What Causes Vomiting While Sleeping?

How to prevent vomiting while sleeping

One of the worst experiences you can have while sleeping is vomiting. This is because it is very disgusting and it will leave you feeling really bad. Vomiting while sleeping is also very dangerous as it is known to cause choking and in extreme cases even death.

There are different things that can cause you to throw up when you are asleep. We are going to look into some of these causes and also give you tips on how to prevent future occurrences of vomiting.

What causes people to vomit in their sleep?

There are many people who suffer from involuntary vomiting in their sleep. Some of them will be able to rush to the bathroom before they throw up but there others who are not as fortunate and they end up throwing up in bed.

It is very disgusting and discomforting for these people when they wake up and find that they are covered in vomit. The smell will also make it very hard for them to sleep and this will reduce the quality of sleep that they receive thus reducing their productivity during the day.

The following are some of the probable causes of people vomiting in their sleep:

1. Acid reflux

This is a condition whereby the food one ingests is brought back up the food pipe thus causing inflammation and irritation of the inner lining of the food pipe.

This condition is very irritating and can even cause other uncomfortable symptoms such as heartburn.

This is one of the common causes of people vomiting in their sleep and should be treated promptly to avoid one from getting ulcerations.

2. Food

What Causes Vomiting While Sleeping
What Causes Vomiting While Sleeping

There are times where you may end up eating food that causes you irritation. The reaction to the food may not be immediate but once you lay down the digestive juices may react with the food and send it back out.

This may cause you to vomit while sleeping or if you are lucky you will be able to wake up and rush to the bathroom in time. In both scenarios, your sleep will be interrupted and this reduces the quality of sleep you get that night.

3. Eating late

This is the case with people who work in shifts and thus have developed an irregular eating pattern. These people often eat very late which can greatly affect the digestion process.

When digestion of food is not done properly it can cause your digestive system to send the food back out thus causing vomiting while asleep.

4. Intake of alcohol

There are people who are overly fond of drinking at night. If you have a habit of drinking large quantities of alcohol on a regular basis and also eating unhealthy food it can cause you to vomit in your sleep.

The other effects of drinking a lot of alcohol before bed are dizziness and gastritis.

5. Teething

This is the process of babies getting teeth which causes them a lot of irritation. Babies during this process tend to feel very fussy and cranky.

They also tend to bite into objects and also get swollen gums which can result in the vomiting in their sleep.

6. Stress


If you are really stressed it can interrupt your sleep and cause indigestion. This can cause you to vomit in the middle of the night.

How to prevent vomiting while sleeping

  • Avoid taking foods that are spicy, greasy or oily right before bed.
  • Eat food at least 3 hours before going to sleep so as to allow for proper digestion and avoid food churning and coming back up.
  • You can change your sleeping position and opt for a position that is slightly tilted.
  • Reduce your alcohol intake.
  • Avoid taking caffeine right before bed as this can sometimes cause acid reflux.
  • Getting fresh air will help reduce the nausea and thus prevent you from vomiting.
  • Try and stay calm when you feel nauseous as this will prevent the feeling from escalating.
  • You can try and distract yourself from the nauseous feeling which is a natural way to prevent vomiting.
  • Taking deep breaths when you feel like vomiting will help you calm down and even get rid of the feeling.
  • You can choose to sip of cool drinks to help you get rid of nausea.


The causes of vomiting while sleeping are things that are commonly done on a regular basis. This means that we can prevent this condition by simply making a few lifestyle adjustments.

Vomiting in your sleep is one of the worst experiences you can ever have and as we have mentioned above it is also quite dangerous. If you vomit while lying down it can cause you to choke due to the windpipe being blocked by undigested food. This can cause death if the person is not treated promptly.

If you usually suffer from regular acid reflux you should evaluate yourself and find out what causes it and get rid of the cause.

Getting your sleep constantly interrupted by the need to vomit will greatly affect your sleep quality as well as quantity. This will also affect how productive you will be during the day as well as your social interactions.

Read more: Here Are The Reasons for Hot Feet at Night

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