Headaches are a common condition that many people deal with on a daily basis.
Ranging from uncomfortable to downright unbearable, they can disrupt your day-to-day life.
Several types of headaches exist, with tension headaches being the most common. Cluster headaches are painful and happen in groups or “clusters,” while migraines are a moderate-to-severe type of headache.
Although many medications are targeted at relieving headache symptoms, a number of effective, natural treatments also exist.
Here are 5 effective home remedies to naturally get rid of headaches.
1. Drink Water
Inadequate hydration may lead you to develop a headache.
In fact, studies have demonstrated that chronic dehydration is a common cause of tension headaches and migraines.
Thankfully, drinking water has been shown to relieve headache symptoms in most dehydrated individuals within 30 minutes to three hours.
What’s more, being dehydrated can impair concentration and cause irritability, making your symptoms seem even worse.
To help avoid dehydration headaches, focus on drinking enough water throughout the day and eating water-rich foods.
2. Take Some Magnesium
Magnesium is an important mineral necessary for countless functions in the body, including blood sugar control and nerve transmission.
Interestingly, magnesium has also been shown to be a safe, effective remedy for headaches.
Evidence suggests that magnesium deficiency is more common in people who get frequent migraine headaches, compared to those who don’t.
Studies have shown that treatment with 600 mg of oral magnesium citrate per day helped reduce both the frequency and severity of migraine headaches.
However, taking magnesium supplements can cause digestive side effects like diarrhea in some people, so it’s best to start with a smaller dose when treating headache symptoms.
3. Get Adequate Sleep
Sleep deprivation can be detrimental to your health in many ways, and may even cause headaches in some people.
For example, one study compared headache frequency and severity in those who got less than six hours of sleep per night and those who slept longer. It found that those who got less sleep had more frequent and severe headaches.
However, getting too much sleep has also been shown to trigger headaches, making getting the right amount of rest important for those looking for natural headache prevention.
For maximum benefits, aim for the “sweet spot” of seven to nine hours of sleep per night.
4. Get Some Exercise
One of the simplest ways to reduce headache frequency and severity is to engage in physical activity.
For example, one study in 91 people found 40 minutes of indoor cycling three times per week was more effective than relaxation techniques at reducing headache frequency.
Another large study including more than 92,000 people showed that a low level of physical activity was clearly associated with an increased risk of headaches.
There are many ways to increase your activity level, but one of the easiest methods is to simply increase the amount of steps you take throughout the day.
5. Try a B-Complex Vitamin
B vitamins are a group of water-soluble micronutrients that play many important roles in the body. For example, they contribute to neurotransmitter synthesis and help turn food into energy.
Some B vitamins may have a protective effect against headaches.
Several studies have shown that the B vitamin supplements riboflavin (B2), folate, B12 and pyridoxine (B6) may reduce headache symptoms.
B-complex vitamins contain all eight of the B vitamins and are a safe, cost-effective way to naturally treat headache symptoms.
B vitamins are considered safe to take on a regular basis, as they are water soluble and any excess will be flushed out through the urine.