Why do I feel sick in the morning? Six reasons why from anxiety to acid reflux

THERE'S often one thought going through your mind when you wake up in the morning wretching – could I be pregnant?

But feeling nauseous first thing doesn't necessarily mean that you're expecting or suffering from some terrible stomach bug, it's probably something else entirely.

In fact, there are a number of reasons why we feel ill on waking up – most of which are totally rectifiable.

So, here are six possibilities mornings make you heave – from reflux to anxiety

1. Acid reflux

When stomach acid travels up the throat, it's called acid reflux. Ever felt a bit of sick come into your throat?

Yep, that's it. It can be caused by eating certain food and drinks (coffee, spice and booze tend to be the big ones), being overweight, stress, anxiety and certain medicines like ibuprofen.

And it tends to be worse after eating, lying down or when bending over – so when you wake up and spring out of bed, you're moving that batch of acid that's been lying dormant in your gullet.

What to do:

Try to eat smaller and more frequent meals rather than having a big dinner late at night.

Raise your pillows by 10-20cm so that your head and chest are above the level of your waist.

Try to relax and keep yourself at a healthy weight.

2. Irregular sleep

Not sticking to your regular sleep schedule can wreak havoc on your body in a number of ways, and past research has shown that it can affect your digestive system.

According to neurologists from the University of North Carolina School of Medicine, Chapel Hill, disrupted sleep can increase your risk of digestive disorders including reflex, ulcers, IBS, irritable bowel disease, and gastrointestinal cancer.

So, don't stick to a regular sleep pattern and you could wake up feeling pretty rough.

What to do:

Try to carve out a regular bedtime – even if it waking up earlier on your days off.

Set yourself a realistic bedtime and stick to it – and make sure that you're not hitting the snooze button at the other end.

There's nothing that really needs to be done at 11pm that can't be done at 8am.

3. Low blood sugar

Low blood sugar in the mornings is common – particularly if you're on medication for diabetes.

Your blood sugar tends to drop if you haven't had anything to eat for a long time and while that's usually fine for most people, it can make you feel a little groggy.

If you've drunk alcohol the night before, you're especially likely to experience low blood sugar the next morning (what goes up must come down – and booze tends to send blood sugar rocketing).

What to do:

Eating a glucose-rich meal like cereal and fruit can soon rectify the situation.

Having a later dinner or snack before bed might also help.

4. Anxiety

There's a much bigger connection between mind and body than you might think.

According to Anxiety Centre, "behaving in an apprehensive way causes the body to activate the stress response. The stress response causes dramatic physiological, psychological, and emotional changes in the body to enhance the body’s ability to deal with a threat: to either fight with it or flee from it – which is the reason the stress response is often referred to as the flight or flight response."

In order words, anxiety makes your body feel as though it's continuously under attack.

Other symptoms of anxiety include shortness of breath, feeling dizzy, increased heart rate, shaking and sweating.

What to do:

You might not be cured of it but you can manage it by going to your GP and being referred for cognitive behavioural therapy (CBT) or counselling.

5. Sinus problems

Sure, you feel sinus issues between your ear and nose but they can make you gag first thing.

Sinus congestion puts pressure on your inner ear, and that can cause dizziness which in turn makes you feel sick.

If you've ever had a sinus infection or particularly grim cold, you'll be familiar with postnasal drip – which is when mucus drains from the sinuses to the back of the throat. Well, it continues to drip on down into the stomach, and that can make you feel pretty grim.
What to do:

Over-the-counter decongestants like Sudafed and help to reduce congestion, while nasal sprays will help to moisten and clear your nasal passages.

Again, try to sleep with your head slightly elevated so that the fluid drains away properly, and make sure that you stay hydrated.

6. Hangover

Ahh, the classic.

"Hangovers are caused by a combination of the toxins in alcohol (the alcohol itself, which your body has to break down, along with ‘congeners’ which give part of the taste and colour of darker alcohol) and dehydration," Dr Sarah Jarvis told The Sun.

You feel sick because not only have you packed your body with boozy toxins, but also your blood sugar is crashingly low and you're dehydrated.

What to do:

Take some painkillers and have a coffee to speed up how quickly they take effect. Oh, and get a bottle of Gatorade or something to quickly rehydrate. You also want to match the amount of booze you drank with water.

"The best thing is to drink plenty of water to help the alcohol flush out of the system and this will lessen the effects of the hangover," nutritionist Sarah Flower told us.

 

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