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12 Potential Reasons Why Your Stomach Hurts When You Wake Up

In this blog, we discuss 12 of the most common reasons why your stomach hurts when you wake up. We also share some tips on how to get relief from morning stomach aches, including natural remedies

why does my stomach hurt when i wake up

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Indigestion, constipation, and ulcers are the most common causes of morning stomach aches.

For relief, avoid spicy meals, stay hydrated, and also try natural remedies like ginger tea.

If your stomach pain is accompanied by tenderness in your abdomen and vomiting, seek immediate medical attention. 

Did you know?
Emotional factors, such as stress and anxiety, can impact the digestive system and contribute to stomach discomfort.

Are you wondering “Why is my stomach sore when I wake up?” Have you ever experienced stomach pain at night and early in the morning? In this blog, we discuss the causes of morning stomach cramps and offer some tips on how you can address this.

Let’s dive in!

Why Does My Stomach Hurt When I Wake Up?

You may be starting your day with morning stomach cramps for several reasons. Here are some of the most common ones:

1. Indigestion: Indigestion is a common digestive problem that can cause upper abdominal pain, bloating, and nausea, frequently following meals.

Solution: Opt for smaller, more frequent meals instead of large ones. Avoid going to bed right after eating, and consider foods that are easier for digestion.

2. Ulcers: Stomach ulcers can trigger a burning or dull pain, especially in the morning when your stomach is empty. When you go to bed extremely hungry, you can wake up with an empty stomach and pain in the morning. So if you ask yourself, “Why does my stomach hurt every morning before I eat?”, the answer could be ulcers.

Solution: Eat a light snack before bedtime to keep your stomach from getting too empty. Avoid spicy and acidic foods like curry dishes and carbonated drinks.

3. Food Allergies: Certain foods can be the culprits behind stomach pain. Common triggers include dairy, shellfish, wheat, gluten, and nuts, and the result can be abdominal cramps, vomiting, and nausea. If you notice a connection between your bedtime snacks and morning discomfort, it's time to reconsider your food choices.

Solution: Identify and eliminate trigger foods from your diet. Keeping a food diary can also help pinpoint the culprits. Consult with an allergist or nutritionist for testing so that you know the foods to steer clear of.

4. Constipation: When your bowel movements slow down to less than three times a week, it can result in trapped gas in your intestinal tract, leading to morning cramps in the lower abdomen. Straining or feeling like you haven’t fully emptied your bowels are also common symptoms.

Solution: Increase fiber intake through fruits, vegetables, and whole grains. Stay hydrated, and consider gentle exercises to promote regular bowel movements.

5. Menstrual Cramps: Stomach pain in the morning for women can be due to menstrual cramps. Period pain is typically felt in the lower abdomen and can begin a few days before your cycle starts.

Solution: A warm compress may help relieve menstrual cramps. Consider our Snuggler hot water bottle, which is gently weighted and heated to help alleviate period pains. Simply heat the Snuggler in the microwave and place it on your lower abdomen for targeted relief.

Why Does My Stomach Hurt When I Wake Up?

6. Irritable Bowel Syndrome (IBS): IBS can cause pain on the lower right or left side of your abdomen. It is often accompanied by diarrhea, constipation, excessive gas, and bloating. Stress and certain foods can provoke IBS symptoms, making mornings particularly tough.

Solution: Manage stress through relaxation techniques. Experiment with a low-FODMAP diet, and keep track of food triggers. Consult with a healthcare provider to create a personalized management plan.

7. Inflammatory Bowel Disease (IBD): Under the IBD umbrella, you'll find Crohn's disease and ulcerative colitis, both capable of causing stomach pain around your belly button or lower right abdomen. These conditions may also introduce themselves in the morning, along with symptoms like diarrhea, weight loss, anemia, and fatigue.

Solution: Seek medical attention for proper diagnosis and treatment. Medications, lifestyle changes, and sometimes surgery may be necessary. Manage stress and follow a diet that works for your condition.

8. Pancreatitis: Inflammation of the pancreas can lead to upper abdominal pain in the morning, often exacerbated after eating breakfast. Additional symptoms may include nausea, vomiting, and fever.

Solution: Steer clear of alcohol and fatty foods. Stay hydrated and follow a low-fat diet. Seek medical attention for a proper diagnosis and treatment plan.

