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: 📝
- What causes nausea at night during pregnancy?
- Why do I feel sick at the same time every night?
- How to get rid of pregnancy nausea at night
- Pregnancy nausea: warning signs to watch out for
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.
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 do I feel sick at the same time every night?
There’s also a simple reason that you might be pregnant and nauseous at night: food can help 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 also be triggering 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.
How to get rid of 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? Let’s take a look:
Like 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 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.
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.
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.
Keep the room cool
The best temperature for a 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.
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.
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.
Pregnancy nausea: warning signs to watch out for
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
- Bloody vomit
- 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.
💡 More from The 411:
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What to Know About Food Poisoning While Pregnant
What to Know About Pregnancy Insomnia
When Does Morning Sickness End?
Losing Weight While Pregnant: Should I Worry?
Can You Take Dramamine While Pregnant?