lot of packaged food is cured with salt so it hides in a lot of places.
If your weekdays are early, sleeping in on the weekend is probably your regular plan. The problem is that if you drink caffeine, sleeping in might actually be causing you to have caffeine withdrawal by the time you wake up. Try to limit your sleeping in to only an hour later than normal for your best chance of keeping your body on schedule.
It’s hard to imagine why they went looking for this correlation to begin with, but one study found that people had a 28 percent higher chance of getting a migraine when lightning struck near their homes. Air pressure changes from the weather can cause headaches as well. File those away under things you can’t do anything to prevent.
Foods that are dried, aged, or pickled can trigger headaches because they are full of sulfites. Sulfites have been known to dilate the blood vessels. That means be careful the next time you’re at a party and those trays of snacks are getting passed around. Cheese is a common offender, and so are salami and smoked salmon.
If you seem to get a headache every time that annoying coworker is badgering you, you’re probably not imagining the link. When we get anxious we start taking more shallow breaths as opposed to breathing deeply. The less oxygen you take in, the more your blood vessels constrict. Make it a habit to put your focus on your breath when you start feeling stressed out and you can both keep headaches at bay and also take a mini break from the situation at hand.
Staring at a computer screen can do more than make you feel crazy, it can also cause eye strain. Eye strain and looking at different levels of light on the computer can both lead your head to start pounding. You can combat this by using an anti-glare screen on your computer screen, and by taking ten minute breaks every hour where you focus on anything but an electronic screen.
About Kate Ferguson Kate Fergus is a Los Angeles local and freelance writer for a variety of blogs and online magazines. When she's not writing, the UC Davis graduate is focused on pursuits of the entertainment industry, spin class, and hot sauce.