Recurrent seizures, which are defined as sudden and brief disruptions of the brain’s electrical activity, are a hallmark of epilepsy. Triggers for epilepsy can vary greatly from person to person, but some common triggers include:

1. Sleep deprivation: Everyone needs to get a good night’s sleep, but people with epilepsy need it even more. Not getting enough sleep or disruptions to ones sleep schedule can increase the likelihood of a seizure. Sadly, sleep and epilepsy operate in a somewhat vicious cycle. Epilepsy can make it hard to sleep, and not getting enough sleep can make your seizures worse. Insomnia , one of the side effects of some epilepsy medications, can prevent you from falling or staying asleep. Additionally, epilepsy patients are more likely to suffer from sleep apnea, a condition that further disrupts sleep.

2. Stress: Your body can be affected physically by stress. If it lasts, it can give you headaches, make you sleepy, and make you more likely to get diabetes or heart disease. Stress can also trigger seizures in epileptic patients.

3. Flashing lights or patterns: Some people with epilepsy are sensitive to flashing lights or patterns. This is known as Photo sensitive epilepsy.

4. Alcohol and drugs: Excessive alcohol consumption or use of certain drugs, including cocaine and marijuana , can increase the likelihood of a seizure. Seizures linked to alcohol typically occur during withdrawal, when alcohol is leaving your body. This indicates that even if you aren’t having seizures but are drinking, you might still be at risk because seizures could occur later.

5. Medications: Certain medications, such as antidepressants or antipsychotics, can increase the likelihood of a seizure .

6. Changes in hormones: Some women may experience seizures when their hormones change, such as during or just before menstruation ( Catamenial Epilepsy ), pregnancy, or menopause. According to research, there may be a strong link between epileptic seizures and hormones in some epileptic women. Throughout her life, a woman’s hormone levels can change, affecting when her epilepsy starts, how often she has seizures, and whether or not she stops having them. Changes in hormone levels over time may be the reason why women and men manage epilepsy differently. It could also explain why a woman’s epilepsy treatment may need to change over time.

7. Illness: Seizures can be triggered by illnesses like fever (Febrile Epilepsy) or infections. Epileptic seizures are frequently triggered by acute illness or infection. Infections of the head, lungs, or sinuses caused by viruses or bacteria can frequently cause seizures to change.8. Skipping meals: Going without food for an extended period of time can trigger seizures in some people with epilepsy.

8. Fatigue: Prolonged physical or mental exhaustion can trigger seizures in some people with epilepsy. Although everyone occasionally experiences fatigue, epileptics are more likely than others to experience elevated or frequent feelings of weakness, exhaustion, and tiredness. Epileptic patients may occasionally experience anxiety or depression. It may be harder to stay motivated and focused when you have depression symptoms, which can make it harder to complete daily tasks. This can make you feel tired and exhausted.

9.Music: In rare cases, certain types of music or musical patterns can trigger seizures in people with epilepsy.

10. Abrupt shifts in routine: A seizure can occur when the body’s natural rhythm is disrupted by sudden changes in routine, such as when traveling to a different time zone. It is essential to keep in mind that epilepsy triggers can vary greatly from person to person, and what causes a seizure in one person may not cause it in another.

Additionally, there may be no known cause for epilepsy in some individuals.

Working with a doctor to identify any triggers and develop strategies for managing them is essential for anyone with epilepsy.

Adjusting one’s sleep schedule, practicing techniques for managing stress, avoiding flashing lights or patterns, limiting one’s use of alcohol and drugs, and avoiding medications that cause seizures are all examples of this.


Source:, Dr. Atul Prasad,