A person’s overall health and well-being is a huge factor in seizure activity. For this reason, the top reported seizure triggers, by a large margin, were sleep deprivation, stress, irregular eating and overheating. While some of the items on this list may be called seizure triggers, others may be more accurately classified as things that make a person more susceptible to triggers by “lowering the threshold”.

Sleep issues are a big piece of the puzzle. Getting enough rest is important for our health. For those who suffer from seizures, it is critical. Beyond getting enough rest, there are other issues. For example, blood sugar levels drop while sleeping and this may trigger a seizure. Therefore, some people may need to eat something right before bed, (legumes may help balance blood sugar levels, or a fatty snack may be in order). The process of moving from sleep to waking, or from one sleep state to another, is partly a function of the brain. Our brain waves and electrical processes change and this can lead to seizure activity, especially if the change is abrupt.

This is not a complete, or scientific, survey and list. Several hundred people responded to our survey.  The respondents are readers of this website from all over the world. If you are willing to share triggers you’ve discovered that are not this list, nor on the other two lists of triggers (State of Health Triggers and Dietary and Chemical Triggers), please email us and we will add it to the list.

guy in front of bright tv

The primary reason we’ve compiled a “seizure trigger” list is to assist people in identifying triggers in their diet- as that is the focus of this website.  Please see the list “Dietary and Chemical Seizure Triggers” for this information.

Reported Environmental Seizure Triggers

Too Much Heat (Overheating)

Bright Lights (Sun/Full Moon/Lightning)

Flickering Lights (Fluorescent/TV/Video Games/Sunlight Through Trees/Computer Screens)

Unexpected Touch

Chemicals and/or Smells (Detergent/Soap/Perfume/Candles/Air Fresheners)

Light At Night

Sudden Sounds (Dogs Barking/Thunder)

Optical Distortion (Illusions/Bifocal Glasses/Patterns)

Quick Movements Toward The Face

High Altitude

Certain Sound Frequencies (Shrill/Surround Sound/Some Music)

Weather Extremes (Hot/Cold/Humid/Barometric Pressure)

Immersion In Water

Extreme Pollution