3 Most Common Migraine Triggers - What You Need to Know to Better Manage Stress and Decrease Migraine Headache Frequency

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The sudden onset of migraine often means a dark room, bed, and a cool towel for migraine sufferers. A migraine can last for days and be physically debilitating, often interfering with one’s ability to function. 


Everyone has different triggers, but a few common culprits affect a large number of people living with migraine. Learning what causes migraines, common triggers, and how Acupuncture can help can be highly effective. When you can identify your triggers, you are one step closer to effectively managing your migraine and avoiding future attacks.


Three Common Migraine Triggers




Perhaps the biggest culprit of all for migraine sufferers. According to the American Migraine Foundation, stress is a trigger for almost 70% of people with migraine, and one study revealed that 50-70% of people had a significant association between their daily stress level and their daily migraine activity.


Stress is a common trigger for migraines as it can alter the way the brain functions, including the output of hormones and chemical messengers. When you get stressed, your body produces more serotonin (the stress hormone) to enable the body to respond to stress accordingly. Serotonin constricts blood vessels, and this change can initiate a migraine attack.


Ways to Help: Consistent sleep schedule, Acupuncture, Biofeedback, relaxation therapy, meditation and exercise can be extremely helpful in managing stress. These strategies can change your body’s physiological response to stress and thus reduce the ability for stress to trigger a migraine attack.




Sleep renews and repairs all parts of the body, relieving the effects of daily stress. When sleep schedules become irregular, one is more prone to the pain of all types, including migraine attacks. The connection between migraine and sleep is undeniable.


Ways to Help: Aim for at least 7-8 hours of sleep per night, trying to go to bed at the same time every night. Eliminate phones, tablets, TV, and other electronics while in bed. It is best to eliminate technology use at least one hour before bed. Create a relaxing sleep routine that will also help relieve stress from the day. 




Forty-three percent of adults drink less than four cups of water a day. That includes 36 percent who drink one to three cups, and 7 percent who drink none. Dehydration affects the body on all levels and can cause dizziness, confusion, and can even become a medical emergency.


About 1/3 of people with migraine say dehydration is a trigger, and for some, even the slightest hint of dehydration can lead to debilitating head pain. 


Ways to Help: Track your fluid intake daily and always carry a water bottle for easy access. The daily recommendation is two liters of water per day. Also, limit your consumption of diuretics, such as coffee, tea, and alcohol consumption. All of which are also common migraine triggers. Often, early migraines can be stopped right away by simply drinking a glass of water.


If you’re one of the millions of people who deal with frequent or occasional migraines, it’s important to understand your personal migraine triggers and do your best to avoid them. These three common migraine triggers are essential to managing to best help with your migraines. 

Consider keeping a journal of personal migraine triggers. It may prove beneficial in helping you avoid future migraine attacks. 


Using Acupuncture for the treatment of migraines can also be very beneficial. Acupuncture is usually a profoundly relaxing experience that optimizes one’s overall level of health.


The number of acupuncture sessions depends on each unique patient, medical history, the severity and occurrence of your migraines and how quickly your body responds to the acupuncture treatment. 


If you want to manage your migraines naturally, visit your local Modern Acupuncture clinic and speak to our experienced Licensed Acupuncturists today!


Acupuncture Relieves Stress


Modern Acupuncture® is a natural stress relief solution and the leading provider of Acupuncture in the U.S. The most studied theories show that Acupuncture stimulates the body to release naturally produced “feel good” endorphins and stimulate the parasympathetic or “rest and digest” response in our body, alleviating symptoms associated with stress.


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