9. Diverticulitis: Small pockets in your large intestine can sometimes become inflamed, causing pain in the lower left abdomen. Constipation, fever, nausea, and vomiting can accompany this discomfort, which may be more noticeable in the morning.

Solution: Follow a high-fiber diet to prevent flare-ups. This diet may include whole grain foods, nuts, quinoa, legumes, and root vegetables.

10. Gallstones: These are tiny hard deposits in your gallbladder and can provoke intense pain in your upper or middle abdomen, occasionally radiating to your right shoulder.

Solution: Limit fatty foods and consult with a healthcare provider for treatment options, which may include medications or surgery. It also helps to maintain a healthy weight.

11. Celiac Disease: This autoimmune condition involves an adverse reaction to gluten, found in wheat, barley, and rye. It can lead to morning stomach pain, along with symptoms like diarrhea, gas, and bloating.

Solution: Consider adopting a gluten-free diet. Consult with a healthcare professional and a dietitian to ensure proper nutrition while avoiding gluten-containing foods.

12. Pelvic Inflammatory Disease (PID): This infection affects the female reproductive organs and may bring lower abdominal pain, fever, unusual discharge, and discomfort during urination or intercourse. While it can occur at any time, some women might notice these stomach cramps more in the morning.

Solution: Seek medical attention promptly. Your doctor will describe the right antibiotics in order to treat the infection.

Now that you know the potential reasons behind your morning stomach ache, let’s look at how to prevent this from happening in the first place.

How Do I Prevent Stomach Pain In The Morning?

Preventing morning stomach pain is all about establishing healthy habits. Here’s how to start your day on the right foot and reduce the chances of waking up with a grumbling tummy:

1. Hydrate: Have a glass of water before bed. Staying hydrated helps your digestive system run smoothly.

2. Keep Your Dinner Light: Keep your evening meal simple, and try to finish your dinner a few hours before bedtime. Opt for a dinner with fiber-rich foods like whole grains, fruits, and vegetables as fiber aids digestion.

3. Limit Trigger Foods: Identify foods that trigger your stomach discomfort, like spicy or fatty foods, and avoid these in the evening.

4. Cut Down on Alcohol and Caffeine: Both can irritate your stomach lining, so limit your coffee or wine intake in the evening.

5. Relax And Rest: Stress can wreak havoc on your stomach. Wind down with calming activities like reading, gentle stretching or breathing exercises.

6. Elevate Your Head: If you're prone to acid reflux, elevate your head while sleeping. This helps prevent stomach acid from pushing up into the esophagus.

7. Mind Your Medications: Some medications can cause stomach issues. Take them as directed and discuss any concerns with your healthcare provider.

8. Probiotics: Consider incorporating probiotics into your diet to promote a healthy gut, which in turn can reduce stomach discomfort.

8. Regular Exercise: Stay active, but avoid vigorous exercise too close to bedtime. Physical activity also aids digestion.

If you’re consistently experiencing morning stomach pain despite trying these tips, check in with a healthcare provider to rule out any underlying issues. While you seek medical attention, you may also consider some natural cures for stomach pain. We discuss some of these remedies in the next section.

Natural Remedies For Stomach Pain When You Wake Up

When you feel abdominal pain in the morning, you may want to try some natural remedies such as:

1. Peppermint Tea: Peppermint contains menthol, which can help relax the muscles of the gastrointestinal tract. It’s particularly effective for reducing spasms and soothing stomach pain.

2. Ginger Tea: Ginger is well-known for its anti-inflammatory properties and its ability to ease digestive discomfort. You can prepare ginger tea by steeping fresh ginger slices in hot water.

3. Chamomile Tea: Chamomile tea contains anti-inflammatory and antispasmodic properties that can ease morning stomach discomfort.

4. Fennel Tea: Fennel tea is beneficial in reducing bloating, gas, and stomach cramps. The natural oils in fennel seeds can relax the gastrointestinal tract.

5. Aloe Vera Juice: Aloe vera juice is soothing to the stomach lining. It helps reduce inflammation and provides relief from morning stomach pain. If you opt for aloe vera juice, use a pure, food-grade drink.

6. Cumin Seeds: Cumin seeds are often used in cooking and can be chewed as a digestive aid. They’re also beneficial when steeped into a tea. Cumin seeds aid digestion, reduce gas, and alleviate stomach discomfort.

