Every now and then I’ll wake up overwhelmingly nauseated, sweating and dizzy, despite having felt perfectly well (and yes, sober) at bed time.
A piece of toast and water will usually ease my stomach and allow me to get back to my day, but some mornings my vomit reflex is off the charts and that queasy feeling will hang around for hours. One time, I even threw up during my commute to work. Fun times.
Typically we associate the idea of “morning sickness” with pregnancy — though any mother will tell you it’s not strictly limited to the a.m. hours — but I’ve never been pregnant, so the catalyst hasn’t been quite so obvious.
According to Dr Piraveen Pirakalathanan, Principal Medical Officer at new Australian health information website Health&, these symptoms are quite common and can affect both men and women.
"Sickness in the morning, which can be in the form of feeling nauseous, vomiting or feeling light-headed, can affect people infrequently or it can be sometimes present every morning," he explains, adding there's an important distinction between this and pregnancy-induced nausea.
There are a number of possible causes for these early-morning symptoms, and the good news is they're generally not too serious. Here are five of the most common causes and how you can manage them:
1. Indigestion/acid reflux
"This is where stomach acid or partially-digested food can travel back up the oesophagus, which is also known as the food pipe," Dr Pirakalathanan says.
If you think you might experience indigestion, book an appointment with your doctor — they can look into acid-reducing medications to relieve your symptoms.
"Sometimes people take medications in the morning, especially on an empty stomach, and this can cause the stomach to become irritated and can present as nausea," Dr Pirakalathanan says.
You might be able to offset this by taking the medication at another time of the day or with food — your doctor or pharmacist will be able to advise you as to whether this is possible, so consult with them first. (Post continues after gallery.)