If you have never been pregnant before, you may be surprised – not in a good way – at discovering that “morning sickness” occurs at night, too. Those nauseous feelings and vomiting can come at any time of day. Feeling sick at night is most upsetting, since it can wake you up or make it harder to fall asleep.
Nausea during your pregnancy is likely caused by all the changes that are taking place within your body. This includes less efficient digestion, sensitivity to smells and rising hormone levels in the early stages of pregnancy.
Morning sickness is a very common condition during early pregnancy. Not every woman experiences the same level of nausea, though. You may be miserable and vomiting or you may not feel that sick.
Nausea usually eases up at about 16 weeks into your pregnancy. If you’ve passed that milestone and still don’t feel well, you can look with hope to the 20-week point, when most women feel better. Nausea can, however, come and go throughout your pregnancy.
So what is “Morning Sickness at Night”?
Morning sickness earned its name because if a pregnant woman suffers from it, this often occurs in the morning, and she’ll feel progressively better through the day.
You may not have much nausea and vomiting in your pregnancy, even though others may have severe problems. About half of pregnant women do experience nausea and vomiting, and roughly one-quarter have only nausea. The remaining one-quarter have no nausea symptoms.
The time when symptoms usually start is six weeks, but you may have it as early as your fourth week. They will peak in the mid-first trimester, generally, and become less a problem after that time.
Half of pregnant women with morning sickness symptoms feel fully better by their 14th week. Most of the rest are better in four more weeks. Some women may suffer from nausea and vomiting for their entire pregnancy. This can include morning sickness at night or any time.
Real Experiences with Morning Sickness at Night
A woman named Bella states that she never felt sick in the daytime, but she felt sick at night. It lasted for a few weeks. If she ate bland foods before time for bed, she felt less night-time nausea. It also helped if she sipped cold water when she awoke during the night.
Amanda felt fine early in the day, but after a morning nap, nausea would hit her. She felt like she might vomit when she got up. She lost her nausea at night, eventually.
Kimberly was five weeks pregnant when she first had morning sickness at night. She was surprised, waking up very early in the morning feeling like she needed to vomit. It wasn’t her first pregnancy, and she hadn’t had night-time nausea with her first two children. She compares the feeling to having the flu.
What are the Causes of Morning Sickness at Night?
There is no one precise reason why women experience nausea and vomiting while pregnant. Many physicians feel it’s related to the combination of all the changes in the body in the first months of pregnancy. Some of the possible reasons for having nausea and vomiting while pregnant include:
- Increased levels of stress
In some studies, pregnancy nausea and vomiting is linked to abnormal responses to stress. The symptoms themselves can cause additional stress.
- A sensitive stomach
When you are pregnant, your stomach may be more delicate than it usually is. An H. pylori infection can trigger the sensitivity, which sometimes results in morning sickness.
- High levels of estrogen
Your estrogen levels increase a good deal when you’re pregnant, and this can lead to nausea and vomiting while you are pregnant. Other hormones at work during your pregnancy may also be a part of morning sickness at any time, including progesterone.
- High HCG levels
Human chorionic gonadotropin hormone starts to enter the picture at the point where the embryo is implanted in the wall of the uterus. It rapidly increases throughout the first trimester. Nausea will generally get worse with the spiking of HCG levels, so this could be a prime cause of vomiting.
If you are pregnant with twins or triplets, your HCG levels will be even higher, and this often leads to even more morning sickness, regardless of whether it occurs during the day or at night.
- Sensitivity to certain smells
When you’re pregnant, your sense of smell will be heightened, and smells of some foods will be more likely to turn you off. This triggers your gag reflex, and will often lead to vomiting. Some physicians feel that this increase in the normal sensitivity to various smells is a result of increased levels of estrogen in the body, but no one is 100% sure.
Relieving Morning Sickness at Night
Obviously, anti-nausea medications can be helpful in relieving morning sickness at night, or any other time of day. There are other ways you can help in relieving the nausea, too. Some of them are listed below:
- Don’t eat fatty foods
If you have an evening meal that is fatty, spicy or rich, this can irritate your gastrointestinal tract. This is a common cause of nighttime nausea.
- Eat a bit before bedtime
Nausea often occurs with little food in the stomach, too, so eating a bit of bland food before you go to bed will help reduce overnight symptoms of morning sickness. Balance out carbohydrates and protein in your meal or snack.
- Get enough rest
Fatigue sometimes plays into nausea and vomiting. Getting 7-9 hours of solid sleep each night is important. You can also catch cat naps during the day when you need them. Good rest will sooth your stomach.
- Wear an acupressure wrist band
These bands press on the acupressure point found on the innermost aspect of your wrist, which may help in relieving nausea.
- Keep snacks in your nightstand
Plain cookies or crackers that you can munch at night give you an extra chance to put something in your stomach to relieve nausea.
- Try lemon or lime
Lemon or lime essential oils, along with a scent of ginger, often help in the relief of nausea or vomiting. Ginger ale is sometimes helpful, as are ginger capsules.
- Eat comfort foods
Choose foods that will be of comfort to your stomach. Some foods naturally relieve nausea. They include foods high in protein and carbohydrates. Eat bland foods, not spicy foods.