Lifestyle Habits That Could Be Making Your Headaches Worse

Learn which lifestyle habits may be triggering your headaches or making them worse.

Headaches are one of the most common issues that adults face. About half of all adults globally experience a headache every year, and 90 percent of adults have experienced at least one in their lifetime. Most people rest or take a couple of aspirins to find relief.

For some, headaches are intense, frequent, and, at times, debilitating. About 18 percent of adults between 18 and 44 experience a severe headache or migraine once a year, and 10 percent of those experience headaches multiple times a week.

Different types of headaches demand different types of treatments. Tension headaches are the most common. Migraines can be the most severe. Other types include:

While most people get headaches every now and then, those with chronic headaches may be doing something to trigger or exacerbate their condition. Some lifestyle habits that can trigger or make headaches worse include:

Not drinking enough water

It’s hot and dry in Texas, so it’s even more important to drink and stay hydrated. When you lose too much fluid through sweat and urination, and don’t replenish adequately, your brain can actually shrink from fluid loss. When this happens, the brain contracts from the skull, causing a painful dehydration headache.

Try to stay ahead of your thirst and make an effort to drink half your body weight in fluid ounces of water a day. For example, if you weigh 140 pounds, you should drink 70 ounces of water per day.

Eating too much processed meat

The nitrates in luncheon meat like turkey, ham, or even a hot dog could be contributing to your headaches. Not everyone reacts to nitrates the same way, but, for some, nitrates trigger vasodilation, which is a widening of blood vessels. Vasodilation can trigger a vascular headache

Skipping a meal

Not eating may be worse than eating the wrong foods. Hunger and low blood sugar levels are headaches triggers. Plus, you can also become dehydrated without food or drink. If you’re too busy to grab lunch, try to at least have a healthy snack.

Not getting enough sleep

Not getting enough sleep, as well as irregular sleep patterns, are linked to a variety of headaches including migraines, tension headaches, and cluster headaches. While it’s not always easy to get a good night’s sleep, practicing healthy sleep habits like sleeping in a cool, dark room and not looking at a digital device at least an hour before bed can help. 


Stress can lead to sleepless nights, poor eating, and also too much drinking. All of these lifestyle habits can cause headaches. Additionally, stress itself can trigger a headache.

At Premier Chiropractic, we first diagnosed the type and cause of your headaches and then recommend the best treatment option(s) to help you find relief. Treatment options include physical therapy, diet and lifestyle changes, and chiropractic care.

For more information on treatments that can help you find relief from chronic headaches, call Premier Chiropractic in Pearland, Texas, or book an appointment online.

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