Sleep Health

Can Sleep Deprivation Cause Nausea? | The Truth Disclosed

June 15, 2023
Shawny Kwon

Does tossing and turning all night, staring at the ceiling, and counting sheep until you lose count sound familiar? We’ve all been there, struggling to get our much-needed Z’s.  While you may be able to power through a day on minimal sleep, the consequences of skimping on shut-eye go far beyond just feeling a little sluggish.

From decreased focus and grumpy moods to impaired decision-making and brain fog, lack of sleep can truly wreak havoc on our daily lives. And if that weren’t enough to convince you to prioritize some quality snooze time, research suggests that chronic sleep deprivation can contribute to a whole host of health concerns.

But can sleep deprivation cause nausea? Nausea is a pesky feeling that can linger throughout the day, making even the simplest of tasks feel daunting. Individuals who don’t get enough rest may find themselves battling nausea as well as other uncomfortable symptoms like gas, stomach pain, and diarrhea. 

Dig deeper to uncover the mysteries behind a lack of sleep. From identifying causes to understanding how it affects our central nervous system, explore everything you need to know about one of humanity's age-old woes: Sleep deprivation!

What is Sleep Deprivation?

As you sit there typing away, you can’t help but yawn. Why? Because you know that you didn't get enough sleep last night. Sleep deprivation is a tricky thing - it can sneak up on you and make you feel lifeless, or it can be a chronic issue that plagues you for weeks on end. 

Maybe you’re a new parent, a shift worker, or someone dealing with anxiety. Perhaps you're a student cramming for exams, or you work in a high-pressure job that demands long hours. Whatever the reason, not getting enough sleep can take a serious toll on your body and your mind. 

Everyone, regardless of age, needs good sleep to keep their energy levels up and remain productive. It can be difficult at times, but it is essential in order to thrive. From infants to seniors, here is the average amount of shut-eye needed for a healthy lifestyle:

Age Group

Average Sleep Required

Newborns (up to 3 months old) = 14-17 hours

Infants (4-12 months old) = 12-16 hours

Young children (1-5 years old) = 10-14 hours

School-aged children (6-12 years old) = 9-12 hours

Teenagers (13-18 years old) = 8-10 hours

Adults (18 years and up) = 7-9 hours

How Common is Sleep Deprivation?

As the world rushes to meet deadlines and tick to-do lists, one fundamental activity often falls to the wayside- sleep. We've all pulled all-nighters and felt the effects of not getting enough Z's.

However, for a significant portion of the American population, sleep deprivation is not just an occasional inconvenience but a chronic issue that negatively impacts their health and well-being.

With an estimated 50 to 70 million adults in the U.S. experiencing sleep deprivation at some point, it's a staggering reality that deserves attention. Getting adequate rest is crucial for our physical and mental health, regardless of the cause of sleep deprivation. 

What Causes Sleep Deprivation?

Being deprived of sleep can have a devastating effect on our physical and mental health, yet it remains an increasingly pervasive problem. A variety of factors contribute to the issue, such as:

  • Work rotations
  • Consuming alcohol
  • Using stimulants such as coffee
  • Poor sleeping patterns
  • Severe anxiety or stress
  • Traveling and sleeping in a new or unfamiliar environment, such as a hotel room
  • Degenerative brain conditions like Parkinson's disease or Alzheimer's disease
  • Traumatic brain injury and concussion
  • Bacterial infections and short-term medical conditions

What Are The Symptoms Of Sleep Deprivation?

If left unchecked, a lack of sleep can gradually wreak havoc on the body. The symptoms start off as irritability and grogginess but soon escalate to more severe effects like impaired motor coordination - similar to that experienced by someone who’s had too much alcohol! Those in desperate need of rest may find themselves facing severely disorienting symptoms such as: 

  • Drowsiness throughout the day
  • Weakness
  • Irritability
  • Trouble concentrating and processing
  • Unsteady performance
  • Headaches
  • Microsleeps
  • Abnormal eye motions
  • Struggle speaking
  • Sagging eyelids
  • Shaky hands
  • Physical and mental hallucinations
  • Judgmental hindrance
  • Aggressive behavior

How Can Sleep Deprivation Cause Nausea?

Sleep might seem like a simple bodily function, but the more we learn about it, the more complex and fascinating it becomes. The human body is like a well-oiled machine, but sometimes even the best machines break down.

Unsurprisingly, scientists are constantly looking for new connections and insights into sleep patterns and how they impact health. Recently, researchers have been taking a closer look at the link between sleep and nausea. While it's long been recognized that sleep deprivation and disrupted sleep can cause nausea, the exact mechanisms at work remain elusive.

