Health & Beauty
GPS for Your Headaches
Head pounding? Here's your roadmap to the most common headache pains and how to get relief asap
Lack of Sleep
For a wondrous few, only three or four hours of sleep a night may be necessary without negative physical side effects (let me contain my bitterness), whereas others feel like a train wreck without eight. If you aren't getting enough sleep, you may feel dizzy and dazed with head pain all over. The answer is simple: Get more sleep. "If you're fatigued or going through an especially stressful time, you may have to squeeze in naps during the day so you don't get run down," says Dr. Dean.
"When we're dehydrated, our cells shrink and the volume of the brain decreases," says Dr. Dean. "It causes a tiny but measurable reaction, which leads to pain." If you're experiencing a fuzzy, foggy kind of headache that feels like the inside of your brain is trying to push out your ears, think about the last time you hit the watercooler. You should be drinking half your body weight in ounces of water per day.
Occasionally, certain foods like cheese, wine or chocolate (um, so basically all the good ones) can trigger headaches. "These foods contain tyramine, which is produced from protein as food ages," says Dr. Lazarus. If you can't pinpoint a reason for your headaches, try keeping a food diary and look at what you ate before a headache occurred. You may have to cut out some of your favorites.