Medically reviewed by Dr Chandril Chugh,

Renowned Neurologist and American Trained Specialist

Summer can be a great time for frolicking in the sun, but it tends to come with headaches. For many, the changes in routine brought about by the heat and humidity are often the culprits for headache triggers during the summer season. In this blog we will go over a few of the summer headache prevention strategies and clear up some common myths.

It is important to understand what headaches are before the discussion on prevention. Headaches are the most common health complaint and can affect most people. Some of the causative factors of headaches could be dehydration, stress, poor posture, or some kind of food. In summer, both heating and sun can add as exacerbating factors making headaches more common.


How to Avoid Headaches in Summer

  • Hydrate : Dehydration is one of the common causes of headaches in the summertime. When the hot temperature advances the process of losing water from the scorching heat, if you don’t drink an amount of water to replenish your loss, that leads to dehydration; and that explains the headache.

Tip: Staying well-hydrated will be a key component of any fitness routine’s success. Carry a bottle of water with you and take a sip from it throughout the day. Your bottle will be with you at all times, and a sip is never too far away. Remember that other liquids, even the most seemingly innocuous don’t count toward your water intake because they can make you even more dehydrated.

  • Put on Sunglasses and a Hat Bright light is one of the triggers for migraines. Protect yourself by wearing your dark glasses when outside. Shading your face and eyes from the sun with a wide-brimmed hat will also help.

Tip: Look for sunglasses that have UV protection, so they can help shield your eyes from the harmful rays. This also offers extra protection from the reflection of the sun.

  • Keeping Out of the Sun at the Hottest Time of the Day The strongest rays from the sun are from 10:00 to 16:00. Exposure at that time may lead to overheating and dehydration, which generally would cause headaches.

Tip: Plan any outdoor activities in the cooler hours of the early morning or late afternoon. Should the heat become unbearable, take a small break or go inside when really needed.

  • Fuel Yourself: Even triggers can be skipping meals or having them too far apart. This can happen because your blood sugar drops low enough to cause a headache.

Tip: Eat a balanced meal at intervals in the day. Take healthy snacks of fruits, nuts, and yogurt that will take you through the day and sustain your energy levels.

  • Position Check Bad postural habits are hard on the neck and shoulders and can bring on headaches. This would be especially important if you remain seated most of the time, for example, at a desk.

Headache may also be caused by overheating. Perhaps cooling down helps prevent this.

Dress in light, loose clothes and be in a cool place. If you do not have an air conditioner, go to public places such as the library, shopping center, or community center to seek relief from the swelter. Use fans, take a cool shower, or place cold cloths on your skin to cool down your body.


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Management of Stress

For instance, everyday triggers for headaches include stress, traveling, alteration of one’s normal routine, and stepping up activities now that the summer is here.

Engage in stress management techniques, e.g., deep breathing, meditation, or yoga. Allow time for things that are enjoyable and that help you to relax.

Limit Alcohol and Caffeine

Both alcohol and caffeine can contribute to dehydration and can lead to headaches. It might be nice to have that cold beer or iced coffee during a hot summer day, but in moderation, of course.

Tip: Cut down on your alcohol and caffeinated drink intake. If you drink them, balance it out with plenty of water.

Know What Your Triggers

Some people’s headaches can be triggered by foods, smells, and noises, amongst others.

Tip: Keep a headache diary to keep track of what you eat, your activities, and when you get headaches. This way you’ll figure out and then avoid your own very particular triggers.

Headaches in Summer

Busting Summer Headache Myths

Myth 1: Only Dehydration Causes Summer Headaches

Dehydration undeniably can cause a headache in the summertime, but it is not the only trigger for a headache. Other things that can contribute include heat, sun exposure, changes in one’s regular routine, and even allergies.

Myth 2: Drinking Lots of Water Will Prevent All Headaches

While hydration is necessary, it is not the magic bullet. Stress, diet, and exposure to the sun are all contributing factors. Rather, it is a part of a really good headache prevention program.

Myth 3: Summer Headaches Are Always Caused by the Heat But not all summer headaches are due to the presence of heat. For example, more outdoor time could be the primary cause of allergens, which can trigger headaches, and a change in routine travel or change in physical activities could also be factors.

Fact 4: Sunglasses are worn solely for eye protection. Sunglasses are likely to protect you from more than just the sun; they may also protect you from a headache that might be further worsened by bright sunlight. Reducing glare and eye strain will lower your chances of a headache.

Myth 5: Only a Few People Can Suffer from a Summer Headache

Anybody can suffer from a headache in the summer. While depending on some triggers, like heat and dehydration, some people are more sensitive to these compared with others, all should be cautious.


Summer is a time for relaxation and fun, not a time for headaches. Lower your summer headache risk by staying hydrated, protecting yourself from the sun, eating regularly, and reducing stress. Pay attention and take care of your body by taking the steps necessary to keep cool and comfortable. Don’t let myths about headaches mislead you learn the real causes and prevention methods that will enable you to have a summer free of headaches.