Surviving the Migraine Hangover

As if having chronic migraines is not bad enough, its inevitable that after EVERY migraine I suffer from what they call a “migraine hangover”. Its just like a regular hangover, but this one you did not get to enjoy delicious beverages to induce. The hard part with chronic migraines is that as soon as one migraine begins, has it crescendo and decrescendo; then there is the migraine hangover day (s), then its time for the process to start all over again. So on those migraine hangover days you often start asking yourself IS this in fact a hangover OR is this just another migraine that has started. Its a super fun cycle (I’m KIDDING), what makes it even more fun/challenging, is having a 15 month old child. Moming with a hangover IS NO JOKE. I remember the first time that I had a little too much wine at dinner and ended up with a for real hangover the next day soon after my son was born…here’s the thing..babies/kids DON’T CARE if you don’t feel good! They still need you to take care of them so trying to be a mom while dealing with all the fun effects of a hangover is AWESOME (again KIDDING!).

SO, you may ask, well HOW do you deal with those hangover days…well here are some tips and tricks that I have learned in my 30 or so years living with migraines and 5.5 years with chronic migraines:

  1. HYDRATE- and I mean like LOTS and LOTS of fluid! I found these awesome hydration tablets that are chocked full of electrolytes and not too many calories. They are called NUUN. A fellow chronic migraineur and blogger turned me on to them..they are AMAZING! There are tons of other similar products so find what works for you! You can also get hydration from your food, so think watery fruits and veggies (although on migraine hangover days Im still a bit queasy so I have a harder time with this than just drinking my water/electrolytes).
  2. BE KIND TO YOURSELF- Going through a migraine cycle is a lot like running a marathon or half marathon (which I used to do ALOT Pre surgeries). Your body is EXHAUSTED, it has walked across a sea of quicksand and needs a day (or two) of REST. So if at all possible, do NOT plan anything too activity driven on the days following a migraine. I understand that we don’t live in a world where rest is always possible, but, even simple things like at work turning off the fluorescent lights and having the soft light from a desk lamp can help keep your nervous system calm, cool and collected. The one thing you DON’T want to is trigger another migraine right away, which can/does happen to me often so I get it.
  3. GET OUTSIDE- GO OUTSIDE during your hangover, take a walk around the block. If its sunny DO NOT forget your sunglasses, BUT walking around stretching your legs and muscles can help to get all the systems in your body functioning properly again.
  4. Selfish Care- take a LONG HOT detox bath ,take a long shower…whatever you do let your body hit the control-alt-delete and restore itself. Its fought a war for hours/days/weeks sometimes (yes I had one migraine last several weeks!), so a long hot bath or shower is perfect to relax those muscles and again allow your body to reset.
  5. Journal/meditate/read/yoga- whatever you find relaxing DO THAT! I try to practice a simple stretching routine of yoga during a hangover. Not the sweaty hot yoga, the calm gentle yoga. I also will foam roll my back and neck (Most of my migraines originate as cervicogenic headaches from my spinal surgeries), so for me a good foam rolling session is just what I need.
  6. Eat GOOD food- with a typical alcohol induced hangover, you might say a greasy cheeseburger will make you feel better…NOT so with a migraine hangover. Again,your body has just fought a war, all your systems are up and ready for attack at any point, so try to eat as healthy as your stomach will allow. I know I struggle with this part because I usually and so nauseous on hangover day…so I try to stick to light meals, lots of WATER , snacks.

I hope that these tips and tricks help you to survive your next migraine hangover. I am NOT an expert by any means, just a chronic migraine survivor whose been in the trenches and seen what has worked for me.

I hope you all have a wonderful pain free day!

In joy,


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