'Tis the season to be jolly and full of good cheer.
But for many migraine and headache sufferers, it's also the time of year when everything related to the season - from scented candles to Christmas lights to shopping - can trigger cluster headaches, stress-related pain, and days of agony.
Here are the most common holiday headache triggers, and what to do about them.
What to try: Moderation. A little coffee, tea, or cocoa can actually help headaches, but too much can trigger them, New York City neurologist Dr. Audrey Halpern says.
"I find that when I drink less coffee, my sinuses are a lot happier," says blogger Lauren Levine. "I think this is because caffeine dries everything out. I find that my headaches are less frequent when I'm drinking green tea and water instead of tons of coffee (which is how I normally operate). It's difficult but definitely worth it."
What to try: Some foods are known to trigger headaches for many people--and others (especially those rich in magnesium) seem to help prevent them.
Try to avoid red wine, beer, MSG, chocolate, aged cheese, sauerkraut, and processed meats like pepperoni, ham, and salami. Eat more spinach, tofu, oat bran, barley, fish oil, olive oil, white beans, and sunflower and pumpkin seeds.
What to try: The good news is you're off work. The bad news is that headaches can happen when you take a break from your routine, says Dr. Alexander Mauskop, founder and director of the New York Headache Center and co-author of What Your Doctor May Not Tell You About Migraines.
Ease into the change by keeping your sleep time as normal as possible--you'll end up feeling more rested than if you stay in bed until noon.
What to try: More zzzs, please. One large study found that those who slept an average of six hours a night tended to have significantly more severe and more frequent headaches than those who got more z's.