It’s not surprising that everyone gets headaches, but it’s interesting to think how different factors are contributing to headaches. You may be stressed, anxious, or focusing too hard. It might be the fluctuating hormones in your body or you may have an illness or disease that comes with regular, intense migraines.
But many headaches are caused by our lifestyle choices. Are you having a hard time figuring out what those choices could be? Here are four surprising factors that may be contributing to headaches, and thankfully you can do something about all of them.
We usually don’t start feeling headaches from a lack of sleep until later in the day or until we’re going on several days of limited sleep in a row. That type of headache is easier to see coming than headaches from too much sleep though.
If your routine is to be up for work at a certain time and follows the same basic pattern, deciding to sleep in on the weekend may bring on a headache you didn’t anticipate. Compound that with missing your regular coffee fix and eating meals at irregular times and you’ll see how abnormalities can throw off more than your weekend.
Tooth and Jaw
You’ve heard that grinding your teeth or clenching your jaw can be bad for your oral health, but they can also contribute to headaches. If you have TMJ (temporomandibular joint disorder) or a missing tooth, the way your teeth fit in your mouth and the way your jaw function could be contributing to your headaches.
You may want to contact your dentist about getting implants or having jaw surgery to correct your oral mechanics and relieve your headaches. Headaches can also be common with incoming wisdom teeth before their removal.
If you spend a lot of time in front of a screen, you could be getting headaches more frequently. Staring intently over a short range for extended periods stresses your eyes, also affecting your eyesight.
And it’s not exclusive to computer screens. Smartphones have people staring like this several hours a day. It can put extra pressure on your neck and back, and if you’re sitting in the dark staring at a bright screen, it’s even harder on your eyes.
Try to limit your technology use and straining to see in the dark. You should also protect your eyes when outside for extended periods, especially when it’s sunny.
Maybe you’ve learned to live with consistent headaches and you’ve got the OTC medications in your cupboard to prove it. But an overuse of medication could be contributing to those headaches. It’s common for people to become so dependent upon anti-inflammatory drugs, even caffeine, that they get headaches without the high levels in their system.
Try to stay moderate in your use of over the counter drugs or ingesting too much of a good thing. You may want to try weaning yourself down to a healthier level of dependence, but be warned that you’ll likely have to suffer through a few withdrawal headaches when you do.