How to manage the "migraine hangover" and get back to your daily routine after an attack

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Despite the name, a migraine hangover is not a migraine attack caused by alcohol, but rather a stage of a migraine attack that can mimic the symptoms of a traditional hangover.

Not only can a migraine cause intense pain and discomfort during an attack, but it can also leave you feeling drained and exhausted for days afterward. This is commonly referred to as the "Migraine Hangover," and it can make it difficult to get back to your daily routine.

What causes a migraine hangover?

A migraine hangover is thought to be related to the neurological and physiological changes that occur during a migraine episode. These changes can cause inflammation, dehydration, and changes in brain chemistry, which can lead to symptoms such as fatigue, dizziness, difficulty concentrating, and sensitivity to light and sound.

What does a migraine hangover feel like?

Symptoms might vary from person to person but can include:

- Fatigue

- Brain fog

- Dizziness or lightheadedness

- Sensitivity to light and sound

- Nausea or vomiting

- Difficulty concentrating or thinking clearly

- Muscle weakness or stiffness

- Irritability or mood changes

- Appetite changes

- Increased thirst or dehydration

How long can a migraine hangover last?

A migraine hangover, also known as a postdrome, can last anywhere from a few hours to several days, depending on the individual and the severity of the migraine. For some people, the hangover phase may last only a few hours, while for others it can persist for up to 48 hours or longer.

During this phase, individuals may experience various symptoms, including fatigue, dizziness, difficulty concentrating, sensitivity to light and sound, and mood changes. These symptoms can vary in intensity and duration, but generally improve over time as the body continues to recover from the migraine attack.

It's important to note that not everyone who experiences migraines will have a postdrome phase, and the duration and severity of these symptoms can also vary from one migraine to another.

Why does a migraine hangover happen

The exact cause of a migraine hangover, also known as postdrome, is not fully understood, but it is believed to be related to changes in the brain and body during a migraine attack.

During a migraine attack, there is often a decrease in blood flow to certain areas of the brain, which can result in a range of symptoms such as head pain, nausea, and sensitivity to light and sound. After the migraine attack has subsided, the body may continue to experience changes in blood flow and other physiological processes, which can contribute to the postdrome phase.

It can be tempting to worry about how you'll manage these symptoms and get back to your daily routine, but I want you to know that there's no need to worry.

How to manage a migraine hangover?

To help manage a migraine hangover, here are a few tips:

1. Rest and sleep: Allow yourself to rest and sleep as much as needed to help your body recover from the migraine attack.

2. Hydrate: Drink plenty of fluids, especially water, to help replenish lost fluids and electrolytes from the migraine attack.

3. Eat nutrient-dense foods: Consume nutritious foods that provide energy and help replenish nutrients lost during the migraine attack.

4. Take it easy: Avoid strenuous physical activities or activities that require high levels of mental focus to give your body and brain a chance to recover.

5. Manage stress: Practice relaxation techniques such as meditation, deep breathing, or yoga to help manage stress, which can be a trigger for migraines.

6. Take prescribed medication: Take any prescribed medications as directed by your healthcare provider to help alleviate any lingering symptoms.

7. Avoid triggers: Identify and avoid any potential migraine triggers that could prolong the postdrome phase.

It's also important to be kind and patient with yourself during this time. Migraine hangovers can be draining and it's okay to take a step back from your usual routine to prioritize your health and wellbeing. Remember that rest and self-care are essential in managing migraines and the effects that follow.


While migraines and their hangover effects can be challenging, there's no need to worry. With the right strategies and support, you can successfully manage these symptoms and get back to feeling like yourself. Remember to be kind to yourself, prioritize your health, and seek support when needed. You've got this.