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Can lack of sleep cause nausea? Find out the Top 10 ways to Manage!

Lack of sleep is a bothering issue for all of us. No matter if you maintain a balanced work-life balance, a slight deviation can make you feel insomniac. As long as the problem is random, there is not much to bother about. However, it can become an issue when it relapses.

Can lack of sleep cause nausea? What are the possible reasons and connections between sleep and getting nauseous? This article will help you find reasons for this feeling and give you ways to address it.

Table of Content

Possible Causes

If you get nauseated, you tend to link this to a lot of reasons. If you are a woman, it will make you suspect pregnancy. But, that is probably not the only reason why you have nausea.

can lack of sleep cause nausea

We also think that nausea is a symptom of a gastrointestinal issue like GERD (Gastroesophageal Reflux Disorder) or stomach ulcers, viral gastroenteritis, and indigestion. You can also be in high levels of stress or anxiety, and you feel queasy. Hormones play a role in making you nauseous, too. But, those are not the only reasons why you feel sick.

Related: Causes of Nausea When Lying Down: 5 Tips for Getting Relief

You will have trouble sleeping if you just came from a trip and got the jet lag sensation. If you have difficulty getting quality or enough sleep, you also get nauseous. So, this also makes you wonder, can lack of sleep cause nausea?

Clinical Manifestation

Nausea is not an illness but a manifestation of various conditions. Nausea can trigger the feeling of wanting to vomit or vomiting per se. You may also get the following sensations:

  • Dizziness, fuzzy, or light-headedness
  • Have increased production of your saliva
  • Have difficulty in swallowing
  • Heart palpitations
  • Variations in your body temperature.

Sleep deprivation

Can lack of sleep cause nausea? Fatigue triggers a lot of symptoms. When you are jetlagged, you find it hard to sleep. When you do not get sufficient hours of sleep or even a bit of a wink, you disrupt your body’s circadian rhythm.

What is a circadian rhythm? What does it do to our body? The circadian rhythm controls body temperature, hormone levels, pulse rate, and other essential biological capacities.

While you are sleeping, your body is actively renewing the primary chemical balance to anticipate a new and fresh day.

Related: Do Tums Help With Nausea? Let’s find out.

Sleep also maintains the proper transmission of electricity and typically restores the biological batteries. So if you have not been hibernating, there is doubt that you feel so dreadful. Your body cannot work without rest and shutting down is its way of attempting to show you this.

can lack of sleep cause nausea

In a day full of activities and errands, sleep helps our body to regain strength and energy. Sleeping hours vary from person to person. On average, adults should have at least 7 hours of slumber. However, one in three adults does not attain sufficient sleep and end up asking can lack of sleep cause nausea.

What happens to your body if you lack sleep? You feel exhausted. Moreover, you might get tremors, headaches, or have trouble focusing. Lack of sleep can also cause high blood pressure, muscle or body pain, and mood disorders.

You also get the sensation as if you want to vomit. These sensations occur because the body will try to compensate by activating the parasympathetic and sympathetic nervous systems.

The flight or fight response comes from the sympathetic nervous system. Therefore, causing your body to be in alert and active mode. 

Meanwhile, the parasympathetic nervous system controls your digestive and salivatory functions.

It depends on which system reacts the most to fatigue and exhaustion. You may experience nausea and vomiting in a specific situation. Therefore, jetlag and fatigue combined can cause nausea.

Signs of sleep deprivation

What are the signs of sleep deprivation? After a long night of having no sleep or at least trying to doze off, we can observe the following lack of sleep side effects in an insomnic person:


When you lack sleep, your irritation threshold is low. Sleeping is a time for reviving mental stamina. If you cannot restore your mental energy, you won’t think sharply. You might create rash or irrational decisions.

Difficulty at focusing

Studies have shown that sleep deprivation can negatively alter brain activity. Lack of sleep also slows down reaction time. Thus, delaying cellular and chemical activities as well as lagging you down. It’s no wonder that you can’t focus well.

Insomnia aftereffects

Cortisol plays a role and reason as to why you feel the day after a wakeful night, heart-throbbing nausea, dizziness, or light-headedness. These will make you query about can lack of sleep cause nausea. You disrupt your cortisol levels when you do not get sufficient rest.

Cortisol is responsible for managing our blood pressure and metabolism. Can lack of sleep cause nausea? An alteration in cortisol levels will lead to nauseated sensations.

Drying of the eyes

When you lack sleep, your eyes are not sufficiently lubricated too. So the next day, you feel that it is dry and scratchy.

Grey complexion

The term beauty sleep makes sense. During sleep, we regain our energy. That means sleep also regulates our blood flow. When you have sleep deprivation, your blood does not flow properly. And it causes a grey complexion.

Weight changes

Sleep primarily affects your hormones, too. Specifically, those that control your hunger and fullness. Also, it induces the release of insulin in the body. So if you lack sleep, it might cause you to increase your fat space, thus creating weight changes and putting you at risk for Diabetes Mellitus II.

Related: Diabetes Freedom Review- Does it Reverse Type 2 Diabetes Naturally?

Can lack of sleep cause fever and chills?

Do you remember how mothers would say, please sleep well? Or, get enough hours of sleep so you won’t catch a cold? This notion is true. How so?

If you do not get enough sleep, you are more prone to having a fever or flu. Why is that so? Sleep helps us to renew our body’s energy. If we are not getting enough time to doze off, it will mess with our physical and mental health and lower our body’s immune system too.

Research shows that when we lack sleep, our T-cell levels go down. These cells of our immune system are responsible for fighting off viruses or bacterias. If we lack sleep, we weaken our body’s initial response thus, making us more susceptible to infections.

