How do you deal with headaches during the holidays?

People who often experience headaches and especially those who suffer from migraines tend to be easily affected by lifestyle changes like sleeping hours, meal times and drinking coffee. For the most part our agenda is pretty regular. We wake up at a certain time more or less and go to bed at a fixed time. In fact, we operate according to the mechanism of an internal, biological clock, which is located inside the brain. When we deviate from our internal clock, this can lead to changes that will manifest in the development of bothersome headaches.

Shuli’s story

Here is a relatively extreme case that came to me at the clinic and probably quite a few people will identify with it. All year long Shuli waited for Sukkot freedom. The family decided to go on a short trip in Europe and for Shuli, with all the stress at work and with all the housework, family and stress in general, this trip was something to look forward to.

Everything went according to plan. The time came, the flight passed safely and they found their way to the village and hotel. A crazy place just like she dreamed. But just then something went wrong. Headaches are nothing new for Shuli, she was occasionally attacked by headaches, which reached vomiting, so she went on vacation equipped with medication. But this time it was something else. The pain started at noon, after a great meal and a good night’s sleep. He was strong, caused vomiting and Shuli could not stand on his feet. Shuli canceled the planned trip and went to bed. But neither this nor her medication helped this time. The pain continued and only after calling the hotel doctor who gave her a painkiller did she calm down a bit and fall asleep. So why does the pain arise in freedom, and in the greatest fun?

Every party has a party night | Photo: Imagebank / Thinkstock


Weekend headache

This phenomenon is also known on weekends when going to bed late after a party and getting up the next day late. The price of the change in the biological clock can cause you to wake up with a headache on Saturday morning. Even after days of hiking this can happen, when we go to sleep and wake up at unusual hours.

Another factor that can affect the exciting are the meals. While most people maintain a more or less regular order of meals, and the reference is not to the amount of food but to the meal times, on holidays, breakfasts are held at other times and this in turn can lead to the development of a headache. The connection between a change in the time of meals is well known to those who ‘missed’ a meal and a few hours later noticed the development of a headache.

A similar thing is happening to coffee consumers. In everyday life we ​​are used to fairly regular times of drinking coffee. On the days we go on trips, of course, there is a change in these times. We are not really independent, we can not always make coffee and sometimes the coffee in an expensive buffet, so give up or drink less. The caffeine found in coffee and its daughter is known as a factor that is avoided in those who are used to consuming coffee, causing the development of a headache.

What is the solution?
Keep a regular agenda, even on a trip. Wake up at the same time you usually wake up every day and go to bed at the same time. Accordingly, it is advisable to maintain the order of meals and drinking coffee. You do not necessarily have to sit in a restaurant but often enough fruit or a sandwich to solve the problem.

Of course it is not really fun to wake up like this on vacation so the interim solution is to wake up at your normal time, eat and drink like you would at home and then you can go back to bed and rest or even get some more sleep. With a little experience you will learn how much you can stretch the rope and what exactly you need to do to prevent the development of pain.

A woman covers her face with her hands (illustration: abigail keenan, unsplash)
The pain can ruin the vacation | Illustration: abigail keenan, unsplash

Muscular exertion

Believe it or not, many people go on headaches on trips because of muscle strain. Not all of us are used to carrying and lifting loads. On a trip, on the other hand, we carry luggage that can weigh over 20 kg. Lifting the suitcase into the car and car, at the hotel and even lifting high handbags for storage on the plane is a considerable muscular load, for those who are not used to such an effort. Lift weights of 10.20 kg.

Such exertion may cause the development of tension (busy muscle) in the shoulder and shoulder muscles and lead to radiations of pain to the shoulder blades, shoulders or ascend towards the head and reach even to the eyes. In addition, if the flight is long and you are required to sit for long hours, you should do a few walks and stretches. Sometimes the bed and pillow in the hotel are not really comfortable for you, and you may wake up again with a headache.

What is the solution?
Use old suitcases that have wheels. Lift each suitcase or bag together with another person, use porters if possible and avoid as much as possible to turn the trip into a crash course in the gym — Also, it is recommended to proactively perform gentle stretching and release muscles even before they are caught.

Woman in a suitcase (Photo: By Dafna A.meron, shutterstock)
Leave me alone! | Photo: By Dafna A.meron, shutterstock


Headaches are not directly caused by mental stress. On the other hand, in quite a few people, mental stress and excitement can trigger a bout of headache. Although trips and vacations are considered a relaxing factor, but we are all familiar with the tension that exists before arriving at the airport, before boarding a plane with all the chores on the way to getting on a train or finding a hotel, and so on. In addition, there are sometimes situations where staying with strangers on an organized trip and sometimes a lack of privacy, even with family members, causes tension and arguments.

What is the solution?
Be prepared that a trip can also be a ‘stressful’ thing, and once you notice that it is happening to you, take a break, disconnect a little and do not let the tension and stress develop. If you are sensitive to changes and find it difficult to fall asleep in a strange place, do not take into account and take a sleeping pill. Still this is your vacation.

For more information and to read about headaches:

Dr. Amnon Musk, Deputy Director of the Department of Neurology, Headache and Facial Clinic, Tel Aviv Medical Center

By Editor

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