A migraine can be a particularly debilitating type of pain. What’s worse is that they can pop up seemingly out of nowhere, and may even take days to go away. “Migraine is more than just a headache. It is a complex process that begins in the brain and produces many symptoms beyond a headache,” says Brian Grosberg, medical director of the Hartford Healthcare Headache Center and a neurologist based in Harford, Connecticut. While home may be your usual place to curl up and recover, many of the stress that comes from spending more time than usual there — anxiety about getting sick, constantly looking at your devices, and experimenting with new products — may all trigger an intense head throb.
.“Migraine occurs because of internal disruptions of the normal chemical and electrical balance of the brain and nervous system,” he explains. According to Grosberg, the brain of someone with migraine disorder may be more excitable and react to light and sound at a lower threshold than a person who does not have the disorder.
Understanding what’s happening when you experience this type of pain is the first step. Creating a tool kit of quick and lasting solutions is next. Grosberg and Thomas Pitts, a neurologist at Hudson Medical in New York City, shared some tips for making your home more migraine-friendly. The good news is that treating a migraine doesn’t require a complete lifestyle overhaul. Just a few tweaks and useful additions can make a world of difference to help ease the pain.
1. Get an alarm clock.
Getting a good night’s sleep can make a big difference for those dealing with migraine. A regular sleep routine is important, which means going to bed around the same time and waking up around the same time each morning. The consistency will help you pinpoint whether or not breaking your routines brings on a headache. Although most of us use an alarm on our cell phones, consider switching to a traditional clock. The light from your phone itself may be a trigger, and a stand-alone clock like the HoMedics Deep Sleep Revitalize Engineered Sleep Sound Alarm Clock (which also plays natural sounds to help you fall asleep) can help alleviate that problem.
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2. Invest in an air purifier.
“Household allergens, noxious substances like perfumes, plants, air fresheners, and mold, are common migraine triggers around the house,” says Pitts. Burning candles, incense, and spraying perfumes in the same space where you’re eating, sleeping, and working around the clock may be creating irritants that can bring on a migraine. Clear the air and eliminate these factors with an air purifier like the Molekule Air Mini, which helps reduce many of the triggers Pitts mentioned, plus pet dander, chemical irritants from household cleaners, and more. “Identifying and eliminating allergens is vital and creating a calm and relaxing environment to sleep can be some of the quickest and best things you can do, not only for your migraine but for your overall health,” he explains.