The Sun & Headaches

Ah, summertime! Fun in the sun, sleeping at the side of the pool, playing a game of softball . . . and winding up with a huge headache. If you were physically active during the brightest part of the day, or even if you were taking a nap in the sun, your body will respond to all the sun beating down on you.

Types

People can be more sensitive to the sun, causing them to develop sun exposure-related headaches, according to the Sinus Wars website. During the spring and summer months, when you spend more time outside in the sun, you may develop a migraine headache. Sinus Wars points out when you spend time in the sun, the nerves and tissues of your head go into a different mode. As this happens, it affects the nerve endings located at the sides and front of your head, causing a headache to develop.

Effects

Dehydration triggers migraines and regular headaches in those who are susceptible, according to the Health Central website. Other headache causes include direct exposure to the sun’s rays and the glare of the sun hitting your eyes. It’s easy to change your normal routine during the summer, going to bed late at night and waking up later than usual in the morning. As your schedule shifts, you may skip a meal or eat foods that trigger migraines, if you are prone to these headaches. Too much sleep can cause a headache to develop as well, according to Health Central. Exercising outside in the heat of the day makes your body overheat, causing you to develop a headache.

Prevention/Solution

Learn to prevent headaches so you aren’t sidelined. Drink plenty of water to say hydrated. While iced tea and lemonade sound like natural thirst busters, they may trigger a summertime headache, if you are sensitive to the citric acid, according to Health Central. Drink water before you begin feeling thirsty. PR Web recommends drinking one to two liters of water daily and decreasing your caffeine intake. Try to go to bed and wake up at about the same time every day. Don’t skip meals. Even if you can’t take the time for a full meal, eat a nutritious snack so your blood sugar doesn’t dip. Wear light-colored clothing, sunglasses and a hat outside if you are sensitive to the sun’s effects, suggests PR Web.

Considerations

Stress can trigger or make a migraine headache worse, so make it a habit to plan ahead in as many areas of your life as possible. Take as much pressure off yourself by making and relying on lists, delegating responsibilities and cooking large batches of food ahead of time, recommends Health Central. Find time to yourself so you can relax and charge your batteries during the summer. After work, give yourself about 30 to 45 minutes of time to cool down and let the stresses of the day leave you. It isn’t necessary to do anything — you can play with your pet or just sit next to the fan and close your eyes for several minutes.

Features

The most common summer headache is the tension headache, according to PR Web. You develop a feeling of tension at the back of your neck and going up the back of your head, and heat can play a role. If you have a history of developing migraine headaches, allowing yourself to be outside, where the rays of the sun leads to the characteristic pain impulses, you need to change your summertime recreational habits and start spending less time outside and more time taking care of yourself, according to Sinus Wars.

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