Nausea at Night Time: What Causes It and How to Relieve It

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Nobody likes feeling nauseous, and nausea at night can escalate the symptoms. It can be challenging to find a comfortable position, and often symptoms are worse when you’re lying down.

There are various reasons why nighttime nausea may occur, and sometimes it can be hard to distinguish exactly what the cause is. In this article, we’ll explore some of the most common causes of nausea at night and some tips on relieving the symptoms.

It is important to note if you are experiencing severe nausea or if your nausea persists for an extended period, you should seek advice from a medical professional to rule out any underlying health conditions.

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What is nausea?

Nausea is an uneasiness of the stomach that often comes before vomiting. Nausea and vomiting are not diseases but symptoms of many conditions.

Nausea does not always result in being sick (vomiting). You can have nausea and not vomit. It is often described as an uncomfortable feeling in the stomach or a “queasy stomach.” Although if you are experiencing extreme nausea, you may find it hard not to vomit.

The symptoms of nausea

The most prominent feeling of nausea is uneasiness in the stomach. It is often accompanied by stomach pain, cramping, and an upset stomach.

Many people find they experience hot sweats or cold sweats along with nausea. You may also experience bloating, belching, or flatulence.

Some people have dizziness or lightheadedness with their nausea.

What causes nausea?

Unfortunately, it can be challenging to pinpoint the exact cause of nausea because there are many possible reasons. The symptoms are usually the same, though, no matter what the cause is.


One of the most common reasons people experience nausea is anxiety or stress. When you feel anxious, you may experience an upset stomach. It is not uncommon to feel nauseous during times of stress.

You may have nausea before an important event, such as a job interview, public speaking engagement or test.


Another common cause of nausea is pregnancy. It is estimated that 50 to 90 percent of pregnant women experience nausea and vomiting, especially during the first trimester.

This is often called “morning sickness,” but it can occur at any time of day. The symptoms are usually the worst in the morning, hence the name.

Some women have severe nausea and vomiting that they cannot keep any food or liquid down and become dehydrated. This is called hyperemesis gravidarum, and it requires medical treatment.

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Stomach ulcers

Stomach ulcers are sores that develop in the lining of the stomach. They are a common cause of nausea, especially when they bleed.

Peptic ulcers are a type of stomach ulcer. They are usually caused by a bacterial infection or nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs).

Ulcers could also be caused by stomach cancer.

Motion sickness

Motion sickness is a type of nausea that occurs when you are in motion, such as in a car, boat or airplane.

It is thought to be caused by a conflict between what you see and feel. For example, if you are in a car that is moving but looking at a still object, your brain may become confused.

This can result in the feeling of nausea and even vomiting.

Medication side effects

Many medications can cause nausea as a side effect. The most common offenders are chemotherapy drugs, antibiotics, and painkillers.

If you are taking medication and experiencing nausea, talk to your doctor. They may be able to prescribe a different medication that does not cause this side effect.

Food poisoning

Food poisoning is another common cause of nausea. It occurs when you eat food contaminated with bacteria, viruses or toxins.

Common symptoms of food poisoning include nausea, vomiting, abdominal pain, and diarrhea. If you think you have food poisoning, you must see a doctor as soon as possible.

Some people are sensitive to certain types of food, such as dairy products, spicy foods, wheat, or gluten. If you eat a food that you are sensitive to, it can also cause nausea, vomiting, abdominal pain, and diarrhea.

If you think you may be sensitive to a particular type of food, it is essential to talk to a doctor or dietitian. They can help you figure out which foods to avoid.

Acid reflux

Acid reflux is a condition in which stomach acid flows back up into the esophagus. This can cause heartburn, chest pain and regurgitation.

Nausea is a common symptom of acid reflux. It is often described as a feeling of fullness or “gas.”

Why can nausea be worse at night time?

There are a few possible explanations for why nausea may worsen at night.

Nighttime nausea because of anxiety is more likely to occur if you are not occupied during the day. If you have nothing to distract you from your anxious thoughts, they may become more intense at night.

It can be more challenging to control your thoughts while lying down and trying to sleep. This can make the anxiety and nausea seem worse. Worrying about your nausea and its cause can make you more anxious, particularly if you suffer from health anxiety.

Eating before bed may also contribute to nausea at night. If you have eaten a large meal or certain trigger foods, you may be more likely to feel nauseous.

Some medications that cause nausea may be more likely to do so at night because they are not as effective when lying down.

How to stop feeling nauseous

Treating your nausea will depend on the cause of your nausea. However, you can do some general things to help ease the symptoms.

At-home remedies

A few simple at-home remedies can help stop nausea in its tracks. For example, drinking a small lemonade or orange juice can help settle the stomach.

Ginger is another well-known remedy for gastrointestinal distress, so sipping on some ginger tea or eating a few pieces of candied ginger can also be helpful.

Sometimes, resting in a quiet, dark room can ease nausea. Sitting up and facing forward in a car or boat can sometimes help if you are feeling nauseous due to motion sickness.

Deep breathing exercises can also help to calm the stomach and stop nausea. So next time you feel nauseous, try one of these simple at-home remedies and see if it does the trick.

Medication and medical advice

If home remedies are not enough to relieve your nausea, you may need medical help.

Your doctor can prescribe medication to help stop nausea. If you are pregnant and suffering from hyperemesis gravidarum, your doctor may recommend IV fluids and other treatments.

Surgery may sometimes be necessary to treat the underlying cause of severe nausea. For example, surgery may be required if you have cancer or a blockage in your digestive system.

Conclusion: understanding and treating nausea at night time

You may feel the effects of nausea worse at nighttime, but there are things you can do to ease the symptoms.

If your nausea is caused by anxiety, try to distract yourself during the day and avoid lying down after eating. If home remedies are not enough and your nausea persists, talk to your doctor about medication or other treatments.

This article is not a substitute for professional medical advice, diagnosis, or treatment. Always seek the advice of your physician or other qualified health providers with any questions you may have regarding a medical condition.


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