Can No Sleep Cause Stomach Pain And Other Problems?

can no sleep cause stomach pain
can no sleep cause stomach pain

When you think of lack of sleep, you probably immediately associate the problem with symptoms such as stomach problems, fatigue, irritability, or headaches. These are common side effects, but few people seem to be aware of the relationship between sleep and the digestive system. And how these two different bodily functions can interact. So today we’ll see can no sleep cause stomach pain? And explore what happens to your stomach while you sleep, and how poor sleep can in turn affect your gastrointestinal health.

Table of Contents

What happens to your digestive system while you sleep?

One of the reasons sleep is considered so important is because it allows your body time to rest and repair; it gives your brain the time it needs to consolidate new memories, increases blood flow to your muscles, and even gives the new tissue time to grow. Your digestive system is one of the many systems in your body that benefit from this process in several ways.


Throughout the day, your body will call for glucose that powers your muscles, joints, nervous system, and healthy digestion. It means that your digestive system will be working to break down your food to meet this demand. But when you sleep your need for glucose is greatly reduced. As a result, both your metabolism and your digestive system will gradually slow down.


Provides energy for your digestive system to function; Sleep gives you a chance to replenish your energy levels, which is essential for your digestive system to function properly. Without an adequate supply of energy, your digestive system won’t be able to break down your food as efficiently, leading to a whole host of unpleasant symptoms.

Read Also: Can A Stomach Ulcer Cause Blood In Urine?

Can no sleep cause stomach pain?

Lack of sleep is linked to several symptoms, some of which can have serious consequences for your digestive system. For instance, patients with IBD, an inflammatory bowel disease, sometimes experience flare-ups after experiencing poor sleep. And several possible symptoms could be to blame.

Lack of sleep makes you more vulnerable to inflammation:

Digestive disorders such as IBD and IBS, and irritable bowel syndrome are also known as inflammatory disorders. For example, IBD refers to a collection of digestive conditions. Such as Crohn’s disease, and is thought to be closely related to inflammation. Some forms of IBD are often caused by a problem with the immune system, where immune cells begin to attack the intestinal tissue and cause widespread inflammation. Unfortunately, no sleep can make this problem worse. No sleep can also cause stomach pain.

Lack of sleep causes cravings for more sugary foods:

Ever find yourself craving more sugary, carb-rich snacks after a bad night’s sleep? There’s a good reason for these newfound hunger pangs. First, because sleep is so essential to healthy energy levels, your body will be crying out for more food to help give you the fuel you need. Second, your levels of ghrelin, the hunger hormone, will increase after a poor night’s sleep, while your levels of leptin, an appetite suppressant, will decrease. This can result in overeating unhealthy snacks, which will affect your digestive system. Therefore, no sleep can cause stomach pain. Refined, processed carbohydrates are harder for your digestive system to break down, which can cause symptoms like constipation. Sugar is also another substance to watch out for, as it can feed unfriendly bacteria in your gut, resulting in widespread symptoms like bloating and diarrhea.

Sleep deprivation makes you more prone to stress:

Sleep deprivation can affect your mood and there is no doubt that it can make you more vulnerable to stress. Unfortunately, stress is the enemy of your digestive system, often making conditions like IBS and leaky gut worse. This is mainly because your body has no sense of moderation. It can’t tell the difference between worrying about a work presentation and facing an angry tiger. Your fight-or-flight instincts kick in. Prompting your body to redirect nutrients to organs like your heart, lungs, and muscles while shutting down other bodily functions.

Your digestive system is one of those function; digesting food isn’t a priority if you’re going to fight for your life. Which can lead to a bout of constipation or diarrhea. As waste products and undigested food sitting in your digestive tract, this can cause hostile bacteria to multiply and stimulate inflammation. That is why we say no sleep causes stomach pain.

Sleep deprivation affects neurochemicals like serotonin and melatonin:

Your sleep-wake cycle is supported by a delicate balance of cortisol, the stress hormone, and melatonin, the sleep hormone. Ideally, your melatonin levels should increase in the evening. While cortisol should begin to peak in the morning, allowing you to wake up feeling refreshed. However, lack of sleep can affect this balance, which can be problematic for your gut health. Serotonin, an important neurotransmitter, and regulator when it comes to your sleep-wake cycle is primarily found in the gut. And we also think as to be essential to how your digestive system works, affecting bowel movements and sensitivity to pain.