Digestive system

Nausea at night: 6 causes, 4 Treatments, 6 Preventive measures

Nausea at night makes you feel uneasy. The feeling generally comes before vomiting. So, you may not vomit, but you have a sense of vomiting.

Causes of Nausea at night:

nausea at night
Nausea at night
Image source: gponline.com

The causes of nausea happening at night are varied. Usually, the causes are similar to the causes that lead to nausea during the daytime. Common causes of night nausea include:

  1. Stress
  2. Morning Sickness: Morning sickness is the nauseating feeling which occurs during pregnancy especially during the first few months of pregnancy. Usually, it is said to affect during the daytime but can happen during the nighttime as well. This happens due to increase in the hormone level in the body and can also lead to nausea at night. The symptoms are higher during night time as the stomach gets emptied during the night time
  3. Side effects of medicines
  4. Infections caused by bacteria or virus
  5. Nausea at night can also be caused due to digestive problems
  6. Over intake of alcohol can also lead to Nausea at night
  7. Stress can also lead to a feeling of nausea at night

Nocturnal nausea in most cases doesn’t require medical attention, but in case symptoms of nausea at night stay for a long time then you need to discuss with your doctor.

Gastrointestinal Problems have a significant symptom of nausea at night:

The digestive problems can arise mainly due to bacterial or viral infections. The chances of nausea at night are more. This is because the bacterial or viral infection is happening due to the food one eats, and a person tends to eat more during the daytime.

Any bacterial or viral infection has an incubation period of 8 hrs. So, there are chances that the feeling of nausea would develop during the night time.


Indigestion of the food may also result in feeling nauseous at night. A person might eat something in the dinner that causes upset stomach at night. Usually, any of these symptoms don’t occur immediately but during the night.

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Heartburn that causes the stomach acid to move towards the oesophagus or stomach. In many cases, this is also accompanied by nausea. In many instances, heartburn associated nausea occurs when the person goes to sleep within 3 hours of having the food at night.

Indulgence in alcohol:

A person having alcohol at night also suffer from the feeling of nausea during night time. Nausea associated with drinking may occur immediately after having alcohol or after some time of having alcohol during the night.


Chronic cases of nausea occur during night time are many times related to constipation. Constipation associated nausea at night can be worse during night time when the person has taken meals during the daytime and lie down at night. Constipation associated nausea increases in some women during menses.

Other causes:

Some of the other causes of nausea at night are gastroparesis. Gastroparesis occurs in cases of weak stomach or in case of diabetes which happens when there is a blockage of stomach’s outlet.

Nausea also occurs in some of the serious diseases like concussions, meningitis, intestinal blockage, appendicitis and brain tumour. Nausea is also accompanied in case of diarrhoea and dehydration.

Treatment of Nighttime Nausea:

Treatment of nausea at night is usually related with the cause that leads to these symptoms which can range from morning sickness during pregnancy, indigestion or effects of chemotherapy etc. Treating Nighttime nausea is broadly divided into four parts:

Easing the symptoms of nausea:

Acupressure: applying mild pressure on specific points associated with nausea at night can help to reduce chances of nausea occurrence. The point is located on the inside part of the wrist. You can gently apply slight pressure here by using 3 fingers. This is effective in motion sickness as well as nausea.

Motion sickness bands:

These work on similar lines of acupressure and are available at the medical stores. These are the small sweatbands with a small ball to apply constant pressure. These are available at most of the medical stores and are useful in the treatment of nausea at night.


Fragrance coming from certain oils provides a relaxing comfort to the stomach and reduces the nausea sensation. Some of the oils that can help with this therapy include lavender and peppermint oil.

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The aroma coming out of them can provide a soothing effect on the person. One can keep the oils on the hands or around the wrist or apply these over the face masks so that they go inside while you breathe. One can also use these fragrances as candle scents.

