If You Can't Figure Out Why Your Head Hurts, These 5 Little Things May Be To Blame

by Caroline Burke
Originally Published: 

Nothing gets in the way of a productive day quite like a headache hitting you with the force of a truck. You're going along with your day perfectly fine, and then bam — you're basically rendered immobile. The especially tricky thing about head pain is there are so many little things that can cause headaches, that it can be hard to locate the source of the pain, or figure out how you should adjust your lifestyle to prevent this in the future. Headaches are a nightmare, but they're often easily cured by a quick change in your nutrition, or even in your everyday routine. All you have to do is figure out what, exactly, you're supposed to be changing.

Headaches can range from a minor annoyance to a full-blown day-ender of a migraine, and if you don't address them, they might just get worse. If you seem to be getting headaches on a regular basis, the best thing to do is to track the pain as it comes on. That way, you can spot any patterns that could tell you more about how and why your headaches are hitting you the way that they are.

Of course, if you're still dealing with the pain, even after addressing these five little things that could be causing your headaches, it's definitely in your best interest to talk to your doctor about it. For now, consider these subtle details in your day-to-day that could be the culprits behind your throbbing temples.

Blue Light

If you're staring at your phone or laptop screen all day long, you might end up getting a killer headache from the blue light that comes from those screens. According to TIME, a condition called computer vision syndrome can happen as a result of staring at screens for long periods of time. In the long-term, this can potentially lead to blurred vision, headaches, and even neck and shoulder pain.

The best thing you can do is try to position your screen farther away from your eyes, or take intermittent breaks, in which you make it a point to look at something farther away to help relax your vision.


How much water are you drinking each day? Odds are, it's not the recommended eight to 10 glasses a day that you need to stay hydrated. A headache is a common symptom of dehydration, but according to 2015 research from the Natural Hydration Council in the UK, a lot of people are surprised when they find out dehydration is the cause of their pain.

The irony of this is that dehydration is one of the easier health issues to remedy, so you should always consider it first and foremost. If you have a headache, try to measure how much water you've been drinking before you take any other steps.

Your Period

Menstruation is one of the top triggers for migraines, according to the UK charity, The Migraine Trust

When a headache strikes, you might want to think about what part of your menstrual cycle you're currently in. If it's your time of the month, then there's a decent chance your headache is happening sheerly because of that. Any time your body is experiencing a hormonal change, The Migraine Trust reports, you're likely going to be more vulnerable to headaches.

An Abrupt Change In Your Sleep Patterns

If you had to wake up four hours earlier than usual for a flight, or you're completely jet-lagged after coming home from a trip, then there's a chance you have a headache because of the sudden change in your sleeping patterns. When your body's circadian rhythm is disrupted, you're more prone to headache and migraine attacks, according to the American Migraine Foundation.

If you travel a lot, definitely remember to stay on top of hydration, and prioritize your sleep schedule as much as you can. You may also want to consider (if you're able to) avoiding flights that heavily disrupt your sleep cycle, like red-eyes.

You've Had One Too Many Cups Of Coffee

It happens to everyone. You're having your first cup of coffee, then, before you know it, you're slurping down your fourth, and you feel like a shaky astronaut floating around space at the speed of light — and then the headache sets in.

Over-caffeination is a common trigger for headaches, according to Live Science — but, ironically enough, so is not drinking coffee when you regularly consume it. Caffeine withdrawal can also lead to a sledgehammer of a headache, which is why caffeine dependency is so damn tricky.

The best way to navigate this is to try to limit yourself to three to four cups of coffee a day — measuring cups' worth, not coffee mugs' worth — if you want to keep up your regular coffee obsession, without feeling like you were hit by a bus.

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