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Bloating & Gas While Sleeping

By Brennan Bennett ; Updated July 27, 2017

Bloating and gas have the ability to cause significant disruptions in your sleep if not treated properly. Digestive issues with certain foods, especially foods eaten close to bedtime, have a significant influence on your body's gastrointestinal track. There is medication than can prevent bloating issues before they occur, but if not properly addressed, significant sleeping issues including cramps and indigestion can become a common occurrence.

Sleep Position

If you sleep on your back, gravity is pulling your organs straight downward. For an intestinal track experiencing bloating, this is not the direction you want. Instead, try lying on your left side with a pillow in between your legs. The positioning of your colon combined with normal gravity will induce peristalsis, which relaxes the muscles in and around the digestive track. Regulating the position you sleep in can greatly affect the pressure on other organs, such as your spleen, but few as sensitive as your intestinal track.

Eating at Bedtime

Do not eat at bedtime or while trying to go to sleep. When your body recognizes it's time to shut down for the night, your digestive system will not retain the nutrients properly of food being eaten during this time. Not only will the food more likely be stored as fat, but it can cause indigestion and stomach cramps. Sleep is a function designed to help your body recover from the day and when it is using its energy to digest rather than recover, you will wake up feeling lethargic and possibly with cramps.

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Exercise

Exercising promotes the development of hormones that increase the activity in the bowels. Breaking down whatever food is left in your system is critical to not becoming bloated during the night. Cardiovascular exercise, best practiced in the mornings or mid day, also increases your metabolism. In order to avoid bloating the night after a workout, do not eat heavy foods as they can irritate your digestive system, which is still in recovery mode. Instead, eat something light, such as greens or walnuts, to help balance your stomach.

Medication

Gas and bloating medication work to eliminate excess air in your stomach by bringing together gas bubbles. Certain medications can be taken before you eat, such as Beano, which contains an enzyme that directly targets complex carbohydrates. Other medications, such as Gas X, can be taken as needed when bowel irregularity occurs. Taken before sleep, charcoal tablets have also proven to be very effective at eliminating bloating.

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