While flatulence is a normal part of human life, it can often be embarrassing. On average, it is normal to release nearly a quart of intestinal gas each day. Gas in the gastrointestinal tract is either swallowed air or is produced by bacteria inhabiting the intestines. Nocturnal flatulence is a normal circumstance that can be minimized or controlled quite easily. While it is impossible to repress it while sleeping, you can take measures during waking hours to limit it.
Discreetly release any flatulence that occurs during waking hours. Many people are used to holding in flatulence during the day, but this leads to release once you are fully relaxed. For most people, this is during sleeping hours.
Stop or reduce your intake of dairy products. Lactose intolerance can cause bowel problems, and limiting or eliminating dairy from your diet may be enough to end nocturnal flatulence. If you notice that your flatulence is eliminated by cutting dairy, tell your doctor that you may be lactose intolerant.
Eat fewer foods that are known to cause flatulence. Foods to limit include apples, beans, bran, cauliflower, cabbage, eggs, nuts, onions, raisins and soy products. Do not completely remove these foods from your diet, because they are important to good health. Sweeteners, particularly sorbitol and fructose, should be entirely avoided. Gum chewing and cigarette smoking cause extra air to be swallowed and should be eliminated.
Take a flatulence-inhibiting drug, such as Beano or Wind-eze. These anti-flatulent agents dissolve internal gases by allowing gas bubbles to coalesce or by adding enzymes that break down gas in the digestive track. While long-term use should be avoided, they are helpful for short-term elimination of flatulence.
Visit a doctor. If the previous suggestions have not made a difference, your nocturnal flatulence could be a symptom of something more serious. Irritable bowel syndrome, infections and intestinal malabsorption could all be culprits. Sometimes it is due to a previous stomach flu, or it might be attributable to the gut not being able to properly digest carbohydrates, fats and proteins.
Embarrassment is the main reason most people try to avoid flatulence, even though flatulence is normal. Do not sacrifice healthy foods for that reason, because that can be dangerous to your health.