Dealing with headaches can be both frustrating and debilitating, but it can be especially annoying when you’re trying to enjoy your summer holidays.
Why do headaches tend to pop up when you’re ready to relax and enjoy the warmer weather? Here we shed some light on how and why the summer season can trigger headaches.
Increased Stress and Tension
Although the summer season is associated with relaxation and leisure, it can also bring added stress and tension to our lives. Balancing work, family, social commitments, and vacation planning can take a toll on our mental and emotional well-being. Stress and anxiety often manifest physically in the form of headaches.
When the body experiences stress, it can lead to muscle tension, especially in the neck and shoulders. This tension can result in cervicogenic headaches, which radiate from the neck to the head. Combining body misalignment and heightened stress levels during summer can intensify these headaches.
Temperature and Environmental Factors
The summer months introduce environmental factors that can contribute to headaches. High temperatures and humidity can cause the muscles to contract and become tense, leading to discomfort and headaches. Heat-related headaches, such as heat exhaustion or heat stroke, can occur when the body’s temperature regulation system is overwhelmed, impacting blood flow to the brain. Additionally, exposure to direct sunlight, especially without proper eye protection, can strain the eyes and cause tension headaches. These factors can worsen existing body misalignment.
Disrupted Sleep and Routines
Changes in sleep patterns and routines are common during the summer season because you might be staying at friends’ houses, at a cottage or changing beds frequently if you’re traveling around to various hotels. Your sleep may be further disturbed if you visit another time zone on vacation. Longer daylight hours and social engagements might also affect your sleeping schedule, leading to sleep deprivation or poor-quality sleep.
Inadequate rest affects the body’s ability to repair and rejuvenate potentially exacerbating existing muscular imbalances and misalignments. Moreover, irregular routines can disrupt exercise habits, relaxation practices, and self-care routines. This lack of consistency can contribute to increased headache frequency and intensity.
How can you prevent summer headaches?
- Manage stress: Adopt stress-management techniques like mindfulness, meditation, and relaxation exercises to reduce muscle tension and prevent stress-induced headaches.
- Stay hydrated: Drink adequate water throughout the day to avoid dehydration, which can contribute to headaches.
- Protect yourself from environmental triggers: Wear sunglasses to shield your eyes from bright sunlight, use sunscreen to prevent sunburn, and dress appropriately for the weather to minimize heat-related headaches.
- Establish consistent sleep patterns: Prioritize quality sleep by maintaining regular sleep schedules and creating a conducive sleep environment to support proper rest and rejuvenation. Perhaps bring your own pillow along on vacation as you know it gives you the best sleep. Also, ear plugs and eye masks can help you adjust to your new environment making sleep come easier.
- Avoid excess alcohol consumption, as it swells the muscles and upsets sleep patterns. And if you have had a few late nights socializing, perhaps regain your regular routine again to give your body an adequate rest period that you know works best for you.
By incorporating these preventive measures into your daily life, you may significantly reduce the likelihood of experiencing headaches.
Remember to listen to your body, and if headaches are persistent or chronic, you can book an appointment with the South Orange Chiropractic team. We can help you explore the root cause of your headaches and come up with a treatment plan to help you find relief.