Waking up to poop is not a good sign, here's what it could say about your health

If you're being woken up from your sleep due to poop emergencies, it could be an indication that all's not well with your gut health.

waking up to poop in the middle of the night
© Ake Ngiamsanguan
waking up to poop in the middle of the night

Getting a good night's sleep is vital for good health. If you're being woken up regularly before your alarm goes off, for reasons such as digestive discomfort or even because you need to poop, it might just be your body trying to communicate something important about your gut health.

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Yes, things such as how many times you poop a day, and at which timings, are crucial indicators of your gut health. As per Health, if you've been having disturbed sleep where you need to wake up to poop, these are the likely reasons why your body is reacting that way.

Sleep deprivation could cause irritable bowel

Yes, poor sleep might itself be responsible for the bathroom emergencies that is making you experience insufficient sleep! As per Health, sleep deprivation increases inflammation in the body. If inflammation becomes chronic, your body is more prone to having autoimmune diseases like inflammatory bowel disease (IBD) and irritable bowel syndrome (IBS).

Studies have shown that nearly 75% of people with inflammatory bowel disease have bad sleep which leads to more inflammation, and thus, becomes a vicious cycle.

In some cases, waking up to poop could be a sign of a bacterial or viral infection Elly Johnson

The medications you've been taking can impact your poop

As per scientists, if you are woken up from sleeping with the feeling of having to go to the toilet to poop, it could mean that something has disturbed your gut microbiome.

Gut microbiome or gut flora, are the microorganisms, including bacteria, archaea, fungi, and viruses, that live in your digestive tract. This needs to be in balance so that the 'good' and the 'bad' microbes both stay in harmony.

Medications that could negatively affect your gut microbiome include chemotherapy drugs and non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs) like Advil (ibuprofen). These could lead to diarrhoea.

Your eating habits might be to blame

Of course, the foods you eat will have a huge impact on your stool. Some of your dietary choices could also lead to you having to wake up in the middle of the night to rush to the toilet.

As per Health, the food and drinks that could lead to a disturbed bowel are:

  • Alcohol
  • Caffeine
  • Candy and gum made with certain sweeteners (e.g., maltitol, mannitol, sorbitol, and xylitol)
  • Dairy products (e.g., cheese, ice cream, and milk)
  • Fatty, greasy foods
  • Fructose
  • Some food additives (e.g., emulsifiers)
  • Some fruits (e.g., apples, peaches, and pears)
  • Spicy foods

One of the main reason why many people have to go to the toilet soon after getting up in the morning, is due to their morning cup of coffee! In general, it is a good idea to be mindful of your own eating habits, and notice when any poop emergency follows the consumption of certain foods. It's a great way to assess what food and drinks you should be avoiding.

Toilet emergencies could be caused by infections

In some cases, waking up to poop could be a sign of a bacterial or viral infection. For example, viral gastroenteritis, commonly known as the 'stomach flu,' causes diarrhoea in many cases, along with stomach cramps and fever.

Bacterial gastroenteritis or food poisoning is also another likely culprit if you're having to get out of bed to poop.

In such cases, be sure to keep yourself hydrated, as there is a huge chance that your body is getting rid of water too fast, leaving you dehydrated, which could be a major health hazard.

Read more:

Here’s why you shouldn’t wipe more than three times after pooping

Dog poops in woman’s mouth resulting in her hospitalisation for three days

Freezing your poop could save your life, researchers claims

Sources used:

Health: 'Why Are You Waking Up To Poop?'

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