When I first open my eyes in the morning, I usually feel sick to my stomach.

It can be very annoying to wake up in the morning and feel like you have to vomit any second. This is especially true if you have no idea what is triggering these feelings. Long-term worry is probably not warranted unless your nausea is an indicator of a serious health problem, pregnancy, or anxiety. In order to alleviate nausea, it is recommended to talk to a medical professional, make some dietary and lifestyle adjustments, and limit your activity levels right before bed. Make an appointment with one of Manhattan Gastroenterology's board-certified gastroenterologists to get to the bottom of your nausea and find out what's causing it. The best gastroenterologists in New York City are well-versed in the detection, diagnosis, and treatment of all forms of gastrointestinal illness, and will have you feeling like yourself again in no time.

If you wake up feeling sick in the morning, you probably won't be in a hurry to get out of bed. Nausea is when you feel like you have to throw up, and it's commonly accompanied by other unpleasant sensations and behaviors like abdominal pain or cramping, sweating, and diarrhea.

Nausea: What Is It?

Why do I wake up feeling Nauseous? Nausea

One definition of nausea is "the unpleasant feeling one gets just before vomiting." The most common symptoms of nausea are a heavy, tight, and lingering feeling of indigestion.

The onset of nausea and vomiting does not always indicate a life-threatening condition. Morning sickness is a common pregnancy symptom, and it can occur with or without actual vomiting. It could also be the result of other factors, such as taking a medication without first eating, eating too much or too little, drinking too much, or experiencing jerky motions while traveling by car or airplane. Constant or recurrent nausea may be a symptom of a more serious medical condition, so it's always a good idea to see a doctor if you're experiencing it.

Feelings of Nausea: What Is It Like?

Nausea manifests primarily as an unpleasant feeling of nausea. Additional symptoms can be:

  • Giddiness
  • Sweating
  • Mouth dryness caused by saliva buildup
  • Consciousness of having to throw up
  • Retching

Nausea upon awakening can have many causes, including but not limited to poor sleep hygiene, high levels of stress, or the use of certain medications. Read on to find out the possible causes of morning nausea and how to treat it so you can get out of bed without feeling like throwing up.

What can cause morning sickness?

Common morning nausea triggers include:


As such, it is the most common cause of morning sickness in females. In the sixth week of pregnancy, most women experience morning sickness. Although the morning is when it is most commonly associated with occurrence, the bothersome symptoms can occur at any time of day. It's a daily occurrence for some women. Here's some good news: you might start to feel less sick later in your pregnancy.

Diabetic Retinopathy

Weakness, dizziness, and nausea are all symptoms of hypoglycemia, also known as low blood sugar. The average time between meals that causes this to occur is 12 hours. If you don't eat something, your blood glucose level could drop dangerously low, causing a host of unpleasant symptoms like nausea, trembling, confusion, and even fainting.

In order to control their disease, people with diabetes often need to take medications that can cause dangerously low blood sugar. This discomfort can be exacerbated by putting off or skipping breakfast. The morning sickness that many people experience can be avoided by eating soon after waking up. Managing low blood sugar and avoiding morning sickness can be greatly aided by paying close attention to eating habits and hunger levels.

Disorders of Sleep

Sleep problems, such as tossing and turning all night or not getting enough sleep, have also been linked to morning sickness. A number of diseases and health issues, such as Alzheimer's, obesity, and psychological distress, have been linked to disruptions in circadian rhythms, also known as the body clock.

This sleep-wake cycle disruption has been linked to jet lag, insomnia, and many other causes. They alter the body's natural sleep-wake cycle and trigger a neuroendocrine response change, leading to sickness.

Causes of Acid Reflux

Acid reflux, also known as gastroesophageal reflux disease (GERD), is a common cause of morning sickness. Staying in the relining position all night can cause stomach acid to pool, which can then seep into the upper esophageal region.

When the stomach's entrance does not properly close after eating, acid reflux often results. When this happens, stomach acid can travel up the esophagus and into the throat. It's possible for it to bring on nausea and vomiting by way of coughing, burping, and an unpleasant sour taste. Nausea from acid reflux can strike at any time, but people who sleep on their stomachs are more likely to experience it at night. Modifying your routine by, for example, avoiding acidic foods, waiting at least two hours after eating before going to bed, and sleeping with your head elevated can be beneficial.

Nasal Clogged and Postnasal Drip

A common symptom of sinusitis is nausea and vomiting due to the pressure that builds up in the inner ears when the sinuses are clogged. Dizziness brought on by inner ear pressure is often accompanied by a nauseated and sick stomach. Because of postnasal drip, sinus mucus may travel down the back of the throat and into the stomach. This is common in the morning after a period of prolonged reclining.


Anxiety and stress affect people in a variety of ways. Symptoms such as bloating, heartburn, and nausea are common responses to the emotional and mental turmoil that many people experience in their gut due to things like excitement, stress, and anxiety. The morning sickness that comes before an event too thrilling or too stressful can ruin your day. Sustained nervousness can have physiological effects, and one of these is the occasional onset of nausea.


If you drink too much alcohol at night, you might wake up feeling sick. Furthermore, alcohol's negative aftereffects can cause health problems like dehydration and low blood sugar.


