WHAT ARE THE MOST COMMON CAUSES OF MIGRAINE HEADACHES? The exact cause of migraine headaches is not fully understood. Many researchers believe that a migraine can be caused by a change in hormone levels in the brain. While some people only experience a migraine headache once in a while, for others, migraine headaches can be debilitating and/or chronic. Common triggers for Migraines include: stress, bright lights, smells, medications you are taking, lack of sleep or too much sleep, alcohol, and foods containing aspartame or MSG. While the symptoms of migraine headaches vary depending on each individual, the most common signs and symptoms of a migraine headache include: intense pain, throbbing or pulsing in one or multiple sides of the head, nausea, vomiting, and sensitivity to light and sound.