7. Lemon Water: A glass of warm water with freshly squeezed lemon juice is an excellent way to kickstart your digestive system in the morning. The acidity of lemon can help balance your body’s pH levels and promote healthy digestion.

8. Bananas: Bananas are a natural antacid, which can help neutralize excess stomach acid that may be causing discomfort. They’re an easily digestible fruit and make for a convenient morning snack.

9. Papaya: Papaya contains enzymes like papain, which aid digestion. Eating papaya in the morning can help your stomach process food more efficiently, reducing the likelihood of stomach pain.

10. Turmeric: Turmeric is a powerful anti-inflammatory spice. Adding a pinch of turmeric to warm milk or water can create a soothing drink that reduces inflammation and eases stomach discomfort. This remedy is especially beneficial if inflammation is contributing to your pain.

After you try one of these remedies, it is best to get some rest. However, sleeping with stomach cramps is hard, so in the next section we list some useful tips for you.

How To Sleep With Stomach Cramps After Waking Up

It may be difficult to lay back in bed after waking up with stomach pain. But, some strategies can help alleviate your discomfort and improve your sleep quality. These include:

1. Sleeping Positions: Experiment with different sleeping positions to find the one that provides the most relief. For many people, sleeping on their left side can help reduce stomach discomfort and acid reflux symptoms. Elevating the upper body with a bolster pillow or propping up the head of the bed may also be beneficial.

bearaby pink bolster pillow

2. Light Snacks: If hunger contributes to your stomach pain, consider having a light snack before lying down. Opt for easily digestible foods like crackers, toast, or a banana. Avoid heavy or spicy meals until you feel better.

3. Stay Hydrated: Ensure you drink enough water but avoid drinking large amounts of liquids right before you rest to minimize disruptive bathroom trips.

4. Relaxation Techniques: Stress and anxiety can exacerbate stomach pain. Practice relaxation techniques such as deep breathing, meditation, or progressive muscle relaxation before resting to reduce stress and promote better sleep.

5. Over-the-Counter Remedies: Over-the-counter antacids or pain relievers may provide temporary relief. It’s essential to consult with your healthcare provider or a pharmacist to choose the most suitable option for your specific symptoms.

6. Heat Therapy: Applying warmth to your abdominal area can help relax muscles and alleviate cramping or discomfort. Consider our Snuggler hot water bottle, which is gently weighted and heated to ease pain and help you sleep better.

7. Sleep Environment: Make your bedroom conducive to sleep by ensuring it’s dark, quiet, and cool. Use earplugs or white noise machines if noise is a concern.

Remember that everyone’s experience with stomach pain is unique, so it may take trial and error to find the best strategies for you.

If your stomach pain persists or worsens, consult a healthcare provider for a thorough evaluation and personalized guidance. In the next section, we share some symptoms to look out for so that you may seek medical help early enough.

When To See A Doctor

Often, stomach pain is generally nothing to be overly concerned about. However, if you find yourself unable to fall asleep or waking up from your rest with severe stomach pain, seek immediate medical attention. Also, contact a healthcare provider if you are:

  • undergoing cancer treatment and regularly experiencing morning stomach cramps
  • experiencing chest, neck, or shoulder pain too
  • not having bowel movements and vomiting
  • noticing blood in your stool or vomit
  • encountering sharp and sudden abdominal pain
  • having difficulty breathing
  • feeling pain between your shoulder blades and also suffer from nausea
  • Feeling unusual hardness or rigidness when you touch your stomach
  • feeling tenderness in your abdomen
  • pregnant or suspect you might be
  • recovering from recent abdominal trauma due to an injury 

Moreover, it’s important to contact your healthcare provider if you experience stomach pain and:

  • persistent diarrhea lasting more than five days
  • cramps lasting for a week or longer
  • ongoing bloating that extends beyond two days
  • no signs of improvement within 24 to 48 hours after trying recommended remedies
  • a burning sensation during urination
  • frequent urination
  • a fever exceeding 100°F for adults or 100.4°F for children
  • a diminished appetite
  • vaginal bleeding
  • unintentional weight loss 

Conclusion

In this blog, we have explored 12 potential causes of morning stomach pain, ranging from indigestion and constipation to more serious conditions like ulcers and inflammatory bowel diseases. We also shared some practical solutions and tips, emphasizing the importance of dietary adjustments, hydration, and natural remedies like ginger tea.