Triggers for tension-type headaches

The most commonly reported triggers for tension-type headaches are:

  • stress (both mental and physical)
  • irregular or unhealthy meals
  • high caffeine intake (in the form of coffee or caffeine-based soft drinks)
  • caffeine withdrawal
  • too much or too little sleep
  • reduced physical activity or undertaking unsuitable exercise
  • problems related to the menstrual cycle, oral contraceptive pill or hormone replacement therapy.

Keeping a headache diary can help identify triggers for tension-type headaches. Avoiding triggers (if possible) probably won’t eliminate your headaches completely but may reduce the number you have.