With Thanksgiving just around the corner, many Americans are gearing up for the unofficial kickoff of the holiday season, and with the holiday season comes the holiday stress. However, while many are worrying about finding the best Butterball for their Thanksgiving dinner, those living with migraines have the added stress of knowing their symptoms could intensify at any moment.
If you are one of the millions of Americans living with migraines, make sure to check out these common migraine triggers and how to avoid them during the holidays.
Keep a Regular Sleep Schedule
Changing sleep patterns is one of the biggest triggers for migraine sufferers. Don’t let the stress of your holiday party get in the way of your sleep. If you’re having a hard time sleeping, make sure to minimize caffeine intake, avoid electronics for at least an hour before you go to sleep, and refrain from eating or drinking within two hours of when you intent to go to sleep. For many, taking a hot shower or bath 90 minutes before bedtime has been shown to help improve sleep quality.
Avoid Excessive Drinking
Alcohol is a huge trigger for those who suffer from migraines. However, we understand that Thanksgiving and red wine go hand in hand. If you do decide to partake in adult beverages, make sure you don’t drink too much and ALWAYS have at least one glass of water per alcoholic beverage.
Take a Break
Between the different smells of each Thanksgiving dish, the sound of football on TV, and the bright kitchen lights, Thanksgiving comes with a bit of sensory overload, especially for migraine sufferers. If you’re feeling a little bit overwhelmed by any sensory factors, take a break! Studies have shown that taking a brief walk, or even just standing in the fresh air, can prevent the onset of a migraine.
Pay Attention to What You Eat
Making sure you eat right is one of the biggest ways to prevent a migraine. Make sure you are eating regularly, as fasting or skipping meals can bring on a migraine, but also be sure to stay away from some of your known food triggers. Some common ones are cheeses, salty foods, aspartame (artificial sweetener), and certain preservatives. We’re not saying you can’t eat any turkey, but it’s wise to load up on veggies and still enjoy a little bit of your favorite salty dishes and sweet treats.
Keeping yourself hydrated is probably the most important thing to do when trying to prevent a migraine. In the days leading up to Thanksgiving, try to drink more water than usual in preparation. On the day of, make sure to drink as much water as possible to avoid migraine pain!
Don’t let migraines get in the way of your holiday. If you live with chronic migraines, a clinical trial in Baltimore, MD might be able to help!