Six Ways to Manage Those ‘Weekend Headaches’

In business, career, diet, environment, fitness, food, headaches, health, holiday, sleep, Uncategorized, wellness on November 25, 2011 at 11:13 pm

Sound familiar?

You’ve had a busy, stressful, week and now you’re looking forward to the weekend, with two whole days of relaxation and recreation.  But you wake up on Saturday with a crushing headache—and that derails your plans.

What gives???

That’s a question researchers are trying to answer.  The general thought is that anything that produces a change in your body can create a headache—caffeine consumption, food, drink, environment. Some research even suggests that simply going from the workweek, where your body is in a state of stress, to the weekend, where your body is in a sudden state of rest, can release large amounts of neurotransmitter chemicals—which ultimately lead to those painful headaches.  And if you’re already prone to migraine or tension-type headaches, your body may even be more sensitive to any changes and, hence, increase the possibility of those weekend headaches. Weekend headaches are pretty common, but if they increase in frequency or severity, it’s probably a good idea to check it out with your doctor.

Meanwhile, here are some simple steps you can follow to eliminate or reduce them:

Examine Your Caffeine Consumption:  Do you drink less or more coffee on the weekends?  I always recommend reducing your caffeine intake, and I certainly recommend keeping your consumption steady; for example, if you drink more during the week, but hardly any on the weekend, chances are you’ll send your body into a tailspin.

But the good news is you can still get your caffeine jolt, while still keeping your consumption low: Drink a half and half ( mix ½ regular with ½ decaf), or make substitutions such tea (green tea does have a little caffeine—but a LOT of antioxidants as well), or an herbal coffee like Teechino (found at Whole Foods and many health food stores).

Look at Your Sleeping Habits:  Yes, you can get too much of a good thing, and sleep is one of them.  Sleeping late is a sure way to trigger a headache, so try to rise the same time each day. Of course, too little sleep also triggers headaches, but the best way to avoid that is to, well, avoid that.

Pay Attention to Diet:  Do you eat differently on weekends?  For instance, I know someone who often fasts during the week then overindulges on sugary, high-fat foods on the weekend.  Both fasting and overindulging on sugar and fat are ways to trigger attacks.

Eat Breakfast:  Always.  Never skip that, or any, meal.  A good, healthy breakfast will start your metabolism and help stabilize your blood sugar and mood levels.

Include Anti-inflammatory Foods:  These foods reduce swelling and pain and, as much as possible, should be included: Vegetables, especially broccoli; fruits, especially blueberries; lean meats and seafood (wild Alaskan salmon); green tea; sweet potatoes; extra virgin olive oil.  Some spices, like turmeric and ginger, are powerful anti-inflammatory agents. Sugar is the arch enemy, and should be avoided as much as possible!

Check Out your Environment:  Look around—is your environment different on the weekends that during the week? Mold, dry heat and other allergens can all bring on headaches.

I will be teaching a FREE class this Tuesday, November 29, at 6:30 PM that will address wellness during the holidays.  For more information, please visit:  To RSVP, please e-mail me at:

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