What Are Weekend Migraines? (And How to Deal With Them)

weekend headaches are real

Your week has been nuts. You’re counting down the hours until Saturday, when you can finally sleep in, eat all the eggs Benedict and lie on the couch in your underwear catching up on The Handmaid’s Tale. But your dumb head—namely, the massive, throbbing pain in your temples and around your eyes—thinks otherwise. You didn’t even have a glass of wine last night. What gives? Welcome to the wonderful world of weekend migraines.

What’s a weekend migraine?

It’s a headache that’s triggered by a change in routine—nicknamed “weekend migraines,” because they commonly start on Saturday mornings for nine-to-fivers who have the weekend off. The condition is also sometimes known as a “let-down headache.”

What causes them?

On a day off, you’re likely to sleep later, consume more alcohol, drink caffeine at random times and eat different types of food (hello, disco fries). Any of these habits can trigger a migraine, but mix them all together and wham. Plus, our friends at WebMD say that if you’ve been pushing yourself hard at work all week, it’s common to experience headaches as part of the “let-down effect,” when you finally allow yourself to take a breather.

How can I prevent weekend migraines?

You’re not gonna like this news, but the best plan is to keep your weekend routine as close as possible to your weekday routine. Yep, even if that means waking up at 7 a.m. and drinking a cup of black coffee instead of sleeping until noon and having a mimosa—but it’s a small price to pay for a blissful, headache-free weekend.

What if they’re Really bad?

If keeping your routine consistent doesn’t help, see a headache specialist. They can help you identify more triggers and recommend a medication plan—because weekends are for brunch, not headaches.

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Freelance Editor

From 2015-2020 Lindsay Champion held the role of Food and Wellness Director. She continues to write for PureWow as a Freelance Editor.