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Decode Your Headaches: How to Head Off a Headache

Trigger: You Slept Later Than Usual

The pain you're probably dealing with: A caffeine withdrawal headache.

If you usually down two cups of coffee by 7 a.m., the dull nagging pain you experience upon waking on the weekend is your brain screaming, "I need a caffeine fix, now!" Expect the same feeling if you decide to eliminate caffeine cold turkey or if you forgo your usual afternoon jumbo-size latte.

Caffeine acts as a stimulant and creates changes that the brain becomes accustomed to over time. Just two cups a day may be enough for you to experience withdrawal headaches if you skip. Consider all the caffeine in your diet, not just coffee, hot tea, and soda. Cold teas, energy drinks, OTC pain reliever pills, and powders (like Goody's Powder and BC Pain Relief Powders) all count.

How to find relief: Take an OTC pain reliever along with your coffee, tea, or soda and the pain should subside. Guzzling three cups of coffee in a row hoping for a quick fix will give you a case of the jitters from caffeine overload.

To avoid these types of headaches in the future, gradually cut back on your caffeine intake. Try to eventually limit yourself to less than 100mg a day. That's the amount typically found in one 8-ounce cup of regular coffee or one 12-ounce can of cola.