Sunday, September 23, 2007

Headache Prevention: Keeping a Routine

Over the weekend, my husband and I went on a beach retreat with our church's youth group as chaperones. It was pretty fun, but the living arrangements were not really ideal. The Christian retreat center was a block from the beach, but the buildings were dorm-style. The girls and boys each had one big room with bunk-beds and a side bathroom. About 40 people went.

So how does this relate to headaches? Well, I've decided after this weekend to make a routine and keep it (as best I can). See, over the weekend, I couldn't go to bed until everyone else decided to go to bed since the girls were loud and the lights were on. Same for getting up - there wasn't a door between the bathroom and sleeping areas, so if I showered early, I'd wake everyone up. Then there's the eating schedule...we ate at different times each day, especially when we were on the road (we ate a late dinner on the way there and a late lunch on the way back).

Needless to say, I had an awful, almost-migraine headache that kept coming and going. Some medication helped, but I'd wake up with it the next morning. I think the bunk-bed may have contributed too - not the most comfortable mattress.

I'm going to try my best to keep a consistent sleep and eating schedule: up at 7, breakfast at 9, lunch at 1, dinner at 7, bed at 11. Tuesday dinners will be earlier since I have Bible study at 7. I just got an invitation to a midnight bowling night next month; that will have to be an exception too. It's going to be really hard to stay on schedule. What if I have a 1:00 work meeting or my coworkers want to eat out at 12? What if I'm stuck in traffic and don't get home from work until 7:30? Do I have to give up MadTV on Saturday nights? I'm not sure if a few minutes would throw off the schedule, but I bet an hour or more would.

This schedule trial means I'm going to have to give up a lot and possibly be hard to get along with, but if it really reduces the occurrence of my headaches and migraines, it will be worth it.