Why you suffer from migraines especially at the weekend

Why you suffer from migraines especially at the weekend
Why you suffer from migraines especially at the weekend

The body sometimes works in miraculous ways. When you finally have time to enjoy a well-deserved weekend, you suddenly find yourself lying in a dark bedroom with… migraine. Do you think you’re the only unlucky one? Unfortunately, due to chronic stress, many suffer from the phenomenon of ‘weekend migraines’

Weekend migraines and holiday flus

It’s very stupid, but when people have time off (whether it’s a holiday or a long weekend), they suffer from ailments more often. “There is quite a lot of evidence that people get sick during a break from their normal lives,” says Dr. Sarah Jarvis On Stylist. “Interestingly, there is also a well-known phenomenon called ‘weekend migraines’, where people suffer severe migraines during their days off, rather than when they have to work.”

It is precisely at the moments when we really want to relax that health problems strike. This is probably because we no longer mask our chronic stress at those moments. “Short-term stress can be good. You then produce more adrenaline, which puts you in a fight or flight mode, says Dr. Jarvis. This was useful from an evolutionary perspective, for example when our ancestors had to run away from danger. During our everyday lives, it can also help us complete certain tasks (emphasis on can), but in the long run, stress is always detrimental. “This leads to high levels of cortisol that can compromise your immune system.”

Chronic stress

Most people – whether they realize it or not – suffer from chronic stress. That doesn’t even have to do with a big one workload, it may also have to do with finding balance between work and private life. If this fails, it can also cause us chronic stress. During that holiday – or that one long weekend off – we do not experience that pressure, or at least a lot less.

By the time you finally take a break, you may (unconsciously) already be completely burned out. “When the stress is no longer there and your cortisol level decreases, it can have a major impact on your immunity,” says Dr. Jarvis. In other words: you are much more sensitive to a cold at that time. After all, you are no longer in that place flight or fight mode. Research even shows that our pain threshold is increased by high cortisol levels. That one headache? This makes it feel much less intense than when you have a headache without stress.


Well, we now know why we get sick during our holidays. But we would like to prevent that, if possible. You can do this by making sure you don’t have too much stress before you go on holiday. Of course easier said than done.

According to Dr. Jarvis is good at planning this key. “Planning ahead is the best way to limit stress.” Then you don’t have to worry that all your work has not been carried out properly just before your holiday. Of course, it is also important that you continue to take good care of yourself during your holiday. Make sure you get enough sleep, exercise enough and – despite all the tempting snacks at your holiday destination – eat healthily. Good luck!

Source: Stylist, Marie Claire | Image: Adobe Stock

The article is in Dutch

Tags: suffer migraines weekend


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