Nauseous When Lying Down At Night: Causes And Prevention Tips

Nauseous When Lying Down At Night Causes And Prevention Tips

Feeling nauseous is one of the annoying conditions. You feel like puking all the time and get lightheaded. While these symptoms often indicate digestive issues, some underlying concerns can also cause them. 

If you are looking for reasons behind, why do I get nauseous at night when I lay down, you have come across the right page.

While some people are nauseated early in the morning or in the daytime, others experience it as soon they head towards a good night’s sleep. From no primary concern to something serious, nausea can lead you to multiple reasons. 

Let’s find out the possible reasons behind nighttime nausea and what are the treatment options available.

Why Do I Get Nauseous At Night When I Lay Down?

Below are a few reasons that may make you feel nauseated at night-

1. Stress and Anxiety 

Often, these two terms are used interchangeably, but both of them can cause a person to feel nauseous at any time of the day (1). If you are experiencing nighttime nausea more, it could indicate that you have generalized anxiety disorder. 

Conditions in such a situation gets worse at night, especially when you are not distracted from daytime errands and have plenty of time to think about your worries. The mind dwells in problems that disturb sleep and make you feel nauseous. 

Often, nighttime nausea due to anxiety is accompanied by other symptoms, such as

  • Increased heart rate
  • Panic attacks 
  • Sweating 
  • Restlessness 
  • Difficulty sleeping 
  • Trouble thinking 

2. Gastroesophageal Reflux Disease

Another possible reason for why I get nauseous at night when I lay down is a medical condition called Gastroesophageal Reflux Disease (GERD) (2). It is also called acid reflux, wherein the acid from the stomach flows back up through the esophagus. 

There is a band of muscles present between the stomach and the esophagus. When this band is tight or closed, it allows digestive juices from the stomach to move up to the esophagus. 

Besides making you feel nauseous when you lie down, here are the accompanying symptoms-

  • Heartburn 
  • Bitter taste in the mouth 
  • Difficulty swallowing 
  • Vomiting 
  • Pain in chest
  • Abdominal pain 
  • Feeling of something stuck in the throat

If you are a patient with GERD and eat late at night, there is a high chance of feeling nauseous at night. It is because when big meals do not get the time to get digested properly, the acid flows up into the esophagus. 

3. Ulcers

One of the common reasons for getting nighttime nausea is peptic ulcers (3). They are the sores in the stomach lining or small intestine. Apart from nausea and abdominal pain, a few more symptoms that indicate an ulcer include the following-

  • Vomiting 
  • Bloody stools 
  • Weight loss
  • Too much burping 
  • Feeling full after eating small 

Often, the symptoms of peptic ulcers get worse in the night, causing difficulty in sleeping. 

4. Pregnancy 


Feeling nauseated is one of the primary symptoms of pregnancy (4). Even though it usually occurs in the morning, called morning sickness, women may experience it at night when they lie down. 

Pregnancy hormones can be blamed for such nighttime nausea. Usually, it subsides as the pregnancy progresses and women reach their second trimester. 

5. Side Effects of Medications 

A few medications can cause side effects (5), such as

  • Antibiotics 
  • Aspirin 
  • Medications for blood pressure management 

When To Seek Medical Help?

If nausea is temporary and subsides after a few days, there is nothing to worry about. Often, eating spicy food causes heartburn, making you feel nauseous when lying down. Such issues are resolved on their own. 

However, it is advised to consult a doctor in the following situations-

  • When you are feeling nauseous after every meal
  • Nausea lasts for more than a week
  • Nausea is accompanied by vomiting and headache 
  • You are losing weight 
  • Problem keeping food down

Additionally, if nausea is accompanied by blurry vision and severe abdominal pain, you should visit the doctor immediately. 

How Can I Prevent Feeling Nauseous At Night After Lying Down?

feeling nauseous at night after lying down

Certain lifestyle changes can help you manage nighttime nausea, especially if it is temporary and not accompanied by other symptoms.

These include the following-

  • Do not sleep flat on the bed. Use a pillow and prop your head at least 12 inches above your feet. It will prevent stomach acid from moving up towards the esophagus and thus prevent heartburn and nausea.
  • Avid drinking acidic drinks like lime water and citrus fruits. Instead, take slightly sweet fruit juices and drink slowly until you feel a little better.
  • Drink ginger or peppermint tea, which is known to provide relaxation in nausea.
  • Consume bland food instead of spicy ones. 
  • Do not indulge in strenuous physical activities.
  • Avoid lying down until you feel better. 


If there is some underlying medical condition behind your concern, why do I get nauseous when I lay down? The doctor will provide the best line of treatment. It will help curb the symptoms and ensure you get a good night’s sleep.

Make sure you visit the doctor when nausea is accompanied by symptoms such as severe headaches and unexplained weight loss. 

However, if it is temporary, the problem may resolve on its own after a few days. You can also start the aforementioned self-care home remedies to get instant relief from temporary nausea. 


  1. National Library Of Medicine – Relationship among nausea, anxiety, and orthostatic symptoms in pediatric patients with chronic unexplained nausea
  2. Jama Network – Gastroesophageal Disease and Nausea
  3. National Library Of Medicine – Peptic Ulcer Disease and Helicobacter pylori infection
  4. National Library Of Medicine – Nausea and Vomiting of Pregnancy
  5. Springer Open – Comparison of rates of nausea side effects for prescription medications from an online patient community versus medication labels: an exploratory analysis

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