'Pain Clock' Tells the Time of Day Your Common Complaints Will Hurt the Worst

woman looking at clocks

Ever noticed your head's most likely to throb around the time you start prepping dinner? Or that you're always reaching for the Tums soon after bedtime? It's not all in your mind. It's in your body. Some health conditions simply flare up at specific times of the day.


Here, a timeline of when you're likely to feel not-so-great. Hopefully knowing that pain is coming will help you better deal with it.

6 a.m. Depression

If you suffer from depression, it's probably going to be worst first thing in the morning -- even if you felt fine at bedtime. Some experts think this frustrating trend has to do with an internal body clock that's out of whack. Fortunately, symptoms usually improve throughout the day.

7 a.m. Lower Back Pain

Between now and noon is when your lower back is most likely to leave you screaming in pain -- pretty much coinciding with the time you need to bend over to change your baby's diaper/carry your kid's 20-lb. diorama to school. And no surprise, being tired or distracted ups your risk of having back pain.

12 p.m. Allergies

Have allergies? Some experts believe symptoms like coughing, sneezing, itchy eyes, fatigue - peak mid-day, along with pollen levels. (So best to play inside with kiddos, not at the park, at this time.)

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3 p.m. Arthritis

If you have osteoarthritis, expect discomfort to be worse in the afternoon or evening. (Except for rheumatoid arthritis -- that flares first thing in the morning.)

5 p.m. Headaches

You are now entering headache territory! (And no, we don't mean trying to shuffle kids to soccer/ballet/piano while still fixing dinner and getting homework done.) Afternoons are when tension headaches flare. (No surprise.) Migraines usually pop up later in the evening.

10 p.m. Heartburn/Gastric Reflux

The kids are asleep, you've had time to relax and watch House of Cards with your husband and now that you're settled cozily in bed, you've suddenly got ... heartburn? Yeah, so about that. Unfortunately, heartburn and reflux disease flare at bedtime, when you're finally lying down. (And having a big meal right before will make it worse, too.)

What's your most painful time of day?


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