Getting a migraine can completely ruin your day and leave you feeling in significant pain. If you suffer from frequent migraines, you probably have some sort of process for dealing with them. It probably starts with taking over the counter pain medications and then hiding in a dark room until it passes. To help you get through your next headache or migraine, we thought it might be helpful to learn some tips to ease your pain and hopefully bring you some relief.

1. Hot & Cold Compressesyoung woman suffering from a migraine headache at home on her couch

One of the easiest ways to ease your migraine pain is with cold and hot compresses. Most people benefit from placing the compresses on their foreheads or the back of their necks. Ice can offer a numbing effect that will stimulate the nerve endings and distract your brain from migraine pain. On the other hand, using a hot compress can help the tense muscles relax. You might benefit from taking a hot shower or bath. If you’re not sure whether to try hot or cold, start by doing a cold compress for 20 minutes and then switch to a hot compress. Sometimes an alternating compress can provide the most relief.

2. Mindful Meditation

Although basking in the moment of your painful migraine might seem counterproductive, mindful meditation can actually help relieve your pain. Find somewhere quiet to sit and be in the moment. Try to concentrate on your breathing and clear your mind. A 2016 study found that people who regularly practiced mindfulness produced similar effects to medication alone for people who suffer from chronic migraines. Although the findings were preliminary, it doesn’t hurt to give it a try!

3. Hydration

One of the top causes of migraines is dehydration. One of the first steps you should take when you feel a migraine coming on is drinking a lot of water. You can also try electrolyte drinks to replenish your hydration even faster. In order to stay hydrated, we also recommend limiting your caffeine intake to prevent dehydration again. Try to drink at least eight glasses of water per day. You shouldn’t only drink when you feel thirsty. Try to sip on water throughout the day.

4. Lavender

Simply smelling lavender can help you relax which can help reduce the severity of your headaches. You can place lavender plants around your house, use essential oils, or drink lavender tea. There are also heat packs that contain lavender that could benefit your migraines. A 2012 study found that people with migraines who used lavender essential oils for 15 minutes reported a decrease in headache severity than those who didn’t.

5. Massage

A headache is a perfect excuse to treat yourself to a massage. Simply massaging your own temples or recruiting your partner or a professional for a massage can help relieve your headache. However, for some people, massages can make headaches feel much worse. Try rubbing your temples or your neck and if it makes you feel worse, it’s best to stay away from massages when you get a migraine.

6. Exercise

Although you likely don’t want to leave your bed when you have a migraine, taking a brisk walk outside can help relieve migraine pain. This is because doing any type of aerobic activity can help get your blood flowing to reduce stress. Exercise also helps your body produce endorphins which are the feel-good hormones that can help relieve pain and put you in a good mood. Next time you have a migraine, put on your darkest sunglasses and a hat and take a walk. It might be just what you need. You can also try other low-impact exercises like yoga or tai chi.

7. Preventive Measures

Our best advice for dealing with constant migraines and headaches is to find out what’s causing them. We’ve written about the causes of morning headaches and migraines in the past. Once you determine the cause of your headaches and migraines, you should take preventive measures to prevent them from occurring in the first place. Then, you won’t have to find different remedies to relieve your pain.

Sleep Apnea Treatment for Headache Relief

One of the top causes of frequent headaches or migraines, especially first thing in the morning is sleep apnea. Sleep apnea causes headaches and migraines because your oxygen levels drop repeatedly throughout the night. When oxygen drops, the carbon dioxide goes up which causes the blood vessels around your brain to dilate. The dilation is what causes the pain we identify as headaches and migraines.

When you use a sleep apnea treatment at night, your oxygen levels will no longer drop which means your blood vessels won’t become dilated. At Advanced Dental Sleep Treatment Center in Omaha, we can coordinate a diagnostic sleep test to help you get diagnosed with sleep apnea and provide you with a treatment that will help put your morning headaches and migraines to an end. If you suffer from frequent headaches, loud snoring, choking or coughing at night, and feel tired throughout the day, you might have sleep apnea. Contact us at (402) 493-4175 to book a new patient appointment.