Pharmacy Corner
Migraines: What a Pain! Lifestyle changes to reduce the frequency of migraines
Time to plan

Understanding how your lifestyle impacts your migraines can play a big role in preventing migraines. It is important to try and maintain consistent sleep habits, eating habits and exercise.6 It is also important to try and reduce stress as much as possible.6

Table 1. Lifestyle strategies to reduce migraine frequency6
Lifestyle parameterStrategy
SleepMaintain consistent sleep patterns, even on weekends. Getting too little sleep or too much sleep can trigger an attack, so find out what the right amount of sleep is for you
DietEat regular meals and do not skip any meals. Try and eat healthy well-balances meals
Exercise20-40 minutes of aerobic exercise at least three times a week can help relieve stress, which can reduce the frequency of migraines
StressEngage in stress management strategies such as relaxation to help reduce migraine frequency

What are some ways I can reduce my stress?

Relaxation techniques are a great way to help reduce stress. Here are some relaxation techniques you can try:12

  • Visualization
    • Form mental images of something peaceful and calming
    • Try to use as many senses as you can (smell, sight, sound, touch)
  • Muscle relaxation
    • Focus on slowly tensing and then relaxing each muscle group
    • Tense your muscles for 5 seconds and then relax for 30 seconds, and repeat
  • Yoga
  • Deep breathing
  • Meditation

Relaxation techniques in combination with positive coping methods are also a great way to reduce stress.12 Examples of positive coping methods include thinking positively, finding humor, problem-solving, managing time, exercising, getting enough sleep and reaching out to supportive family and friends.12