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The iGraine

For several months, I found myself suffering from an almighty headache almost every morning.  It was generally accompanied by dizziness and a feeling of exhaustion.  I genuinely thought I was coming down with something pretty serious.  My diet hadn’t changed.  My sleeping habits remained the same.  I didn’t think I was experiencing any additional stresses at the office.

And yet – every morning – there it was.  Within fifteen minutes of arising, I had this awful feeling, sometimes coupled with nausea.  I changed to decaf.  I ate right away.  Nothing.  It was still there.  I woke up feeling great, but within fifteen minutes I felt like a small mallet was just striking at the back of my head.  It lasted for about three hours, which presented a challenge to the rest of my day.

And then my eureka moment; I changed my morning routine by accident.

On one morning, upon waking, I made my coffee, then reached for my smartphone to check the 3,000 emails that I would go through.  For the first time in a long time, I left it in my car.  Not a problem.  I opened up my laptop and flew through my messages, drank my coffee, read the news, ironed, showered, dressed, packed a lunch, hopped in the car and then started my trek to the…  whoa.  I felt great.

But why?

It became reasonably evident that I had no long-term disease for which I would need extended, intense treatment.  I was just giving myself an iGraine every morning.

Yes.  An iGraine.

My standard routine consisted of waking up, putting coffee on, then roaming through my abode with my head dangling completely off my neck, staring at my phone.  It was to the point where my chest was getting a chinprint on it.

Was I spending the first fifteen minutes of every morning giving myself a staggeringly effective stress headache through neck strain while cutting blood-flow to by brain?  It seemed like a possibility, especially in light of the fact that the one morning I didn’t have any symptoms was the one morning I didn’t have my phone.

So on day two; skip the smartphone check again.  Day two; symptom free again.  Same thing on day three.  And day four.  And so on.

There have been thousands of studies on neck strain as a cause of headaches and exhaustion.  There have been even more studies on the lack of circulation to the brain causing both.  What I don’t know is if there has ever been a study on intense smart phone use (and head position) as it relates to these things.

If you find yourself suffering almost daily from a morning of exhaustion and a headache, I beg you to try this one small lifestyle change.  Lift your head up, or – better yet – keep your phone in the car.  The difference in my life has been astounding without a morning iGraine.

Do you find yourself suffering from exhaustion and headaches in the morning?

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