What It Means When You Wake Up Bloated

It can be hard to roll out of bed on a Monday morning to get back into your daily grind. To make it worse, you have morning bloat. Your stomach feels uncomfortable, your clothing is tight, and you might even be a bit gassy.

According to a 2020 Clinical Gastroenterology and Hepatology study, morning bloat is a common complaint. Occasional morning bloat occurs due to your menstrual period or what you ate the night before. Chronic bloating might be something that requires a trip to your local health specialist since it could be due to medication or a condition with the gut. Preventing the bloat will depend on the specific factors that are causing it.

Let us calm your worries by explaining what it means when you wake up bloated. We'll also share some tips and tricks to help you avoid morning bloating to get a fresh start on your day. Today is a new day, after all!

Something you ate or drank can cause morning bloat

Rolling out of bed feeling bloated is never fun, especially when you have things to do and outfits to wear. Occasional morning bloat isn't anything to worry about, and it's often due to the food and drinks you consumed the night before, mainly if you ate or drank them before you went to bed. 

According to Mayo Clinic, foods with a lot of fiber — like kidney beans, spinach, and quinoa — or fat increase bloating. Certain foods, like cabbage and beans, are also known to make you gassier after eating them. 

It could also be due to the way that you eat. Those that swallow a lot of air while chewing and drinking have more air in their gut. Drinking alcohol and carbonated beverages can also give you a bloated stomach. 

Watch out for your salt intake when dealing with morning bloat. According to a 2017 The Journal of Clinical Investigation study, salt makes your body retain water. They also found that the more salt you consume, the less water you take in. This can lead to dehydration, making you constipated and bloated (via Northwestern Medicine). 

To beat the morning bloat, it's essential to avoid big meals or eating specific foods before bed and to get lots of hydration. You'll also want to watch your salt intake. You can additionally try to avoid drinking through straws or gulping your food so you aren't swallowing air.

Menstruation can cause morning bloat

For those who menstruate, noticing morning bloat might also mean that you want to check your calendar. The bloat you feel could be a sign that your period is coming within the next week or so. Medical News Today explains that period bloating is one of the premenstrual syndrome (PMS) symptoms an individual can get a week to two weeks before their period. In addition to morning bloating, other period symptoms you might have include cramps, acne, cravings, fatigue, and backaches.

The bloating typically comes from how your hormones shift before your period, which causes you to retain more water and salt. An Obstetrics and Gynecology International study also found that women retain the most water on the first day of their period. So you might notice that the bloating you experience gets worse before the first day of your period and then better once your period begins.

Managing period bloating can be challenging, but there are a few ways to give it minimal impact on your life, according to Healthline. Since your body is set on retaining salt, limit the salt you consume and drink lots of water to help flush out your system. It's also helpful to avoid things that can make you more bloated, like certain foods and alcohol. Stretching and exercise are also essential to limit the impact menstrual bloating has on your day.

Medications can cause you to feel bloated in the morning

Morning bloating that worsens throughout the morning might be due to the medication you take since several medications can lead to stomach irritation, gassiness, and bloating. New York-Presbyterian Hospital states that particular prescription drugs like opioid pain medications can make you feel bloated. But morning bloat can come from non-prescription meds, like fiber supplements, vitamins, aspirin, and antacids.

When you think that your meds might be causing you to bloat, it's beneficial to talk with your doctor or pharmacist to find ways to control your morning bloating. It might mean that you need to take your medications at different times, take them with food, or switch them to one that doesn't make you feel gassy.

Gastrointestinal diseases can cause daily morning bloat

If you only have occasional morning bloating, then look at what you're eating or check if your time of the month is coming. It's annoying but not typically anything that you need to fret over. However, if you're experiencing bloating every day, it's time to visit your healthcare specialist to find out if something more serious is happening within your gut. Several gastrointestinal diseases can lead to morning bloating, like a peptic ulcer, constipation, Crohn's disease, or colon cancer.

One of the most common causes of morning bloat is irritable bowel syndrome (IBS). Cleveland Clinic says that IBS is a gastrointestinal disorder that leads to excessive gas and bloating. Specific triggers like foods high in fat and certain medications can worsen the symptoms. IBS can be managed by changing your diet to include more fiber, drinking the recommended amount of water, and trying smaller meals. You'll also want to avoid caffeine and alcohol.

Celiac disease is another common gastrointestinal disease that can lead to morning bloating. It's an autoimmune disorder that leads to gut damage (via Celiac Disease Foundation). The pain, gas, bloating, and gastrointestinal distress are caused by eating gluten since it causes the body to attack the villi in the intestine. Treatment for this type of morning bloat means cutting all gluten out of your life by eating only gluten-free foods.

Waking up in the morning to a bloated stomach isn't the best way to start your day. You can try a few self-help tips for managing your morning bloat; but if they aren't helping, make a call to your healthcare provider to see if you need an adjustment in your medications or if there is something more serious going on. Several options are available to help you beat the bloat and get on with your day.