What can you do to relieve your headache besides hit the medicine bottle? Here, four natural headache remedies that will knock out your headaches right now and help prevent them in the future.

There are many different types of headaches and treatment sometimes depends on knowing what's causing them. Frequently however, the exact cause is unknown.  Common culprits are fatigue, hunger, dehydration and stress.  So, rather than treating just the symptoms, why not treat the root causes naturally?

1. Fatigue - lack of sleep, over-exertion and poor sleep are common causes for headaches.

  • Fast fix - Take a 20-minute power nap and let your head, eyes, neck and brain relax. Close your eyes, breathe slowly and let your thoughts wander.
  • Long term relief, improve your sleep habits:
  • Go to bed earlier.
  • Reduce caffeine, alcohol and sugar intake (especially near bedtime).
  • Avoid anxiety provoking and stimulating activities (like scary movies and books) near bedtime.
  • Shut off the technology an hour before bedtime. 
  • Get regular exercise but don't workout within a couple hours of bedtime.

2.  Hunger - If you're pushing your nutritional limits by eating poorly, not enough or eating high-sugar foods, you're putting your blood sugar on a roller coaster and asking your body to keep up with all the peaks and dives. The result?  Headaches.

  • Fast fix - eat a small meal that includes protein, complex carbs and healthy fats - like cheese and crackers, yogurt and granola or a turkey sandwich on wheat bread.
  • Long-term relief - Kick the sugar habit and avoid simple carbs like white rice, bread and starches. Instead, add more lean proteins, fruits, veggies and complex carbs like whole grains. Include protein with every meal to maintain steady blood sugar.

3. Dehydration - few people drink as much water as they need and many drink dehydrating liquids like alcohol, coffee and soda.  The result is irritated blood vessels and not enough circulating blood volume. 

  • Fast Fix - drink 16-24 ounces of cool water. Water is the easiest liquid for your body to process and immediately improves hydration and circulation.
  • Long-term relief - start a new habit of drinking 64 ounces of water daily.
  • Kick dehydrating liquid habits (or at lease limit them) like coffee, soda and alcohol. 
  • When you've had a few too many, drink 16-24 ounces of water.  Hangovers are primarily caused by dehydration.

4. Stress and its ugly cousins anxiety, anger and frustration cause chemical and hormonal changes that tighten muscles and blood vessels, increase blood pressure and cause pain. Tension headaches are part of your body's emergency broadcast system telling you to take a break before something really bad happens.

  • Fast fix - Release some pressure fast with a nap, a snack, or a coffee break. Take a walk, call a friend, or do some yoga. Just chill out a little.
  • Long-term relief - Build up your stress immunity with regular exercise (at least 30 minutes 5 days a week) and stress reduction techniques.
  • Start a daily yoga and meditation practice. 
  • Schedule regular massages.
  • Talk to family, friends, coworkers and/or a therapist about your stress. 
  • Reduce clutter and get organized to offset some life's daily hassles.

If still need relief, try lavender aromatherapy, acupressure, acupuncture, massage therapy, or an ice pack.  If these natural headache remedies don't work, it's time for medicine and a doctor's appointment