Tension headaches are one of the most common forms of headaches we experience. They are usually described as a ‘band like’ feeling across the front of the head. Most commonly they are felt on both sides of the head however they can also be experienced unilaterally. Tension headaches most commonly occur towards the end of the day and are exacerbated by certain lifestyle stressors. The 3 easiest ways to prevent tension headaches are hydration, sleep and movement.
- Drink plenty of water. Although there is no standard amount of water we should drink in a day a good way to measure this is the colour of your urine. If you can keep the colour a pale/clear colour you are staying well hydrated. Try to avoid fluctuations in the colour through the day. Constantly sipping on water throughout the day will keep your hydration and urine colour both consistent.
- Aim for 6-8 hours per night. The quality of your sleep is most important. You should be able to fall asleep easily and wake up feeling refreshed. Try having an ‘electronic free’ hour before bed time. Read a book, turn off unnecessary lights, drink a herbal tea as a way to ‘prep’ your brain for sleep.
- Sleep position is also important. Sleeping on your back is the most supported position for your body. Side position is good as well, just make sure you stack your legs on top of each other as opposed to sleeping in a twisted position. Stomach sleeping should be avoided to reduce muscular and joint stress on the neck and spine.
- Constant movement through your day is vital. The longer we hold ourselves in a static posture, the more likely we are to find ourselves in poor posture. If we constantly move we will keep the muscular and joint stress to a minimum and reduce the opportunity for poor posture. Any movement is good, as long as it is as constant as possible through the day.