You may be able to reduce the severity and frequency of migraine attacks by recognizing and avoiding triggers, staying hydrated, and getting physical activity, among other methods.

If you’re living with migraine, you know how unpredictable each episode can be. Sometimes, there’s no obvious trigger. In many cases, several factors combine to increase the risk of a migraine attack. Triggers can include:

  • stress
  • muscle tension
  • too little or too much sleep
  • some foods or drinks

You might not be able to prevent every flare, but some tips can help you reduce the frequency of migraine episodes. Here are some self-care tips if you’re living with migraine.

A 2018 study found that vitamin D deficiency may increase the number of monthly migraine days you experience. You can increase your vitamin D levels by spending some time outdoors for sun exposure.

Keeping track of your symptoms with a headache diary can help you identify and avoid possible triggers.

Dehydration can lead to headaches and may worsen headache disorders, including migraine. Try to stay hydrated with water and beverages, such as herbal tea and electrolyte drinks.

Hunger and skipping meals can trigger migraine episodes. Some people also experience migraine episodes after eating specific foods. Eating smaller meals more often may help and it can also help you identify foods that trigger attacks.

Alcohol and caffeine are common migraine triggers. Avoiding them may help prevent or reduce the frequency of episodes.

Sleep deprivation can worsen symptoms of migraine and the frequency of headache episodes. Consistently getting enough sleep can help ward off migraine episodes.

A 2020 review of research states acupuncture may be a safe and effective option to help relieve migraine pain, along with prescribed medications.

Screen time and the bright light associated with it may trigger migraine attacks and lead to photophobia.

Bright lights and loud noises can be a migraine trigger for some people. If your work environment involves either, you may be able to ask for accommodations.

Regular aerobic exercise or yoga can reduce the severity, frequency, and duration of migraine episodes. You can try different exercises for migraine prevention and see what feels best.

You can also work with a physical therapist to find an exercise plan that is right for you.

Some people may experience relief from migraine episodes by applying a cool or warm compress.

The American Migraine Foundation recommends relaxation exercises, such as paced breathing techniques. You can try box breathing.

Common migraine dietary triggers can include:

You may want to use caution when eating them and take note of any symptoms that develop.

Migraine can be linked to chronic fatigue syndrome. When you have migraine, try to get the rest you need. Some people may experience fatigue and other symptoms after the headache phase of a migraine episode.

Doctors may recommend over-the-counter (OTC) and prescription medications to treat or prevent migraine episodes. It’s important to take medications as directed or prescribed. If a medication stops working or causes side effects, you can discuss alternative options with a doctor.

Some self-care practices can help you identify migraine triggers and prevent episodes. Also, physical activity may reduce the frequency of migraine episodes.