Though there’s a lot we still don’t know about migraines, some things have been shown to trigger them. Here are a few changes you can make in your home to help keep them from happening.
Use dim or green lighting.
Natural light, bright light, and fluorescent and flickering bulbs can all trigger a migraine. So can the blue light from your TV or computer screen.
Living in the dark isn’t the answer -- that can make it harder for you to get used to bright light again. Instead, use soft or dim lights when you can, especially when you feel an attack coming on.
You may also want to try green lightbulbs. They’re the only type of light that hasn’t been shown to make a migraine worse. They may even help once one starts.
And even indoors, sunglasses can help shield you from too much light.
Soundproof your space.
Loud noises or sounds that repeat for a long time can bring on a migraine. But earplugs aren’t a good idea -- they can make you more sensitive to sound. Use soft fabrics like rugs and drapes to help buffer noise. Plants can help with that, too.
Get rid of allergens.
People who have asthma or hay fever are more likely to get migraines. To keep allergens out of your home, keep your windows shut and wash your bedding once a week in hot water. Clean carpets, rugs, and upholstered furniture often with a vacuum that has a high-efficiency particulate air (HEPA) filter.
An air cleaner with a HEPA filter also may help get allergens out of the air.
Stay away from odors and fragrances.
Any strong smell, from perfume to paint thinner, can be a trigger. Use only unscented or fragrance-free products in your home, and don’t store any items that give off strong chemical odors. You may even want to skip cooking foods with pungent odors.
If smells are a trigger for you, let friends and family know, and ask them to not wear heavy scents when they come over.
Set a no-smoking rule in your home.
For some people, simply breathing in someone else’s cigarette or cigar smoke can make their head throb.
If you need to quit smoking, talk with your doctor about things you might try, like a nicotine patch, lozenges, or gum. Counseling and medication work for some people, too. Whatever you choose, let your friends and family know so they can offer support.
Keep water handy.
Not drinking enough water is a migraine trigger for many people. Every day, aim to drink about 2 liters. Foods that have a lot of water in them, such as celery and watermelon, are good, too.
Make your bedroom sleep-friendly.
Sleep is important when you’re trying to prevent a migraine. Too much or too little time in bed can be a problem. To get the rest you need, use soft lighting and calming sounds in your bedroom, and stay on a schedule. Even on weekends, try to go to sleep and wake up at the same time.
And do your best not to take your worries to bed with you. Stress is one of the most common triggers for migraines, and it can keep you from getting quality sleep.