Have you noticed a link between barometric pressure and headache pain? Research does show that rapidly changing weather does seem to affect those who suffer from headaches.
Many people report headaches or migraines more frequently in the summer, but others experience more severe or frequent headaches in the winter months. It may be a matter of your climate. Depending on where you live, there may be greater changes in barometric pressure in the summer or winter.
Other seasonal factors can affect headaches, too, including changes in your sleep patterns, light, heat, hydration, and electrolyte balance. We’ll discuss these potential headache triggers here, starting with barometric pressure and headaches.
Research on Barometric Pressure Headaches
Several theories help to explain why barometric pressure may be linked to headaches.
A small study found that even a slight decrease in barometric pressure (characteristic of warmer weather) resulted in headaches. The reason for this is that when outside (barometric) pressure lowers, it creates a difference in the pressure of the air outside of your body and the air in your sinuses. This can cause pain and is also the reason some people feel a mildly painful popping feeling in their ears during a flight.
Another study tracked the sales of headache medication over a period of time and found that sales spiked when changes in barometric pressure occurred. The researchers determined from these results that the incidence of headaches increases when barometric pressure decreases.
Other Seasonal Headache Triggers
Barometric pressure changes may be one cause of headaches, but other seasonal changes can play a role, too.
Changes in Light & Seasonal Sleep Patterns
Some individuals may experience an increase in headaches or migraines when exposed to bright sunlight. Others may find that low light conditions in the winter cause headaches.
You may also change your sleep and activity routine seasonally, and not realize that those changes trigger headaches.
Because of the longer days (at least here in North America) during the summer, many people unconsciously shift their sleeping and/or eating patterns. These changes, though often unintentional, can disrupt the routine your body is used to, and cause migraines (for those who are susceptible) or headaches.
Heat, Hydration & Electrolyte Balance
Dehydration can also be a factor in headaches. If you experience more headaches in the summer, consider whether you’re drinking enough water. Interestingly, overhydration can also be an issue.
Moderation is key when hydrating to counteract the heat because if you overdo it, you can throw off your electrolyte balance which could provoke headaches. That said, not enough water could result in water and sodium being lost through perspiration. Low levels of sodium in the bloodstream can provoke headaches.
To hydrate and restore your electrolytes, including magnesium, try these cool summer treats.
How Magnesium Helps with Barometric Pressure Headaches
Since treating headaches isn’t always effective, it makes sense to focus on prevention.
Magnesium may help moderate headaches caused by changes in barometric pressure.
“Research on magnesium has found it to be a potentially well-tolerated, safe and inexpensive option for migraine prevention, while it may also be effective as an acute treatment option for headaches including migraines, tension-type headaches, and cluster headaches.” – Magnesium in the Central Nervous System
Consult your doctor or healthcare provider on taking a magnesium supplement if you are under care. Most people can start taking magnesium without any complications, but magnesium can interact with some medications.
Natural Calm is a highly effective magnesium citrate supplement backed by tens of thousands of five-star reviews from customers around the world. If you’re in Canada, you can purchase Natural Calm from our online store, from major retailers across the country, and from local health stores.