1. Get a good night’s sleep. Changes in sleep patterns, changing work schedules, and jet lag can affect the quality of sleep cycles and trigger migraines. Try to maintain a regular sleep schedule. Get up and go to bed at the same time every day if possible.
2. Try not to sleep late! Though it might seem like a reward to relax and sleep in, giving yourself that letdown after stress is a common trigger because it affects your sleep patterns. If you really must sleep late on the weekends, try sleeping with a tiny bit of your window open to let air in.
3. Don’t skip meals. Skipping meals can trigger a migraine attack. If you can, eat smaller meals throughout the day or be sure to eat three meals.
4. Take note of what you eat. Certain foods and drinks can trigger a migraine attack in about 10% of migraine sufferers. It can take from 30 minutes to 12 hours for a food to cause a reaction. If you get a migraine, think back to what you ate in that time frame and try eliminating some of those foods from your diet. Some examples of common triggers include chocolate and red wine.
5. Check with your doctor before starting a new exercise routine. Because physical exertion or other abrupt lifestyle changes trigger migraines, jumping right into an extreme exercise program is not a good idea. Anything that jolts your body out of its normal rhythms – a change in sleep patterns, alternating work shifts – can cause a migraine, so first talk to your doctor before making a big change, and be sure to ease into it.
6. Steer clear of scents. Powerful scents, along with other intense sensory stimuli (very bright lights, loud noises) are very common culprits of causing headache pain. The worst offenders? Cleaning chemicals, detergents, cigarette smoke, raw onions, and strong perfume – so steer clear.