4 reasons you feel sick in the morning, even when not pregnant

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  • Nausea is sometimes a symptom of pregnancy.
  • But people feel sick in the morning for plenty of other reasons.
  • For instance, it could be down to diet, lack of sleep, or anxiety.
  • Mild nausea can be treated with small adjustments.
  • But if it’s a prolonged problem, you should see a doctor.

If you’re a woman, feeling sick in the morning is known as one of the first signs you’re pregnant. But it’s not the only reason you might feel queasy when you wake up.

According to Daniela Jodorkovsky, a doctor interviewed by Refinery29, nausea isn’t always a gastrointestinal issue.

In fact, the feeling of sickness can be linked to your sleep cycles, particularly if you’ve tossed and turned all night or had irregular sleep. Not getting enough sleep disrupts the body’s circadian rhythms— or body clock — which has been linked to numerous disorders and problems, including Alzheimer’s, weight gain, and mental health problems.

Read more: Disrupting your body clock could increase your risk of mood disorders like depression — here’s why

Jodorkovsky said research has shown that your digestive system is linked with your circadian rhythms. All our hormones are in a delicate balance. Some make us sleepy, like melatonin, and some, like ghrelin, control our appetite. So eating or sleeping at irregular times can have more of a prolonged impact on our general health than we realise.

Morning nausea can also be caused by your diet. For example, eating a big meal right before bed might cause acid reflux. It could also be a sign your blood sugar is low. So Jodorkovsky recommends eating something, even if you don’t feel like it.

“While it sounds counterintuitive, eating a light snack or breakfast when feeling nauseated in the morning can alleviate the symptoms altogether,” she said.

Strangely, nasal congestion could also be a culprit. According to Healthline, a blocked nose or sinus congestion can put pressure on your inner ear, leading to an upset stomach and nausea.

Read more: The single most effective way to unclog your nose

Anxiety can cause nausea, especially if there is an event coming up, like an important meeting. These nerves can be channeled positively, but if anxiety is affecting your every day life and you’re suffering frm panic attacks, it could be a sign of an anxiety disorder that needs to be checked by a professional.

Otherwise, the NHS suggests plenty of fresh air, peppermint or ginger tea, distractions like watching films, and smaller, frequent meals may help mild nausea.

“Of course, if you have concerning symptoms like vomiting, weight loss, severe headaches, or abdominal pain, see your doctor,” said Jodorkovsky.

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