Can lack of sleep cause nausea and dizziness?

Dizziness is a nonspecific feeling of disorientation or impairment in spatial discernment and endurance. It is a common infirmity in the primary care environment, the emergency section, and dispensaries concentrating on dizziness necessitating medical care. Many clinical diseases are associated with dizziness.

As mentioned, lack of sleep will cause you to lose focus. Some studies link sleep deprivation’s effects on postural stability and thereby impacting attention-demanding responsibilities.

Lack of sleep will affect your balance and coordination. Although it might be uncommon, light-headedness or dizziness can also be an outcome of lacking sleep. Usually, headaches and stress build-up, too.

On some occasions, the headaches may come with feelings of fuzziness and dizziness. When you get dizziness and sleep deprivation, it is always best to consult your doctor for further advice and treatment.

Can lack of sleep cause nausea and diarrhea?

Lack of sleep and diminished sleep quality often leads to poor health issues. Several patients encounter sleep troubles that open them to the risk and chance of medical infirmities like high blood pressure, obesity, stroke, and heart disease. Lack of sleep also increases overall fatality.

Current studies have proposed that there is a clear connection between sleep disorders and gastrointestinal conditions. Proinflammatory cytokines (tumor necrosis factor, interleukin-1, and interleukin-6) have a linkage with sleep dysfunction.

Variations in these cytokines are present in certain gastrointestinal diseases like GERD (gastroesophageal reflux disease), IBD (inflammatory bowel disease), liver ailments, and colorectal carcinoma. Gastroenterologists need to know the relationship between sleep disorders and gastrointestinal illnesses to ensure good care for patients.

Nausea from lack of sleep cure

Can lack of sleep cause nausea? We already discussed vital points to answer this question. Next up, how do we cure this?

Simply Sleep

The easiest and the basic cure will always be sleep.


If you experience sleep deprivation at night, it might be because you fell asleep during the day. How do you avoid feeling sleepy during the daytime? Through keeping yourself active during the day can help you beat the feelings of drowsiness. Fighting off your sleepiness during the day may enable you to get ample time to doze off at night.

Related: How long Should you wait after Eating to Sleep?

Bright lighting

Lightning can affect our circadian rhythm. Thus, it is advisable to have ambient light, natural light from the sun.


When we hear something, our brain tends to remain active. Noise contributes to the quality of our sleep. Some people find it easy to fall asleep with soft sounds and music. But anything that comes loudly will trigger our brain to stay alert.

Avoid caffeine

Caffeine works by keeping us on our toes. It is best to avoid taking caffeinated beverages before you sleep to help you get a proper snooze off.


Why does lack sleep cause nausea?

Can lack of sleep cause nausea? When you are sleep-deprived, you disrupt your cortisol levels, too. Disruption in the cortisone hormone may lead people to experience tremblings, headaches, attention problems, high blood pressure, muscle pain, and psychosis. Tiredness can make you feel nauseous and even cause you to throw up.

What helps nausea from lack of sleep?

There are many ways you can manage your nausea when you lack sleep.

  • Do not lie down after eating as this induces or triggers the food you chunked down to come up to your esophagus. Avoid this to stop sleep deprivation symptoms.
  • Relaxation techniques help. Meditation, mindfulness coaching, deep breathing exercises, and guided imagery can create a huge impact, too. Some mobile and audio apps induce sleep, too.
  • Attempt going to bed and waking up at the same period every day. Sleeping at the same interval helps your body establish a particular routine.
  • Evading having meals at least 2–3 hours before bedtime.
  • After attempting to fall asleep for 20 minutes, go up and read something, afterward try again later.
  • Establish a workout routine.
  • Keep the room quiet, dark, and cold.
  • Switch off electronic gadgets and keep them off from the sleeping space.
  • Restrict the consumption of caffeine and liquor, particularly when you are close toat bedtime.
  • If you smoke, try dodging your cigarette usage.

Can lack of sleep cause an upset stomach?

There are plenty of reasons also ways lack of sleep can upset your gut:

  • Lack of sleep can increase tension thereby, impacting your stomach. How so? The hormone cortisol levels do this.
  • Lack of sleep can cause you to have cravings or an appetite. You disrupt your hormone that is responsible for controlling hunger and fullness when you lack sleep.
  • Melatonin. What is melatonin? Melatonin is a hormone that our bodies produce more of at night, as it helps us doze off. Melatonin also helps control gastrointestinal movement. When melatonin levels are off, it can be hard to sleep. This can lead to GERD or gastroesophageal reflux disease.
  • You eat close to your bedtime. You may not fancy the body to be overwhelmed with metabolism and digestion while asleep because that is when your body has to recover. Also, it could keep you up and lead to disturbed sleep.

Why do I feel nauseous when tired?

Your brain makes every effort to distribute energy efficiently across the body’s functions. When you hold yourself awake despite being exhausted, your body has to operate on very little energy.

The brain decides where reserves are most required. Thereby in this particular instance is keeping you from weakening. Digestive health is no longer a top priority.

Because less blood is being sent that way, you are feeling nauseated. It’s very comparable to a life-threatening circumstance in that the brain detects danger, raises the heart rate, which pushes more blood through the muscle fibers, prioritizing it and trying to prepare you for a defense mechanism.


Can lack of sleep cause nausea? There are also various affectations, and impairments lack of sleep does to our overall health. It is vital to take a good rest and let your brain regain its needed energy to sustain your body’s daily needs. Also, by having ample time to doze off, we will be more lively, functional and fight off any virus or infections or lower our body’s defense line.

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