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Weekend Headache Syndrome

Weekend Headache Syndrome is often related to imbalances in lifestyle. For example, a person working in a stressful environment throughout the week is at rest all of a sudden during the weekend. This transition may spontaneously trigger the release of neurotransmitter associated chemicals from the brain leading to painful and disturbing headaches called as weekend headaches or weekend headache syndrome. The pain production is due to the vasodilation of cranial arteries. Weekend headaches trigger the onset of tension type headaches.


Triggers for weekend headache

Sleep patterns: Inconsistent sleep patterns can play a major role in the onset of headaches. The biological transition of a person is altered because of irregular sleep pattern.

Stress: Stress is the most predominant predisposing factor in headaches. However, the conditions associated are different because the individual who is prone to a stressful week of work does not adapt to a quiet weekend. This eventually triggers the onset of headaches.

Eating habits: Eating habits especially with relation to the diet consumed during the weekend plays a significant role in weekend headache syndrome. A diet which is high in caffeine and M.S.G and artificial sweeteners trigger the onset of headaches. In addition to this, sudden caffeine withdrawal can also lead to headaches.

Drugs: People who consume marijuana and other narcotics during the weekend are prone to these headaches when they resume their week days.

Chemicals: Constant exposure to toxic chemicals such as paints, fertilizers, molds etc. can cause headaches.


The effects of weekend headache syndrome can also lead to psychological conditions such as depression. This is associated with the individuals work and family life. The predisposing factor is stress. Since weekend headache syndrome is associated with factors pertaining to sudden change in lifestyle, the treatment lies in the gradual change of habits. Some people are advised to take L-tryptophan, an antidepressant amino acid. This helps in relaxation of the mind. Other therapies such as maintaining a positive balance in the work environment. This is also followed by a continuum that has to be followed even during the weekend in order to prevent the biological system from undergoing any kind of sudden unprecedented transitions. Gradual withdrawal from habits such as intake of caffeine can result in prevention of these headaches. Since some weekend headaches are associated with lack of exercise or inconsistent exercise, a pattern of regular exercise can help reduce instances of headaches.

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Collection of Pages - Last revised Date: October 18, 2017