Department: the Waiting Room: Quick Tips
Daylight savings time came early this year, forcing us all to rise sooner—and tempting us to stay out later to enjoy the extra sunlight. But don't change your sleep schedule too much, says Suzanne Simons, executive director of the National Headache Foundation. Any change to your regular sleep-wake cycle can trigger migraines. For a migraine-free spring, try the following:
✓ STICK TO THE SAME SLEEP SCHEDULE. Even getting too much sleep can trigger migraines.
✓ DON'T DELAY OR SKIP MEALS. A drop in blood sugar can trigger a migraine, so keep healthy snacks handy throughout the day.
✓ GET MOVING. Simply adding a daily 20-minute walk to your routine can reduce migraines.
✓ LIMIT STRESS. Even watching a funny movie can make a difference.
✓ DON'T OVERUSE OTC PAIN MEDICATIONS. If non-prescription drugs aren't mitigating your pain, see a doctor.
✓ KEEP A FOOD DIARY. Write down what you eat and when you get headaches to identify dietary triggers.
✓ For more information, see the National Headache Foundation's web site at headaches.org.