Tuesday, May 21, 2024

Understanding Nighttime Nausea

Medical experts describe nausea as the dreadful, sickening feeling you get from the pit of your stomach making you feel like you want to vomit.

 Nausea is also called morning sickness, apparently, a misnomer since it does not choose what time of day it strikes, and just when you thought you are over it, suddenly out of nowhere, it hits you at the wee hours of the night. And, when that happens, it makes you do things that you’ve never done before just to be relieved of that feeling of uneasiness and be comfortable and sleep once and for all.

Furthermore, not all pregnant women experience nausea in general. In other words, what you may have experienced during your pregnancy may not be true to other expectant mothers. Some may also experience pregnancy sickness a little longer than others do.

But what’s comforting is knowing that the nauseous feeling will not be there to stay forever and will disappear more or less after 16 weeks, although the experience is not the same for all pregnant women.

Possible causes of nausea 

Experts believe that nausea may be related to a specific hormone called human chorionic gonadotropin generated during pregnancy.

That feeling may be triggered by a digestive problem such as heartburn or gastroesophageal reflux disease (GERD), sensitivity to smell of food, pungent odor, infections, diet, medications, and more often than not perhaps it’s just being pregnant.

But accordingly, there is really no specific trigger other than you are pregnant supposedly since this morning sickness or nausea has long time been known one of the symptoms in the first three months of pregnancy.

And even doctors until now cannot fully comprehend the reasons why there is such thing as pregnancy sickness.  

Is nausea a good thing for pregnant women? 

Now we know that the first trimester of pregnancy is really complicated due to morning sickness and other related-illnesses that you feel while pregnant.

Study says that more than 50% of expectant mothers at least encountered morning sickness or nausea which is often accompanied by throwing up.  

It is understandable the trouble you are going through due to the extent of discomfort the sickness gives, but there is really nothing to loathe or worry about when you are feeling like vomiting whether in the morning, noontime or nighttime.

Although nighttime nausea may be annoying and may leave you feeling miserable as it distracts you from falling asleep and waking you up from time to time, a lot of doctors think that feeling nauseated is a healthy sign because it signifies that the placenta is advancing in a good way. 

Having morning sickness at night? 

Nobody can say, not even doctors, what causes nausea during the first trimester of pregnancy, but researchers deduce that this might be due to a variety of circumstances. 

Some medical practitioners say that eating lots of food rich in carbohydrates including sweets during the day might spike blood sugar and may cause it to crash resulting in queasy feeling. Also, failure to take a snack between lunch and dinner will have the same outcome. 

Nighttime nausea happens when, for example, you go home after a long day in the shop or office perhaps, and you happen to pass by a street which stinks of revolting smell or arrives home to a family member cooking some special cuisine with strong odor in addition to you feeling very tired may leave you feeling sick and nauseated.     

Nobody can really say, not even doctors, what causes nausea during the first trimester of pregnancy, but researchers deduce that this might be due to a variety of circumstances mentioned above.

Things to do when nausea at night comes?

Aside from a doctor’s prescription medicines, there are some easy home remedies for mild to moderate nausea that could help ease sickness during nighttime.

The first simple strategy to keep in mind is to ensure some healthy snack food that you can grab at your bedside such as crackers. These easy-grab snack foods may give some relief and help you get back to sleep when suddenly you wake up in the middle of the night feeling nauseated.  

To prevent that sick feeling, grab and bite on a few crackers, taking some rest for 20 to 30 minutes first before getting up upon waking up in the morning. Avoid eating at bedtime or close to this time as this can slow the digestion process. Here are some pieces of advice to prevent nighttime sickness.

  • Don’t eat fatty foods during dinner because it can take the digestion process longer as it should, thus this is not advisable. These also include fried, spicy, greasy, processed, and acidic food since they are found to irritate the digestive tract. However, doctors recommend eating complex carbohydrates and proteins at dinnertime to preempt feeling sickness. Break three large meals into three smaller meals, having snack breaks in between meals. Some experts say snacking on almonds or low-sugar yogurt can help ward off a queasy stomach.
  • Include sipping some ginger tea at bedtime in your menu list as one of your alternative remedies to lessen bouts of nausea and vomiting. But since you are pregnant, consult with your doctor or health service provider before taking any herbal beverage won’t hurt at all.
Read also: how to manage morning sickness at night during pregnancy
  • Drink lots of water to stay hydrated. Constant bouts of nausea and vomiting can lead to Dehydration, so do your best to sip on the water every day even keeping on your nightstand a bottle of water always. 
  • Try opening a window to clear the air. This is to let some fresh air get into the room. The overcrowded room can trigger a nausea attack especially if there is a certain stink just in the room.
  • You can also try eating your dinner cold since cold food is less smelly, though it is not appealing as it is served warm.
  • Peppermint, orange, and lemon scents blended and place in a diffuser overnight as aromatherapy can lure some pregnant women to sleep and feel some relief.
  • Take some prescription or over-the-counter medication. For safety and instant relief and comfort, consult your doctor to give you some medicines and vitamins to give you more relief from nighttime sickness.

When to consult and seek doctor’s advice  

When you have nausea with chest pain which is a classic sign of a heart attack. Consult your doctor immediately. Medical practitioners say that nausea accompanied by severe headache or dizziness may pose some serious problems as well as nausea and unexplained weight loss.

Seek emergency help when you have nausea and severe abdominal pain or cramping, chest pain, blurred vision, high fever and stiff neck, confusion, severe headache.  Also get immediate medical attention if your nausea and dehydration including other symptoms of dehydration such as dry mouth, excessive thirst, dizziness, dark urine, infrequent urination, and weakness.

Complications may develop

An extreme form of morning sickness may lead to Hyperemesis gravidarum (HG) which will result in severe nausea and vomiting during pregnancy. Experts say the sickness is rare and its specific cause is not known. But this sickness is more evident with morning sickness. Visit your doctor if you have vomiting bouts many times almost every day and not able to eat or drink without feeling sick.

My takeaway

It is reassuring to note that nausea is only temporary which happens during the first trimester of one’s pregnancy and is not serious unless there are complications. 

Since it is not mostly alarming, pregnant women may employ some tested home remedies as relief treatment. Nighttime sickness can be reduced by sipping some ginger tea before bed as well as breaking large meals into three small meals having snacks in between meals since empty stomach can also trigger nausea attacks. Avoiding fatty and sugary foods is also very helpful.

Another thing worthy to note is that taking prescription medication or over the counter drugs can also be beneficial, although oftentimes nausea can still lead to vomiting despite taking the drugs. Also, vomiting is good since it is observed that after spewing up, it lessens the sickness and give comfort to pregnant women. 

Furthermore, vomiting and nausea can easily advance to dehydration. That’s why it is important to stay hydrated by ensuring that pregnant women drink lots of water having some bottles of water nearby or at the bedside. And when complications develop, it is a must to call or visit your doctor immediately as possible.

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