Why do I get headaches?

We’ve all experienced headaches in our lives. They can vary from a mild inconvenience to debilitating pain.

The fact that you’re reading this suggests your very familiar with the problem. But, whatever your case might be, let’s help you figure out what’s causing your headache so you can work on getting rid of it.

Now, a lot of people get headaches due to poor posture. Also, this can lead to tight face and jaw muscles that commonly leads to tension headaches.

(If you’ve ever had teeth removed with local anesthetics, wisdom teeth, in particular, you likely had to use your jaw muscles excessively, and you probably experienced bad tension headaches in the following days. See the connection yet?)

If you have poor posture, your shoulders are rounded forward, your upper back is rounded, and your neck is in an unnatural forward position. This rounding often makes muscle tight, and once your neck is affected, you begin experiencing chronic headaches. 

The mechanisms behind this are yet to be fully understood since musculoskeletal pain is an ambiguous field.

But, in any case, improving your posture can deliver numerous benefits. According to this resource, sitting for prolonged periods of time often leads to tightening of the leg and butt muscles, tight hips, spinal compression, rounded upper back, and stiff neck and shoulders.

Aside from standing upright more during the day, there are many other tactics to improve your posture.

Now, dehydration, stress, and poor sleep can cause headaches. Let’s take a look:

Dehydration and headaches

For some people, dehydration can cause headaches, among other things. Now, the scientific research isn’t conclusive in this regard, but there is some significant correlation between the two.

A headache caused by dehydration often feels as pulsating pain on both sides of the head that can increase with physical activity. 

For example, bending to pick something up can worsen the headache. Other activities such as walking, running, turning your head, and laying down on a bed can also aggravate it.

If you get a headache, you should drink some water to see if that’ll resolve it. In most cases, you’ll start feeling better within an hour or two.

Stress and headaches

Some research has found a strong correlation between headaches and emotional stress (1). But, some studies suggest that it’s not the stress itself, but the way people react to it is what determines the outcome (1, 2).

Because of that, finding ways to both alter and avoid different stressors in our lives can dramatically help us deal with headaches and get them less often.

Poor sleep and headaches

Sleep deprivation often causes morning headaches. In some cases, they persist through the day, and sometimes they manifest themselves at night.

Getting a headache before bedtime can disrupt your sleep, which in turn causes further headaches. It’s an ongoing cycle.

In some cases, a condition known as sleep apnea (where you stop breathing at different times during sleep) can also cause morning headaches. However, they usually go away within 30 minutes.

If you regularly wake up with a headache, you should check yourself for sleep apnea or other conditions. There are different types of equipment that can help you sleep well.

If this is your case, you should attack this from both ends. Adopt different tactics to fight headaches during the day: 

•    drink enough water; 
•    manage your stress; 
•    improve your posture.

Also, work on improving your sleep: 

•    limit screen use near bedtime;
•    have a caffeine curfew of 6-8 hour before bedtime;
•    keep your bedroom cool, quiet and dark).

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