Summer brings about a lot of change to our normal routines: people are outside more, taking advantage of the extra hours of daylight, in the heat, engaging in various activities they don’t normally get to do. If you find that your headaches are worse in the summer, there can be quite a few different culprits to blame. Before you head to the pharmacy for over the counter or even prescription medications, try these home remedies to relieve summer headaches first.
The human body is 65% water, and we lose about 64 ounces of water a day through normal everyday activity. It is important for to replenish that lost hydration every day to avoid a whole host of negative side effects, one of which is headaches. Dehydration can occur year round but it is more prevalent in the summer months when we sweat more than usual. If you are thirsty, you re already dehydrated, so it is a good idea to carry a reusable water bottle with you, especially in the summer.
2. Protect Yourself from the Sun
Prolonged squinting caused by the bright sun and becoming overheated or suburned can both trigger headaches. You don’t have to avoid the sun completely, but do wear sunscreen and brimmed hats to shield your face, neck, upper chest and back. Beach umbrellas are also a great idea if you are sitting outdoors for long periods of time. Sunglasses can prevent headaches triggered by bright light or glare, and can also protect eye health. To get the most protection, opt for sunglasses that block both UVA and UVB rays.
3. Spit Out Your Gum
According to a 2013 study from Tel Aviv, two-thirds of headache sufferers who chewed gum daily saw 100 hundred percent relief of their headache pain after quitting. Not only that, but when they started chewing again, every single one reported that the headaches had returned. The TMJ is a joint like any other, and all that chewing is putting stress on your jaw which can cause headaches. If you are a gum chewer, take a break and may see your headaches disappear.
4. Treat Your Allergies
Many migraines are triggered by allergies. Instead of trying to tough them out, doctors say it’s important to treat them head on. Allergy shots or over the counter medications can help keep your allergies under control. While many allergies are related to the blooming pollen of summer, allergy headaches can be caused by all types of irritants, like pet dander, dust, mold and foods.
5. Go Herbal
Many herbal remedies work just as well as—if not better than—prescription or over the counter medications. For summer headache relief, peppermint, ginger and eucalyptus can easily be found in tea form. Magnesium, riboflavin and fish oil supplements have shown to help as well. Don’t rely on caffeine to soothe your headaches though; headaches are often caused by a caffeine dependency and the jolt for relief is temporary, only perpetuating the cycle.