Avoid strong smell:

Sometimes the feeling of nausea is because of the strong smell. This can be due to some food items like fish, perfume or a rotten or decaying smell. To avoid these, one should avoid certain perfumes and should keep the area airy and clean especially the kitchen area.

Eating right and making changes to one’s lifestyle:
BRAT diet:

There are specific food items that help to reduce nausea. These include:





BRAT diet has proven effects for diarrhoea and it helps to reduce nausea and vomiting sensation. The food should be taken for a long time as it does not provide all the required ingredients for the body. One should switch to the normal diet as soon as the symptoms of nausea and vomiting subside

Addition of bland food:

If you feel BRAT diet is very restrictive; you can add some bland food along as spicy food increases the chances of stomach getting upset and leading to symptoms like nausea. To improve the taste of it, some salt can be added.

Eating long before bedtime:

Eating just before going to bed leads to high chances of symptoms like nausea. This also leads to heartburn and GERD. Therefore you should eat sometime before going to bed and give ample time so that the food is digested.

Eating small and multiple meals:

One should eat small and multiple meals to prevent nocturnal nausea. Eating more and frequent meals during the daytime and keeping the stomach full can also help to reduce the chances of nausea.

Avoid greasy, spicy or fatty food:

These food items tend to increase the chances of stomach getting upset, so one should try to include healthy diet to help in smooth functioning of the body.

Drinking right:

Drinking also helps reduce the chances of nausea and improve the digestive health. These include:

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Drink lots of water:

One should drink a lot of water. Staying hydrated can help to fight many diseases. It can help to prevent nausea. One should drink at least 16 oz of water during night time before sleeping.


Flavoured tea like the addition of ginger or peppermint to the tea can help reduce chances of nausea. The smell coming out from these tend to leave a positive effect on the stomach and calm it down.

Carbonated beverages:

Carbonated beverages are also helpful in case of some people. Citrus flavoured carbonated drinks or citrus flavoured carbonated drink can help in reducing nausea.

In case the above home remedies don’t help to cure nausea, one should not shy away from visiting the doctor for this.


If you are not getting relief, you should visit a doctor as this nausea could be a result of a severe problem. Some of the anti-nausea medicines include-

Prochlorperazine: It is useful for nighttime nausea and other gastrointestinal disorders but this medicine is not that beneficial in case nausea is induced because of chemotherapy

Metoclopramide and ondansetron are also effective against nausea at night and vomiting

Please follow the instructions of the doctor for better and faster relief.

One can also try marijuana if it is legal as a medical substance in your place, but the medical form and the administration way and quantity should be strictly as per the advice of the doctor. Marijuana if not take properly causes some severe side effects.

In case nausea at night is accompanied by other symptoms like chest pain, high fever, confusion, fainting, blurred vision. You should immediately consult your doctor and should also keep a note of all these symptoms.

Nausea is considered an emergency situation in case it is accompanied by following symptoms:

  • Vomit is green, bloody or coffee colour
  • Severe pain or a headache
  • There are symptoms of dehydration like dizziness, dark urine, etc.

In some places, Diclectin which is a combination of vitamin B6 and antihistamine is the only prescription drug to treat nausea associated with morning sickness.

Preventive Measures:

Some of the ways for preventing nausea at night include:

  • Eating multiple meals
  • Eating slowly and including easily digestible food items
  • Include food items at room temperature in case you feel nauseated by the smell of hot   food
  • Take rest after the meal with the head at an elevated position
  • Water should be taken between the meals and not during the meal
  • Eat, when you are feeling less nauseated.
  1. https://www.wikihow.com/Overcome-Nausea-at-Night
  2. https://www.todaysparent.com/getting-pregnant/7-early-pregnancy-signs/
  3. http://www.wisegeek.org/what-are-the-most-common-causes-of-night-nausea.htm
  4. https://www.healthline.com/health/fatigue-and-nausea#prevention
  5. https://www.webmd.com/digestive-disorders/digestive-diseases-nausea-vomiting#3

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