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What Are the Most Common Causes of Night Nausea?

Drinking too much alcohol may cause night nausea.
Heartburn and indigestion may lead to night nausea.
During pregnancy, so-called morning sickness can also cause women to experience nausea at night.
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  • Written By: N. Madison
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  • Last Modified Date: 08 September 2014
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The causes of night nausea are often the same as those that contribute to nausea during the day. Some of the most common causes of nighttime nausea are stress, morning sickness, medication side effects, and viral or bacterial infections. An individual may also experience night nausea because of heartburn or indigestion. In some cases, a person may also feel nauseous during the night because he has overindulged in an alcoholic beverage. Though night nausea may not be cause for alarm, a person with persistent nausea may do well to seek advice from a doctor.

Stress is one of the most common causes of night nausea. During the daytime hours, many people are too busy to notice the effects of stress and anxiety. At night, however, when things are quiet and they have an opportunity to rest, some people become overwhelmed by worries and stresses. This may not only cause a person to become nauseated, but may also make it difficult for him to sleep.

Morning sickness is another frequent cause of night nausea. Morning sickness, which is marked by nausea and vomiting, is a common symptom of early pregnancy. Many people expect morning sickness symptoms to be troublesome only in the morning, but are surprised to learn that it can affect a pregnant woman at any time of the day or night. It may even be worse at night because a woman’s stomach often feels empty at this time of day, which can contribute to feelings of queasiness.

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Gastrointestinal illnesses that develop because of viruses and bacteria may also cause a person to experience night nausea. For example, a person who has contracted a stomach virus may experience symptoms at night. Such symptoms can develop at any time of the day or night, however. The nighttime onset of nausea may simply be related to when the person contracted the virus. If, for instance, a person has contracted a virus during the day that has an eight-hour incubation period, chances are good that he will begin to feel nauseous during the night.

In some cases, indigestion and heartburn may lead to nausea at night. An individual may, for example, eat something at dinner that causes him to have an upset stomach. In some cases, symptoms don’t occur right away, but may lead to nausea at some point during the night. Heartburn, which is marked by stomach acid that moves into the esophagus, may also cause nausea at night. In fact, those who go to bed within three hours of eating may be more likely to experience this cause of nausea.

An individual may also experience night nausea after overindulging in alcoholic beverages. In some cases, a person will begin to feel nauseous soon after drinking to excess. In other cases, however, a person may go to sleep and wake up to feelings of nausea later.

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anon966100
Post 15

I am 25 and I have been dealing with this for over a year now. It began on nights where I consumed alcohol and so I started to believe that I had developed some sort of allergy. But I've been having episodes without alcohol being present. These episodes go as far as vomiting and spending the night back and forth from sleep to the vomiting and sleep cycles of about 15 minutes or so. I could really use some help, my doctors haven't given me much hope. I self medicate with promethazene to force my body and mind into a state of sleep.

anon929634
Post 14

I am 52 and a man and get this quite a lot.

Solutions I have tried: not eating at all less than four hours before bedtime, and even then eating lightly. I have now got to the point that if my missus and I are invited to a dinner party, I have to say to hosts, "do you mind if I don't eat?" It has gotten that bad.

I avoid any alcohol less than six hours before bed too, and definitely no beer. I always have fennel tea before bed and that also seems to help.

If the nausea feeling comes, sometimes I sit under a hot shower on my back in the bath, and also getting some mint or camomile tea down helps.

If I sit up and watch TV it feels better. I do wonder if stress has something to do with it. Certainly for me, it is often related to having a bad dream. But the trouble is I get so tired with the lack of sleep. It is nice to read I am not the only one getting this.

anon335385
Post 13

My name is mujahid and I have been suffering from constant nausea for two years, but no medicine works for me and my endoscopy reports are normal. My doctor wanted to perform an MRI test but the same reports are normal. I can't understand how to get rid of my nausea. The doctor suggested I may be suffering from anxiety. Can someone please help me?

julies
Post 12

I don't know if any other women have experienced this, but I have night sweats and nausea almost every night. I expected some night sweats when I started going through menopause but thought the nausea was strange.

I guess I shouldn't be too surprised by it because my whole body is changing and there are a lot of things happening that I don't understand. I am wondering if the nausea is also considered a normal symptom of menopause?

It's bad enough to have the night sweats where you are sweating one minute and freezing the next. When you add the nausea to it and you lay there with your stomach feeling queasy you start to wonder if you are getting sick, or if it's just part of all the hormonal changes.

sunshined
Post 11

I have trouble sleeping and take medication before I go to bed so I can fall asleep and stay asleep. This is the only thing I have found that gives me a good night of sleep any more.

