What is Nighttime Bloating? Causes and Treatment!

Do you ever hear the gurgling sound while you are sleeping? Nighttime bloating and acid reflux is common problems today. But why are you gassy more often at night? Probably, you lay down immediately after eating, or you eat more than your fill. Nighttime snacking can be blamed as well.

So, what can be the causes behind nighttime bloating?

Lying down immediately after eating can cause indigestion, which can lead to gas formation. Again, certain foods can trigger it. Other reasons may include large meals and irritations in the digestive system. Fortunately, there is medication and various natural methods to cure the bloated and upset stomach

I’m sure this much information isn’t enough. So, let’s discover them in detail.

Why Is My Stomach Bloated At Night?

Bloating or stomach gas is a common concern today. Mostly, people have more gas problems at night. It is a mild condition that can go away in no time with some medication or home remedies. 

You are coming off a multi-hour fast after waking up in the morning. Thus, most of your food has been digested. Your body has also lost water weight overnight, which plays a role in your thinner appearance.

nighttime-bloating

But why do you have a gassy stomach at nighttime? It’s probably because of your eating habits. However, some digestive conditions like IBS and GERD may also result in bloating. H. pylori (Helicobacter pylori) bacteria can also infect your stomach.

It may be caused by some problems, which are listed below:

Peptic Ulcer (stomach ulcer)

Stomach ulcers also called peptic ulcers, cause burning stomach pain. You may experience more pain if you are full or experiencing stomach acid. In general, the pain worsens between meals and while sleeping and can cause bloating.

Acid Reflux

The frequent occurrence of acid reflux leads to conditions such as esophagitis, ulcers, strictures, aspiration pneumonia, and Barrett’s esophagus if left untreated. All of these symptoms result in an unpleasing behavior of the digestive system, resulting in bloating, especially at night.

Gallstone

Gallbladder stones cause inflammation and reduced blood flow to the wall, resulting in irritation of the digestive system and other digestive issues such as nausea, vomiting, and bloating. Bloating is a non-specific (visceral) intestinal reaction to this insult.

Celiac Disease 

A celiac sufferer experiences inflammation in their small intestine after consuming gluten. It damages the gut lining and causes poor nutrient absorption, resulting in digestive discomfort, frequent diarrhea, or constipation, and this causes bloating.

celiac-disease

Menstrual Cramps or Endometriosis

The changes in progesterone and estrogen levels during menstruation lead to water and salt in the body. The cells in the body become swollen with water, resulting in bloating.

During endometriosis, endometrial-like tissue may cover or develop inside the ovaries. When this occurs, trapped blood can form cysts, which can cause bloating.

Drinking or Eating Fastly

Drinking or eating too quickly can result in more gas accumulating in the stomach due to swallowing more air. If you eat or drink quickly, you will likely suffer from bloating.

Smoking 

There are serious health consequences from smoking. Toxins in tobacco smoke cause inflammation of the lining of the stomach and intestines. Furthermore, smoking kills the beneficial bacteria in your digestive tract, which leads to an expansion of bloat-causing bacteria.

Alcohol Consumption

Alcohol induces inflammation in the body, which means it tends to cause swelling. The rash may be made worse by sugary and carbonated drinks often mixed with alcohol, causing gas, discomfort, and more bloating.

Foods Causing Bloating

Bloating can be caused by beans, carbonated drinks, onions, dairy, sweeteners, and cruciferous vegetables. Beans cause bloating because they contain galacto-oligosaccharides and resistant starch, which are hard to digest. Cruciferous vegetables contain raffinose, a sugar that does not digest until it is broken down by the bacteria in the gut, causing bloating.

Carbonated Drinks

Carbonated drinks, such as sodas and other carbonated beverages, can significantly increase the amount of air you swallow. The air you swallow must pass through the digestive tract somehow and, this leads to burping and may also increase gas production. 

Moreover, when you drink carbonated beverages, the gas in them can cause your stomach to swell, causing you to feel bloated.

Depression or Anxiety

Depression or anxiety causes you to feel tremendous pressure in your stomach and abdomen and disturbs your hormone and neurotransmitter balance. Often, this situation occurs before the individual is emotionally stressed. The result may be that foods normally digested easily, such as protein, are being digested poorly, resulting in gas and bloating. 

Nausea or Vomiting

Nausea or vomiting is one of the most prominent causes of upset stomachs. It is unpleasant and often hinders people from getting on with their lives. The queasy feeling may seem never to end and make you feel like vomiting. In addition, you may feel bloated.

crohn's-disease

Crohn’s Disease

Crohn’s disease is a type of inflammatory bowel disease (IBD) affecting the GI tract and usually affecting the small intestine or colon. It can cause narrowing of the intestines and eventually obstruct the digestive tract, leading to severe bloating, weight loss, nausea, and vomiting after meals.

Pregnancy

Your body produces more progesterone during pregnancy to support the pregnancy. Progesterone relaxes your muscles. It also relaxes the muscles in your intestine. Your digestion will be slowed when your intestine muscles move more slowly. Due to this, gas can build-up, resulting in bloating, burping, and flatulence. 

Bloated Stomach Symptoms

Nighttime bloating is a condition that can affect your body, and you might get the followings symptoms:

  • Gas at night may affect a person’s sleep quality, and these gastrointestinal conditions may have worse impacts on health and cause of symptoms.
  • It may lead to chronic diseases like Ulcer disease, Inflammatory bowel disease (IBD), and irritable bowel syndrome (IBS).
  • Bloating may cause discomfort for a pregnant woman, but it seldom causes harm to the baby.

