Pregnancy Nausea at Night: Evening Sickness in Pregnancy

Pregnancy Nausea at Night: Evening Sickness in Pregnancy

Is morning sickness only in the morning?


Whoever decided to call pregnancy nausea “morning sickness” obviously never went through it themselves.

When you’re pregnant, nausea can be a challenge at any time of the day, especially during the first trimester.

Some mamas-to-be even go through pregnancy nausea at night.

Here’s why pregnancy nausea can get worse at night and, most importantly, some tricks that might help to keep it under control.

In this article: 📝

  • Is it normal to have morning sickness at night?
  • What causes nausea at night during pregnancy?
  • Why does pregnancy nausea get worse at night?
  • Does morning sickness at night mean boy or girl?
  • What helps with pregnancy nausea at night?
  • When to worry about evening sickness in pregnancy

Is it normal to have morning sickness at night?

Yes, it’s totally normal to have morning sickness at night.

So common, in fact, that we’re keen to change the language completely ‒ instead of ‘morning sickness’, we prefer ‘pregnancy nausea’.

Sure, many moms-to-be may experience pregnancy nausea in the morning, but the reality is that it can strike at any time ‒ morning, noon, and night.

But evening sickness in pregnancy can be pretty annoying ‒ one of the more common causes of pregnancy insomnia.

So if you’re in the throes of morning sickness at night, you’re certainly not alone.

What causes nausea at night during pregnancy?

Pregnancy sickness at night is caused by the same thing that causes pregnancy sickness at any other time of day: hormones.

Doctors haven’t pinpointed the exact combination of pregnancy hormones to blame for nausea, but the skyrocketing levels of hCG in your bloodstream definitely play a role.

Also, as your progesterone levels shoot up, your digestive system tends to slow down.

The increased bloating and reflux that’s common in early pregnancy certainly doesn’t improve the nausea situation.

Let’s not forget about estrogen. Estrogen has its part to play in this nausea nightmare by disrupting the normal rhythm of the stomach.

So can you feel sick at night while pregnant?

Of course.

The hormone rollercoaster doesn’t shut down after dark.

Unfortunately, it’s common to feel sick or even experience severe nausea during pregnancy with no vomiting, even at night.

Why does pregnancy nausea get worse at night?

There’s also a simple reason that you might be pregnant and nauseous at night: food can help with nausea, but it’s pretty hard to eat while you’re asleep.

It sounds counterintuitive, and it might be the last thing you want to do.

But one of the best ways of managing pregnancy nausea is eating small, regular meals and snacks (we’re talking every two hours or so).

When you go longer than two hours without eating or drinking, that pregnancy nausea is likely to creep in.

So if you’re wondering why your pregnancy nausea seems to ramp up at the same time every night, the simplest explanation is that you’re eating dinner at about the same time every night and getting peckish like clockwork too.

We’ll talk about some snacking solutions below.

There are also some other things to consider:

  • Your sleep cycle: We all sleep in cycles, and you might naturally sleep more lightly at a certain time each night. You’re more likely to be woken by nausea in a light sleep state.
  • Your central heating or AC: If your room is getting warmer at the same time every night, it might exacerbate your nausea.

Finally, tiredness can make nausea feel a lot worse – which is unfortunate because who isn’t tired during early pregnancy?

If you always feel worse or throw up in the evening, it might be worth looking at whether you can reorganize your day and turn in an hour or two earlier.

The good news is that it will pass.

Even if it’s a slow transition, pregnancy nausea usually starts to clear up after the first trimester.

Does morning sickness at night mean boy or girl?

Of course there’s an old wives’ tale about pregnancy nausea at night to tell baby’s sex!

The theory is that having more pregnancy nausea is a sign that a baby girl is on the way, because baby’s hormones interfere with mama’s.

But the reality is that there’s not any correlation between pregnancy nausea and baby’s sex.

So whether you have nausea at night in early pregnancy or third-trimester nausea at night, that’s not an indicator of whether you’re carrying a boy or a girl (or both).

What helps with pregnancy nausea at night?

Although pregnancy nausea usually passes on its own, there are some things that you can do to improve the feeling of nausea at night in early pregnancy.

What helps with pregnancy nausea at night?

1. Bedtime snacks…

As we said, making sure that your stomach never gets below half a tank can really help to manage pregnancy nausea.

A big dinner right before bed could backfire, but a snack an hour or so before you go to sleep should be easy for your stomach to cope with, even when you’re lying down.

Plain, protein-rich foods are a good choice at this time of day – some Greek yogurt or a handful of nuts might be a good place to start.

Some mamas even swear by the BRAT acronym for late-night pregnancy snacks – bananas, rice, applesauce, or toast.

All of these foods are famously easy on the stomach.

And if there are foods that tend to trigger your pregnancy nausea at night or any other time, they’re probably worth avoiding for the time being.

2. …and midnight snacks

For mamas who are really struggling with nausea, it’s not a bad idea to keep a box of crackers right by the bed.

Having something to eat the moment you wake up is a common tip for managing pregnancy sickness in the morning, but if you’re also waking up in the middle of the night feeling sick, it’s worth a try.

3. Stay hydrated

Ginger, peppermint, and fennel tea can all help you to digest your food and ease the bloated feeling.

If those ingredients don’t do it for you, any warm, caffeine-free drink should stop your stomach from churning and set you up for a good night’s sleep.

A warm glass of lemon honey water might do the trick.

4. Try aromatherapy

If your extra-sensitive pregnancy nose can still stand the smell, spraying a little lemon, mint, or orange essential oil on your pillow can also reduce nausea.

Now, it’s worth mentioning that a 2018 study did show that essential oils are more a placebo than possessing any true medicinal value.

That being said, they still reduce nausea, so no harm in giving it a try.

At the very least, your pillow will smell amazing.

5. Keep the room cool

The best temperature for restful sleep is 60–67°F (15.5–19.5°C) whether you’re pregnant or not.

But when you have a baby on board, a cool room has the added benefit of keeping nausea at bay.

If you can, letting some fresh air into your room might also be helpful.

6. Invest in a pregnancy pillow

You might have imagined using a pregnancy pillow when you had a second or third-trimester baby belly, but why wait?

Using one can help you to sleep on your left side with your right knee bent.

Why not the right? While the right side isn’t forbidden, this position has been shown to put unnecessary pressure on the liver, so that’s why the left is generally recommended.

This is the best sleep position for your circulation during pregnancy.

If your blood is flowing as it should, it’s one less thing that might make you feel sick.

Not sure which pregnancy pillow to go for?

Our Peanut moms-to-be love this one by Sleepybelly – it adjusts to fit your body throughout pregnancy, offers support to your bump, back, and side, and it comes highly recommended by midwives, doulas, and osteopaths.

When to worry about evening sickness in pregnancy

Pregnancy nausea is normal, even if it’s happening around the clock.

Having said that, if you feel like you can’t function because the nausea is so bad, or because you’re losing so much sleep, there are safe treatments available.

Check-in with your doctor for medication that might help you.

This is especially important if you are vomiting, because dehydration is not good for your developing baby.

So if you are suffering, keep in mind these common signs of dehydration, and call your doctor for advice:

  • Dark urine
  • Dizziness
  • Bloody vomit
  • Weakness
  • Weight loss

Mama, you’re not in this alone.

Ask for help if you need it.

Reach out to the other women in the Peanut Community who’ve been there.

And know that, even if it’s round-the-clock right now, pregnancy nausea won’t last forever.


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