Headaches are so common that most of us don’t give a second thought to what might be causing them. Look behind the painkillers to what could be the root of your headaches and you may be able to nip them in the bud without visiting the medicine cabinet.
Being overweight: One study found that women with a body mass index of 30 to 40 had a 35 per cent greater risk of getting headaches than women with a healthy BMI. For women with a BMI of over 40, the chances of being affected by headaches were increased by 80 per cent.
Your caffeine habit: It can be confusing as research shows that if you already have a headache, caffeine can help soothe it. If you’re a hard core espresso drinker though, and you’re prone to sore heads, you might need to curb your caffeine habit a little. If you suspect that you might be sensitive to caffeine try cutting back slowly until you are only having it one or two days a week.
Lack of activity: The last thing you might feel like when you’ve got a bad head is a workout, but a Swedish study showed that if your lifestyle is sedentary you’re likely to be more prone to headaches if you’re active. If you can manage 20-30 minutes of cardio, five days a week it should help relieve your headaches as working out helps relieve stress, improve blood circulation to your brain and gets the endorphins flowing to make you feel good.
Sleep deprivation: If you’re tempted to stay up late on a regular basis, binge watching box sets on Netflix, don’t! People who only managed six hours of sleep a night (on average) tend to have more headaches and more painful headaches than those who manage more sleep most nights.
Your personality: Strange as it may sound, your personality type might dictate your headache status. If you have a tendency towards being rigid, reserved or obsessive, you can also find that you get more headaches than people with a more relaxed character.