  • However, one of the side effects of insufficient sleep is the immune system going into overdrive, producing an excess of pro-inflammatory cytokines. These proteins set off a domino effect of inflammation that can wreak havoc on our digestive systems and leave us feeling less than our best.
  • Nonetheless, recent research has shown that it may also be linked to stomach and intestine disorders that can cause discomfort and nausea. Various studies have found that individuals who have insufficient sleep have higher rates of these disorders, and for those already diagnosed with a gastrointestinal disorder, sleep deprivation can exacerbate symptoms.

From examining the immune system to investigating gastrointestinal diseases, these scientists are on a mission to unravel the mysteries of nausea and sleep – and who knows what they might discover along the way.

Stages Of Sleep Deprivation

With total sleep deprivation, slumber gets harder to come by. As the hours roll on with no rest - the body moves through four distinct stages:

Stage 1: After being awake for 24 hours, the effects of sleep deprivation start to set in. Your judgment is impaired, and your motor skills are affected as if you had consumed excessive alcohol, making it dangerous to get behind the wheel. 

Stage 2: As sleep deprivation intensifies, the effects become increasingly severe. People start to drift off during conversations and struggle with making decisions or concentrating on tasks - a tell-tale sign that their body is screaming for rest!

Stage 3: As people move through the later stages of sleep deprivation, they may experience vivid hallucinations and become unable to connect with those close to them. The symptoms can be extremely distressing for both the struggling individuals and their loved ones.

Stage 4: When sleep deprivation reaches its peak, the effects can be devastating. This manifests in severe levels of fatigue and difficulty distinguishing between reality and fantasy, resulting in vivid hallucinations that blur the line between both worlds.

Conditions That Can Emerge As A Result Of A Lack Of Sleep

Struggling to get a full night's sleep? You may be putting yourself at greater risk of developing certain conditions or making existing ones worse. These risks consist of:

  • Diabetes type II.
  • Hypertension.
  • Eating disorders.
  • Severe sleep apnea.
  • Vascular dysfunction.
  • Stroke.
  • Cardiac arrest.
  • Mood swings.
  • Stress.
  • Conditions characterized by dementia.

How Long Does It Take to Recover From Sleep Deprivation?

Ever wondered how lack of sleep affects you? The sandman may have eluded you lately, leaving you feeling dizzy and grumpy. But fear not; the road to recovery from sleep deprivation is waiting for you.

The amount of time it takes to fully recover largely depends on the intensity of your sleep deprivation and duration.

For short-term sleep deprivation, just a few restful nights might be all you need to get back on track.

However, long-term sleep deprivation may require a bit more time and effort, and you might need to hit snooze for several nights until you feel your brain start to function at its peak again.

So go ahead and turn off your phone, draw those curtains, and get some much-needed shut-eye.

Is Sleep Deprivation Communicable?

Sleep deprivation is a common problem that affects many people. However, it is essential to note that it is not contagious. You cannot catch sleep deprivation from others or spread it to them. This may relieve those who suffer from sleeplessness, knowing they won’t inadvertently pass it on to their loved ones.

While lack of sleep can have adverse effects on your health and well-being, it is not something to be fearful of in terms of its contagiousness. So, rest easy knowing that your sleep deprivation is your own and not something you need to worry about spreading to others.


It's no secret that life can be stressful. From work deadlines to family responsibilities, it can feel like there's always something weighing on our minds. While it's impossible to eliminate all external stressors completely, research has shown that getting a good night's sleep can play a significant role in overcoming depression. By taking advantage of alone time at night and settling into bed with a relaxed state of mind, we can better equip ourselves to face the challenges of the day ahead.  

Sleep Better with Miracle Night!

Introducing Miracle Night - the revolutionary app that helps you fall asleep faster and enjoy a deep, more restful sleep. With its unique blend of science-backed techniques, technology, and soothing sounds, Miracle Night is designed to help you achieve the ultimate sleep experience that you may be missing from your everyday routine.

It can help you fall asleep up to 18% faster, so you can spend more time in dreamland and wake up feeling refreshed and rejuvenated. However, that’s not all - (app) users have reported that they have been enjoying up to 56% deeper sleep, achieving that more revitalizing and fortifying sleep construction.

So, if you’re tired of all the tossing and turning all night long, and want that desired deeper, restful sleep every night, try the Miracle Night app today. Download the app now and take the first step toward a better night’s sleep.