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."