The dizzying speed of the holidays can be a lot of fun but also a big headache—particularly for the 36 million Americans who suffer from migraines. Between work and family and the excitement of sending cards, buying gifts and decorating, migraine triggers switch into high gear. Cefaly, a high tech headband that sends tiny electrical jolts to the trigeminal nerve to desensitize it, can help you zap your migraine before it starts; and reduce how often you get them.
Dr. Pierre Rigaux, a neurologist and one of the doctors on the team that invented to Cefaly anti-migraine device, has some tips on how you can outsmart your migraine this holiday season:
Get Some Zzz’s: Do your best to keep a regular sleep schedule as changing your routine can trigger. Intense physical exertion can often trigger a migraine too.
Avoid the Glare: Holiday lights are pretty and quite alluring but staring at them too long can cause a migraine. Similarly, flickering lights can too. If you’re hosting a holiday bash aim for steady lights; if you’re the guest, find a seat where the lights are a distance behind you.
Layer Up: Shifts in barometric pressure can really affect migraineurs. Dress in layers so you can control your body temperature by adding clothes when you feel chilly and removing layers when warm.
Mind Your Food: While turkey isn’t usually considered a migraine trigger, a “basting” turkey might bring on a migraine for its additives. Stuffing can also trigger a migraine, be mindful of nuts, garlic, onions, and sausage. And be very careful with the sugar and processed foods, as a spike in these can often trigger a headache. Also, don’t purposefully skip meals to save calories for the holidays as fasting can be a main headache inducer.
Bring a Dish: If you’re extremely sensitive to migraine triggers and you’re a guest, bring a dish with something that’s safe for you to eat that others may enjoy.
Drink Moderately: Alcohol, especially wine, and beverages high in caffeinate can trigger migraines.