In my previous post on managing my migraines I mentioned briefly about sleep and exercise, but didn’t go into a lot of detail. This past week I’ve had a reminder how important these are.
You see, we’ve been renovating our kitchen. This took three weeks start to finish. Most of the work was done by contractors, but I did what I could myself, including ripping out the old cabinets, and repainting the the walls and ceiling. I enjoy projects like this—it’s a nice break from sitting in front of the computer all day. And the final result is beautiful.
The problem is that this took away the time I would normally spend exercising. I need to get a minimum of 30 minutes of aerobic exercise twice a week, and preferably three times. Doing so makes a huge difference with my headaches, as well as my general energy level and feeling of wellness.
Mind you, I was doing hard work, often sweating profusely during it, and for several hours a day. But it’s not aerobic exercise, which seems to be the only kind that helps with headaches. It’s not known exactly why this helps, but it does. Maybe the improved blood flow and oxygenation.
Ironically, “improved blood flow” is believed to be behind migraines! For unknown reasons, the blood vessels in the brain become dilated. This seems to trigger inflammation, which triggers the pain receptors in the blood vessel walls (interesting fact: there are no pain receptors in the brain other than those in the blood vessels). Regardless, aerobic exercise still helps.
On top of missing my exercise, I’ve been getting to sleep a bit late recently (after midnight), which is also not a good idea for me. A consistent sleep schedule of eight hours a night and starting before midnight also helps me manage my migraines, and disruptions in this schedule are one of my main triggers.
So these two factors combined have had me on the verge of a migraine. All it takes then is one more little push to get it going. In this case it’s been frequent and rapid air pressure changes from thunderstorms rolling through. The result is I’ve been fighting a migraine on and off for the last week. Still not as bad as they used to be (except last night, which got pretty bad, probably a six), but bad enough.
Starting tomorrow I’m going to try to get back on my proper schedule, or something resembling it.
- Ways to Ease Headache Pain (massageenvy.com)
- Relief For Tension and Migraine Headache Sufferers (massageenvy.com)
- How Long Will My Migraine Last? (everydayhealth.com)
- Weightlifter’s Headache might be the cause of migraines (examiner.com)
- Migraines (estherlou.wordpress.com)
- Migraine Awareness Month #2: Tea For Two (puttingourheadstogether.com)
- morning epidemiology (eelcreek.wordpress.com)
- Migraines (newsinfo.inquirer.net)
- Sleep and Migraines: What’s the Link? (webmd.com)
- Health and Wellness: Migraine Headache Prevention (guardianlv.com)