Nighttime bloating is not as dangerous until you find the below-mentioned diseases.

  • Weighing less unintentionally
  • Impact the quality of sleep and life
  • Consistent stomach pain and bloating
  • Blood in stools
  • Constipation or diarrhea

Regardless of whether one suspects an acute illness, they should be aware of their health condition since they can lead to complications and reduce the quality of life if not treated.

How to Stop Nighttime Bloating?

When you find the severe symptoms of bloating, you should better consult your physician. Proper medications, a balanced routine, and diet also help in this case. 

Furthermore, you can take the following steps to maintain a stomach-friendly lifestyle:

  • Medicines like antibiotics can be used against H. pylori.
  • Sleep with your head raised
  • Avoid chocolate, coffee, or fatty foods at night (Especially before bedtime)
  • Balance your diet by eating toast, baked chicken, pudding, and cooked fruit and vegetables
  • Avoid alcohol consumption and smoking
  • Avoid overeating
  • Use over-the-counter medications
  • Avoid carbonated beverages and chewing gum
  • Continue to drink plenty of clear liquids
  • Do exercise regularly 
  • Reduce stress and depression

Bloating and nausea associated with foods you eat will typically disappear after your body has digested whatever upsets your stomach. Examples of specific food intolerances are lactose and gluten. If you notice that any foods are causing abdominal bloating and nausea, avoid them.

People may feel comfortable in symptoms by changing their eating habits and diet. However, a person should follow the prescriptions and advice of a doctor.

Preventions to Avoid Nighttime Bloating

The words of Lisa Richards, “Some foods are downright energizing, while others can aggravate conditions such as heartburn, indigestion, and acid reflux,” explain the importance of selecting food. This enables you to determine whether you have to experience pleasant or unpleasant health. 

Following are some of the foods that cause bloating and help reduce bloating.

What Foods Cause Bloating?

Generally, certain types of carbohydrates (lactose, fructose) and soluble fibers (fibers that dissolve in water) cause bloating. In addition to not being entirely absorbed by the small intestine, these molecules are also broken down by gut bacteria in the large intestine, resulting in gas production.

What to Eat

It is essential to improve your diet to avoid bloating. Fortunately, there are a few foods that prevent gas production and keep you from becoming bloated. Keeping these tips in mind can help you avoid gas, bloating, and any embarrassment they may cause.

So, take a look at them: 

  • Peanut butter and celery (celery is low in calories but rich in its water content and fibers)
  • Vegetables such as lettuce, tomatoes, zucchini, and okra
  • Carbohydrates such as gluten-free bread, rice bread, rice.
  • Fruits such as cantaloupe, grapes, etc.
  • Berries
  • Almonds
  • Asparagus
  • Avocado
  • Banana and Almond butter sandwiches
  • Oatmeal
  • Eggs
  • Meat, poultry, fish
  • Yogurt
  • Ginger
  • Kombucha
  • Peppermint tea
  • Green tea
  • Drink plenty of water

Foods to Avoid

The foods that you should restrain from to avoid bloating are listed below:

  • Beans contain sugars called alpha-galactosides.
  • Carbonated drinks
  • Broccoli and other cruciferous vegetables
  • Dairy products (If you’re lactose intolerant)
  • Wheat (because of Gluton)
  • Alcohol and smoking
  • Fatty foods
  • Mushrooms
  • Beverages such as high-fructose corn syrup

FAQs

What relieves bloating fast?

Answer: You can get relief from bloating fastly by trying yoga poses, walking, using peppermint capsules, trying abdominal massage and gas relief capsules, and using essential oils. Try to take a warm bath, soak, and relax.

Is nighttime bloating caused by chronic disease?

Mostly, bloating is not related to cancer but persistently feeling bloated is an early sign of ovarian cancer and other cancers, like breast, pancreatic, colon, and stomach cancer. Moreover, you may feel bloated because of certain liver diseases, congestive heart failure, and hepatitis C.

Does drinking water help with bloating? 

A low water level in the body results in constipation, which leads to bloating. Bloating can be reduced by drinking water since it flushes excess sodium from the body. Therefore, drinking plenty of water helps to prevent bloating.

Which foods can cause bloating?

The foods that cause bloating include beans, fatty foods, cruciferous vegetables, carbonated drinks, mushrooms, and foods with a high level of carbohydrates and soluble fibers. Dairy products may also cause bloating for those who are lactose intolerant.

Which probiotic helps with bloating?

Several probiotics can relieve bloating and irregular bowel movements, including lactobacillus acidophilus, bifidobacterium lactis, saccharomyces boulardii, lactobacillus plantarum, and bifidobacterium infantis.

Conclusion

As a whole, nighttime bloating is not a problem of concern. You can easily get rid of it through fewer potential drugs or home remedies. Moreover, take your last meal at least three hours before bed. 

However, if you find unusual symptoms like a change in stool habits, persistent pain, and worse gas pass, then it is better to concern your healthcare provider.

Dr Hafeez Arshad

Dr Hafeez Arshad

This is Dr. Hafeez. I have done my M.Phil in Pharmacology. I am a healthcare professional. My core competencies focus on writing different types of research articles/blogs regarding health sciences.

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