Newswise — Phoenix, Arizona- Migraine is an inherited neurological disease, but many factors can contribute to it. Changes in sleep patterns, hormone levels, and even changes in the weather can cause migraines. Sometimes all it takes is just eating a certain food. Dr. Amal Starling , a physician neurology at the Mayo Clinic , involved five lifestyle changes that can help in dealing with its sister:

  • sleep
  • Playing sports
  • healthy eating
  • Avoid dehydration
  • stress management

Dr. Starling recommends trying to avoid changes in your sleep pattern, even on weekends.

“Some of my patients will say, 'I get migraines on the weekends when I'm not at work.' I ask them, 'Well, what time do you usually wake up? And what time do you go to bed?' I find that this varies significantly on the weekend, and that can lead to a migraine attack" - she says. Regularity in your sleep pattern is very important.

Also, scheduling exercise can be very important and can even delay migraines.

“Based on studies, doing about 20 minutes of aerobic exercise three times a week actually works just as well as some prescription medications,” says Dr. Starling.

She also recommends eating healthy whole foods without missing meals.

"Avoid processed foods, avoid high and low blood sugar. Also, avoid missing meals, these are tools you can use to delay it," Dr. Starling continues.

It is also important to make sure you drink well water.

“This is really important, especially during the winter months. People don't get very thirsty during the winter months, when it's cooler, and actually get drier than in the summer,” says Dr. Starling.

Managing stress is also essential. This can be done by practicing mental focus and meditation.

"We all experience stress in our lives. But it depends on how we manage stress, and how we deal with it."

"Making these lifestyle changes may help delay a migraine so that things that are out of your control, such as the weather, don't have a significant impact on the onset of the migraine attack," says Dr. Starling.

She adds, "It's really good for people to hear about the things they can control, versus those they can't control as much."


About the Mayo Clinic

Mayo Clinic is a nonprofit organization committed to innovation in clinical practice, education, and research, providing empathy, expertise, and answers to everyone who needs hospitalization. For more Mayo Clinic news, visit the Mayo Clinic News Network .