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Waking up in the middle of the night nauseous - connected to sugar at night?

I used to get this last year after I think I had food poisoning, where I'd wake up about 1/2 hour after going to sleep with the feeling I was going to be sick, though it tended to go away if I just concentrated on my breathing; I think it was also connected to my anxiety (I'm on medication) but it pretty much went away after a while.

Since then, I've tried to be better about not eating a lot late at night (I work until about 10 at night - so I like to have something before bed) but I do have a fair few slip ups and last night I had half a packet of sharing crisps and half a pack of those Maryland cookie thins, which I know wasn't good.

Anyway, I woke up about half an hour after I went to sleep with that nauseated feeling, I turned that bedside lamp on, tried to read and took deep breathes and it did lessen enough for me to go to sleep and I feel okay this morning - though quite anxious that it will mean I will be sick (I'm a bit phobic about throwing up)

What I'm wondering is whether it was the sugar or the late night eating and what might be better for me to eat at night to stop this kind of thing happening - I'm a very picky eater, not good with fruit or veg (except apples and tomato soup :p)

Any advice anyone has would be great.

11 Replies

Sounds like acid reflux. I had this for ages before I worked out what it was. The only thing that has stopped it is not eating for a couple of hours before bed or taking Raniditine (zantac). If it helps to reassure you, I have never actually been sick.


I'm going 'off piste' here, it sounds to me like you have Emetophobia - a fear of being sick, seeing those being sick around you, worrying about catching tummy bugs. Reason why I have picked this up is I have Emetophobia and am following the Thrive Programme and am on chapter 3 of the book at present. What the programme does is change your thinking patterns, okay it does feel like I am studying at the moment as it certainly takes effort from you but it will be worth it to get rid of this awful debilitating fear. The link to the programme is below:


Hope you didn't mind me going 'off piste'.

Very best of luck



I know i didnt put this comment up but I have around an hour ago woken up feeling sick and I have severe emetophobia but I ate really late and then went straight to bed and now that I've taken an antacid tablet I think I'm getting better but because of my massive emetophobia problem I will never say that I am better!

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I do really feel for you as I know what it's like. I need to get back to the Programme as I haven't picked the book up for a couple of weeks or so. Rob Kelly who wrote the Thrive Programme says you need to commit 30 minutes a day to the book as well as look at positive things (you have to make a list of 10 positive things and look at that list every day which I've not been doing).

I see that BadHare has given you some very good advice below.

All the very best.


I also have emetophobia. I have ordered the thrive book and I’m going to learn how to get rid of it. I think if you feeling sick, you need to sit down and address the problem. Know that your feeling sick and a small drink of water. It’s all about how you think and if you have the right mind set you will know how to feel better.


So sorry Michael to take so long to reply, I have been concentrating on a landscaping project in my garden so my hubby and myself have been really busy.

Emetophobia is an awful thing and I am glad you have ordered the Thrive Programme book as it is really good and I know it works, you just need to work hard at it. I have read the book once and have gone through about half of it again but feel I need support from a therapist so am now on the waiting list. I will be taking my book along with me as I know it works.

I totally agree with what you have said about as it is about how we think, it's us that is controlling this and it's us that can get rid of it. Well done to you for ordering the book.:)


This has been me since 9 years old! I can't believe there is an actual term for it. This is promising! Thank you for providing this information. I will order the book to continue my research in order to combat this. Thank you again.


Yes there certainly is a name for it and it's very common. I have CBT tomorrow and I have shown the therapist the book but she has said she will be using a different method. I'll report on here how I get on but my Thrive Programme book is going nowhere.

All the very best to you, you will be cured.😀

1 like

Thank you I look forward to your update! Best of luck to you! Here's to us all feeling better 😁


Yes I will definitely be updating, I have a CBT appointment today where it's not a fact finding appointment i.e.it was only my first appointment 2 weeks ago.

We will get better😀


Eating just before bedtime isn’t good. Eating crisps & biscuits that are high in refined starch & toxic fats has likely given you severe reflux that’s worse for lying down. Could you eat more earlier, rather than binge eat c**p, then just sip water for an hour or so before you go to sleep? Your breathing exercises are going to help more if you do them before sleeping rather than making yourself ill enough to have to do this later.

If you have sugar cravings, it could be a sign of magnesium deficiency. This is common as people often lack this mineral which is essential for the nervous system & bone formation, amongst many other things. It’s best taken in chelated form for bioavailability, & taken with water only on an empty stomach at bedtime.

If you really need something just before bed, invest in some kefir to improve your gut health. Your head should appreciate it as much as your digestion! Look up Chris Kresser’s article: Heal your gut, heal your brain.





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