1. Headline
  1. Headline
updated 9/23/2007 2:17:22 PM ET 2007-09-23T18:17:22

7 a.m.: Abide the alarm
Snoozing in for more than an hour can disrupt your sleep-wake cycle, and anything that tinkers with your body’s natural rhythms may prime you for pain, says Lisa Mannix, M.D., a spokeswoman for the National Headache Foundation in Chicago. Commit to waking up (and going to bed) at the same time every day — yes, that includes weekends, too.

  1. More from TODAY.com
    1. Can a class help shake off the effects of social media?

      Talk about a terrifying assignment for a group of college students used to being connected 24/7: Eat lunch by yourself in ...

    2. Tap to fetch: Scientists connect phones with cyber-enhanced dogs
    3. Her morning run turned into a surprise makeover on TODAY
    4. Munch a monster meal: 12 spooky Halloween sandwiches
    5. Go off the menu with these 8 secret Starbucks drink ideas

7:45 a.m.: Get caffeinated
If you often have a pick-me-up drink (coffee, tea or soda), by all means keep enjoying it, says Richard Lipton, M.D., professor of neurology at the Albert Einstein College of Medicine in Bronx, New York. Caffeine activates receptors in your brain; skip your fix and your head might surely revolt.

10:45 a.m.: Do a posture check
Are you sitting up straight with your shoulders down and back? If not, readjust. The main sensory nerve in your forehead is rooted in the base of your neck — which is why experiencing muscle tension there or in your shoulders can lead to head pain.

11:30 a.m.: Break for H2O
Doctors know dehydration is a common trigger of headaches. But ask them to explain why, and they have no clear answer. Maybe it hurts their head to think about it too much. Either way, fill up on fluids frequently. Keep a water bottle at your desk, and refill it several times throughout the day.

12:30 p.m.: Skip the sandwich
Certain substances such as nitrates (in lunch meats), tyramine (in soft cheeses) and MSG (in some Chinese dishes) can alter neurotransmitters and spark a migraine in susceptible people. (Download a headache log at Self.comto identify your food triggers.) Have a protein and healthy fat to avoid the sugar crash that a meal of only simple carbs can induce.

3 p.m.: Take a time-out
When you’re overly anxious, the stress hormones cortisol and adrenaline surge, which prompts your body to pump out sugar. The rapid change in glucose can set you up for pain. But giving yourself a few minutes to decompress can keep stress from getting to you.

6 p.m.:  Slip into your sneakers
Exercise increases circulation, relieves physical and mental tension and improves sleep, all of which help fight off aches. Need to inject excitement into your routine (or start one to begin with)?  Check out the Reach Your Goal plan at Self.com.

8:30 p.m.: Wind down slowly
When you instantly crash on the couch, your brain chemicals continue to rev. That imbalance may contribute to what is called a let-down headache. Because it’s smart to give your body and mind some transition time do a calming activity — try a few stretches, curl up with a book, whatever you like. Come time for bed, you’ll be relaxed, happy and ready for a new day.

Copyright © 2012 CondéNet. All rights reserved.


Discussion comments


Most active discussions

  1. votes comments
  2. votes comments
  3. votes comments
  4. votes comments

More on TODAY.com

  1. Courtesy of Ryan Weimer

    Dad's Halloween costumes for son with muscular dystrophy wow pros

    10/29/2014 10:32:03 PM +00:00 2014-10-29T22:32:03
  1. Samantha Okazaki / TODAY

    At Home with TODAY: Jenna Wolfe shows the love in Harper's nursery

    10/30/2014 11:37:28 AM +00:00 2014-10-30T11:37:28
  1. Samantha Okazaki / TODAY

    Go off the menu with these 8 secret Starbucks drink ideas

    10/30/2014 5:02:10 PM +00:00 2014-10-30T17:02:10
  1. 4 dead after plane crashes into building at Kansas airport

    A small airplane plowed into a flight safety center at an airport in Kansas after losing engine power on takeoff Thursday, killing at least four people and leaving four others unaccounted for, officials said.

    10/30/2014 4:34:14 PM +00:00 2014-10-30T16:34:14