It's a pretty serious problem if your stomach wall muscles suddenly stop working. When the stomach muscles aren't working properly, food can get stuck in the stomach. Nausea and vomiting are typical manifestations of this condition, and they often occur first thing in the morning and periodically throughout the day. If you've tried adjusting your diet and way of life and are still feeling sick, medical help should be sought out before the condition worsens.


Gallstones are crystallized cholesterol or other substances that form in the gallbladder and resemble small pebbles. Intense pain and inflammation can result if gallstones block the bile duct, which is the tube connecting the gallbladder and the small intestine. Many people with gallstones experience nausea and vomiting.


Opioids are painkillers prescribed for severe, ongoing pain. Opioids frequently cause nausea and vomiting.


Illnesses of the stomach and vomiting are common side effects of cancer treatments like chemotherapy. This drug is notorious for stimulating the vomit-inducing region of the brain, leading to queasy stomach and an overwhelming desire to vomit. The drug can also cause these side effects by directly affecting cells in the stomach lining.

Depending on how much chemotherapy is used and for how long, the side effects can range from mild to severe.

Injuries to the brain, also known as concussions

Brain swelling can be caused by concussions and other brain injuries. This raises intracranial pressure, which can stimulate the brain region that controls nausea and vomiting. If you've suffered a head injury and are feeling sick or nauseous, it's critical that you get medical attention right away to reduce the risk of further complications.

Poisoning from Food

Any contaminant taken in through the digestive system forces the body to work harder to eliminate it. Nausea, vomiting, and diarrhea, in addition to abdominal cramps or upset stomach, are all symptoms of food poisoning.

Your morning sickness, stomach pain, and diarrhea are probably the result of food poisoning from the night before.

Stomach ulcers

Peptic ulcers, or stomach and intestine sores, are a type of gastrointestinal ailment. They're painful, but they can also make you sick to your stomach and throw up.

These ulcers have the potential to obstruct digestion. To lose weight due to inflammation and/or scarring and a subsequent decrease in appetite, this condition is extremely undesirable.


The digestive process can be slowed when the colon is stuffed with waste products or digested food. Constipation is the term for this condition, and it frequently causes morning sickness.

Stool back up in the intestines can cause food to sit in the stomach for longer than usual, leading to a nauseous or bloated feeling. A change in the composition of gut bacteria, brought on by stool deposits, may also trigger nausea.

Severe Motion Sickness

Those who are particularly sensitive to motion sickness may be very aware of the slightest change in their environment. When your brain receives conflicting information about where you are and how you're moving, you may become nauseous. The eyes and ears tell the brain that you're moving in a car, but the inner ear's balance and muscle center contradicts that information.

Nausea and vomiting are the symptoms of these conflicting signals. Intense nausea can be brought on by eating before or after experiencing motion.

Contagious Infection of the Middle Ear

Inner ear tissue is extremely sensitive, but it does important work in helping the body stay upright. Having an infection here can make you feel off-kilter and sick to your stomach. Cold and flu viruses, as well as bacteria, are typically the cause of this infection.

Ketoacidosis in Diabetes

A dangerous condition known as diabetic ketoacidosis develops when blood sugar levels rise to dangerously high levels, along with a rise in ketone bodies. As blood ketones rise, more ketones will be excreted in the urine, flushing sodium and potassium salts out of the body and mimicking the symptoms of dehydration.

The most common symptoms of diabetic ketoacidosis are extreme nausea, thirst, and confusion. This is a serious medical emergency that poses a serious risk to one's life.

The following is a long list of possible causes of nausea, but it is by no means exhaustive. Seek emergency medical attention if your symptoms worsen and you can't pinpoint the cause.

How Distinctly Different Are Nausea and Throwing Up?

To be sick with nausea and vomiting is not a disease. Infections, illnesses, concussions or brain injuries, appendicitis, and migraines are just some of the many diseases and injuries that can cause these symptoms. When you feel sick and throw up can be a sign of something wrong.

Vomiting is the act of ejecting stomach contents through the mouth, whether voluntarily or involuntarily. The sensation of nausea often comes before the actual vomiting, but this is not always the case. Dizziness and motion sickness can be caused by a number of different conditions, including but not limited to: infection, damage to the digestive tract, food allergies, inner ear infections, and brain injuries.

Why You Should See a Doctor If You Have Morning Sickness

Nausea and the need to vomit can make mornings unpleasant and can cause significant disruptions in your day. Anxiety and concern should be raised if nausea persists or worsens, especially if it is severe. It will help the doctor diagnose your condition if you keep track of when you feel sick and what you eat.

You should see a doctor if your nausea lasts longer than five days or if you also experience any of the following: abdominal pain, heartburn, diarrhea, bloating, gas, aches, or a fever.

To get individualized care for your symptoms, see a gastrointestinal specialist who is both experienced and board-certified. Your morning sickness can be traced back to a variety of factors, and the award-winning gastroenterologists will do their best to determine what is causing your pain and discomfort so that you can find effective treatments. Manhattan Gastroenterology is a highly regarded New York City gastroenterology clinic that employs cutting-edge technology and scientific studies to accurately diagnose patient illnesses and offer lasting care. You won't have to worry about feeling sick or nauseous when you wake up in the mornings; instead, you can look forward to feeling fully refreshed and ready to take on the day.

The 16th of October, 2022, update by Dr The Incredible Journey of Shawn Khodadadian ( Gastroenterologist ) of New York Gastrointestinal Specialists
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