Migraine sufferers are turning to non-pharmacological options to reduce the number of headaches they have. Prophylactic drugs aimed at migraine prevention can have many unpleasant side effects and do not work at all for some migraineurs (people who have chronic migraines).
A migraineur’s lifestyle impacts the severity and frequency of the attacks and lifestyle changes, like those mentioned below can prevent migraine recurrence.
Sleep: Migraineurs need to learn how much sleep they need and make sure they do not get too little sleep or too much more than they need. Patients who do not get enough sleep during the workweek who try to make up for it over the weekend may trigger a headache.
Exercise: Physical exertion in moderation is good for everyone, including migraineurs. Establishing a regular exercise routine, at least 20-40 minutes of physical activity a minimum of three times a week, relieves stress that triggers headaches and exercise-induced endorphins are a natural analgesic.
Stress Management:Migraineurs are susceptible to attacks during periods of high stress. If stress is unavoidable, they should build time for stress relief into their routine to prevent a headache. Good stress management techniques for migraineurs are massage, exercise, adequate sleep and a healthy diet.
Eating: Migraineurs should eat regular meals at roughly the same time daily and not skip a meal unless it is an emergency. A good, healthy breakfast goes a long way in preventing headaches.
The most important thing is to be consistent with any lifestyle change. Migraineurs need regular behavior patterns and they must be applied on weekends and holidays, not just during the week. Getting out of sync two days a week by sleeping in, skipping meals, or staying up late defeats the purpose of lifestyle changes and upsets the balance created by having a pattern the rest of the week.