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Obesity, Smoking Linked to Teen Migraines

Study Shows Lack of Exercise Also May Also Increase Chances of Migraines in Teenagers

Start of School Year Is a Vulnerable Time continued...

He says lifestyle counseling is a critical, but often overlooked, component of treating headaches. His advice to his patients:

  • Eat regular, balanced meals.
  • Get plenty of sleep.
  • Stay hydrated with drinks that do not contain caffeine.
  • Exercise at least four times a week.

"The two most common triggers for headaches in kids is skipping meals and not getting enough sleep," he says.

That makes the start of a new school year a particularly vulnerable time for junior high and high school students because their natural sleep cycle is often disturbed.

Around the time of puberty, adolescents develop a sleep phase delay that makes it natural for them to fall asleep later in the evening and wake up later in the morning.

"Most teens have to get up at 6:00 or 6:30 to get to school and many skip breakfast to get a little more sleep," he says. "That is two strikes against them before the day even gets started. Every year around the end of September and early October we see a big increase in headache cases."

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