Nausea When I Wake Up
Nausea When I Wake Up: I wake up every day with the feeling that my head will explode. For those of us who have acid reflux, this feeling may be more intense than for others because we are used to sleeping propped up on pillows or sitting upright at night. But no matter how much sleep medication I take before bed, it doesn’t help. So why do I feel like my head is going to split open?
This happens most often when I’m lying down after dinner, but sometimes it happens while I’m driving home from work or cooking breakfast. The worst part is that I usually don’t even notice until I’ve sat there for ten minutes trying to figure out where all the blood went!
What Causes Nausea When You Wake Up?
The cause of these feelings is post-nasal drip (PND), which causes mucus from the sinuses to drain into the throat, and down into the stomach, especially in a reclined position, which can also lead to nausea, especially in the morning. PND occurs when fluid accumulates behind your nasal membranes due to irritated cells, causing them to swell. This irritation leads to an increase in mucus production, which becomes thicker and harder to clear. Acid reflux affects about half of Americans, so if you’re one of them, you know just how uncomfortable PND can make you feel.
One way to prevent PND is to use a neti pot to flush away some of the thickened mucus. Another common treatment is to blow your nose hard, which won’t actually improve things, since the congestion comes from behind your nostrils, not inside your nose. Nasal decongestants will dry your eyes and give temporary relief, but they aren’t very effective. If you suffer from hay fever, you may want to consider using antihistamines instead. And, unfortunately, there isn’t any cure for PND itself; however, medications such as Zantac 75 offer symptomatic relief.
If you find yourself waking up nauseated, try taking antacid tablets (like Tums) before you lie down. They should help settle your stomach, although your symptoms might get worse before they get better.
Some people find that adding chamomile tea to their diet helps calm their upset stomachs. Chamomile has been shown to reduce inflammation in the digestive tract. However, if you have high blood pressure, heartburn, GERD, ulcers, or kidney disease, consult your physician before drinking chamomile tea.
Here are some other tips that may help relieve nausea when you wake up:
- Drink lots of water throughout the day.
- Have a glass of milk right before meals.
- Eat smaller meals frequently during the day.
- Avoid caffeinated foods and drinks, such as coffee, soda, chocolate, or alcohol (which stimulates the secretion of gastric juices).
- Don’t eat too close to bedtime.
- Avoid smoking.
- Stay hydrated by drinking plenty of fluids.
- Wear loose fitting clothing made of breathable fabrics.
- Take frequent breaks during periods of high stress.
- Get enough exercise.
- Try relaxation techniques.
Make sure you get enough protein (such as eggs, cheese, nuts, beans, seeds, fish) and carbohydrates (whole grains, fruits, vegetables, low-fat dairy products, lean meat, poultry).
How Can Nausea Be Controlled?
There are many ways to control nausea, including avoiding trigger foods, eating smaller meals, changing positions, getting fresh air, and reducing stress levels. Here are some suggestions for controlling nausea:
Avoid triggers. Some people with nausea find that certain trigger foods bring it on. These could include spicy food, citrus fruit, greasy/fried foods, fatty foods, caffeine, and tobacco. You might want to avoid these foods altogether or only eat small amounts.
Eat smaller meals several times a day. Eating three small meals rather than two larger ones gives your body time to process each meal. Also, eating regularly reduces your risk of developing irritable bowel syndrome (IBS).
Change positions. Lying flat on your back may exacerbate nausea by increasing the amount of air traveling through your gastrointestinal tract. Sitting up straight, propping your head up slightly, or bending over might help alleviate it.
Get fresh air. Going outside and breathing deeply can be helpful.
Reduce stress. Stress can aggravate nausea, so you’ll need to learn strategies to manage it. Meditation, yoga, deep breathing exercises, walking, and progressive muscle relaxation are good options.
Keep a journal. Keeping track of what you eat, when you ate it, and the sensations you experienced can help you recognize patterns. Then, you can start to change your behavior accordingly.
Try meditation. Yoga. Deep breathing exercises. Walking. Progressive muscle relaxation. All of these activities can help lower stress levels. In addition, they can help decrease intestinal gas buildup and improve digestion.
When I write articles like this, I am always surprised by the number of comments that say “nothing works” or “it gets better.” Well, maybe nothing does work for them, but surely something must have helped them somewhat. We’d love to hear your success stories! Tell us about it below.
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