Common Migraine Triggers You Should Avoid

What Is A Migraine Trigger?

“A migraine trigger is any change, external stimulus or physical act which raises the risk of having an attack or migraine symptoms”

Even though what triggers migraine remains undetermined by science, there are several common and known factors that may trigger a migraine attack. Depending on each individual, a single migraine trigger or several different cumulative migraine triggers may cause a migraine attack. Understanding what triggers migraine enables you to better cope and control migraine.


What Triggers Migraine?

Migraine triggers vary from behavioral migraine triggers, environmental migraine triggers, migraine food triggers, and even hormonal changes.

Here are some common migraine triggers you should avoid, if possible:


Dehydration is a common migraine trigger. While research on the mechanisms behind how dehydration triggers migraine is still ongoing, even mild dehydration can bring about a terrible migraine for some. A simple but good tip for migraine relief for dehydration would be to always carry a water bottle with you at all times and constantly remind yourself to stay hydrated!

Did you know? According to Migraine Buddy users, 68% of those who recorded drinking water as a relief method have found it helpful. (For comparison, 66% of Migraine Buddy users who recorded ‘caffeine’ as a relief method and similarly 66% who recorded ‘hot shower’ as a relief method have found it helpful.)

Stress and Anxiety

Stress is a common migraine trigger as it is generally linked to a person’s lifestyle. Migraine and stress are strongly related and people generally find that with high levels of tension, anxiety, and shock that their migraine attack starts. However, something known as “weekend headaches” exists too. This is when an individual experiences a migraine after a stressful period.

It could be a good habit to regularly list and understand the things in your life which bring you the most stress. Thereafter, working towards reducing these migraine triggers will become easier. Sometimes, something as simple as talking to someone to share your problems would suffice. Other good migraine relief methods to help cope with stress includes meditation, relaxation therapy, and yoga.

Lack of Sleep 

If you are not sure of what triggers migraine for you, maybe you can look at the amount of sleep you get. The lack of sleep can trigger migraine for many people. Having a proper sleep schedule with sufficient sleep each day is a good practice to prevent migraine attacks.

It is advisable to aim to get more than 6 hours of sleep each day. If you’re unsure of your optimal sleeping hours, tracking your sleep could be a good way to start. (Did you know Migraine Buddy has an ‘Automatic Sleep Detection’ function? To turn it on, tap the three lines on the top left of Migraine Buddy’s main screen to get to ‘Settings’ and scroll down until you see ‘Sleep Settings’!)

Besides having better control over your attacks, the list of benefits of getting sufficient sleep does not end here, from lowering stress levels, curbing inflammation, and even improving your memory, the list is endless.

Establishing a daily routine with regular sleep patterns and meals and learning to cope with your stress could be the first steps to taking control of your migraines today.


Some people may have to abstain from coffee or tea because caffeine can trigger migraine attacks. There are many reasons for that. Firstly, caffeine is a diuretic substance. This means that it causes a need to urinate in users. Excessive caffeine consumption may lead to body fluid loss, leading to dehydration. Overuse of caffeine can lead to dehydration which triggers migraine attacks for some people[1].

Caffeine might also trigger migraine attacks because of urinary loss of magnesium, caused by reduced resorption. Magnesium is an important supplement in acute migraine prevention. Research has shown that magnesium prevents migraine by blocking N-methyl-D aspartate (NMDA) receptors, which reduces the effect of cortical spreading depression (CSD). Cortical spreading depression is often associated with migraine pathophysiology, which explains how caffeine can trigger migraine attacks.

Did you know: You can track the correlation between migraine and potential triggers using the Migraine Buddy app! Tracking enables you to discover common migraine triggers and enable you to cope with migraine and even potentially anticipate migraine attacks. You can even discover other common migraine triggers that affect other #MigraineWarriors! Join our #MigraineBuddyCommunity in tracking migraine now and live a migraine-free life! This will also help you to know what to expect for your migraine doctor appointment. Start tracking your migraine aura now and live the best life you can as a #MigraineWarrior.

Jenny from Migraine Buddy

You Will Also Like

Back to Blog

Leave your mobile to get a link to download the app