Why Cluster Headaches are Affected by Seasonal Change

January 26, 2024
November 1, 2022
Why Cluster Headaches are Affected by Seasonal Change

Why do Cluster Headaches spike every November? It has to do with sunlight and circadian rhythm. 

Cluster Headaches, known for their clockwork consistency and timeliness, are affected by seasonal change, particularly around the solstices sandwiching the longest and shortest days of the year, and when clocks are changed for daylight savings. It’s surmised that these cycles are triggered by the amount of daylight one receives (or lack thereof) and how it affects one’s circadian rhythm. The other spike is seen at the Spring Equinox. 

Seasonal shifts, especially the amount of sunlight received each day, resets one’s biological clock and circadian rhythm, affecting sleep cycles, eating habits, and body temperature. 

What can a Cluster Headache patient do to better prepare for this seasonal shift? 

  • Talk to your doctor about a preventive that can be taken at the time of this seasonal shift
  • Avoid or reduce Cluster triggers, if possible
  • Maintain a strict sleep-wake cycle where you wake and go to sleep within the same window of time each night
  • Prepare your Cluster Cycle emergency kit, filled with acute medications and treatments to get you through each attack

If you have Cluster Headaches and need help getting through this cycle, a headache specialist is available for video visits with Neura Health members. Join Neura Health as a member today to book a video visit today.

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Thomas Berk, MD FAHS
Thomas Berk is Medical Director at Neura Health, where he treats Neura patients via video visit. He is a former Clinical Assistant Professor at the Department of Neurology at NYU Grossman School of Medicine.
About the Author
Thomas Berk, MD FAHS is Medical Director of Neura Health and a neurologist and headache specialist based in New York City. A former Clinical Assistant Professor at the Department of Neurology at NYU Grossman School of Medicine, he has over 12 years of clinical experience. He graduated from the NYU Grossman School of Medicine and completed his neurology residency at NYU as well. He completed a headache fellowship at the Jefferson Headache Center in Philadelphia. He is a Fellow of the American Headache Society and has been on the Super Doctors list of rising stars for the past five years.

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