I take this about 30 minutes before bedtime and have found if I take it on an empty stomach I feel nauseated. Since I got in the habit of taking it with something like a piece of toast or a handful of nuts, I don't get the nausea. There is something about taking medication on an empty stomach that gives me nausea no matter what time of day it is.

Perdido
Post 10

@lighth0se33 – Waking up at night with extreme nausea is horrible! This happens to me whenever I get a urinary tract infection.

If I've had the infection for a few days and haven't gotten any antibiotics for it yet, I start to feel nauseated. This feeling gets worse at night, particularly after I wake up from a dream.

I think the only other night nausea I've had was related to eating something too close to bedtime. However, this kind of nausea is less extreme than the kind associated with a urinary tract infection. It's more of a mild queasiness.

healthy4life
Post 9

It scares me to read that night nausea and pregnancy are related! I know I'm not stressed out, and I stop eating three hours before bedtime.

I have never wanted children, so this nausea is freaking me out. It is so random, and I can't think of any other cause for it.

myharley
Post 8

With both of my pregnancies I had a lot of nausea and my stomach felt queasy much of the time. I thought this would just happen in the morning, so was surprised when I also had nausea at night during my pregnancy. My doctor said it was common to have nausea any time of the day or night. Because I was pregnant I didn't want to take any medication for it so I made sure I had something in my stomach before going to bed. This didn't get rid of the nausea but it was better than not having anything in my stomach at all.

lighth0se33
Post 7

It's strange, but every time I've ever had the stomach virus, it has hit me at night. I wake up with extreme nausea that is soon followed by vomiting.

It's a very unpleasant thing to wake up to. I can't sleep for the rest of the night, because I have to keep getting up to vomit.

I got gastrointestinal illnesses like this a lot as a child. Thankfully, I haven't had one in many years. I hope my nights of waking up to nausea are far behind me.

andee
Post 6

@donna61 -- You might also try elevating the head of your bed 6-8 inches. This is something my chiropractor recommended I try after complaining of heartburn and nausea at night. If you can't elevate the whole bed, he might try sleeping with more than one pillow so his head is elevated.

I tried this and it has seemed to help quite a bit. The heartburn is not as bad and the nausea has gone away completely. At first I really didn't think it would make much difference, but it was a simple and cheap thing to try.

giddion
Post 5

@donna61 – One thing that has always helped ease my nausea during the night is peppermint. In just about any form, it soothes the stomach.

Probably the most potent form is peppermint hard candy. I suck on one of these and my nausea subsides when I'm less than halfway through with it.

If the thought of consuming sugar makes your husband even more nauseous, he should try peppermint tea. It isn't sweetened, and it has a strong peppermint flavor that combats nausea.

Even if all you have in your house is sugar-free peppermint gum, give it a try. Even this has helped curb my nausea at times.

anon283490
Post 4

To the original poster: Does this pillow help to keep your head from turning side to side? Does turning your head increase your nausea? If so, have your ears checked. These are classic sign of meniere's (min-yaires) disease. Are you diabetic or smoke? Check to see if you have delayed gastric emptying. Hope this helps.

anon266051
Post 3

I get really bad nausea at night and the doctors cannot find anything wrong with me. The anti-nausea tablets stopped working and I have to sleep sitting up with a "cuddle buddy" (a beanbag type pillow) to keep my neck from being sore the next day. Some nights (very rarely) I am able to lay straight down and sleep but its so rare that I often think that's a dream.

But I also need noise to sleep, because otherwise all I can think of is the sick feeling. Any ideas as to what I might be suffering from or what can ease it? My partner is getting sick of the TV being on.

flowerchild
Post 2

@donna61--Good timing, I just learned about this in my herbology class! There are a lot of herbal teas that you can either buy or make yourself to help with heartburn and the related night nausea.

Some of the teas are ginger, chamomile, marshmallow root, and cinnamon. These teas are yummy and pretty easy to make.

You need to heat until you get a light boil, simmer for a few minutes, strain and then drink!

You can also get it ready to heat at either your local organic grocer or homeopathy store.

The other thing he can try is eating fewer but smaller meals. Oh, and eat earlier, like six at the latest so he has time to start digesting before he goes to bed.

I hope this information will help.

donna61
Post 1

My husband suffers from heartburn and nausea at night. Does anyone have any ideas for home remedies that might help him with this? I don't want to take him back to the doctor if I don't have to, he is already taking something for the heartburn. Thanks!

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