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Let’s face it: Farting is a natural part of life. Our guts were designed to do it! You may find yourself passing more gas during the day if you ate something particularly fibrous (looking at you, beans) or if you’ve had too many sparkling waters to count. But what if your gut’s “farty party” doesn’t really start until you curl into bed at the end of the day? Beyond it being annoying, smelly, loud farts can keep you (and possibly your partner, sorry) from drifting off to sleep. If you’re always asking yourself, “why am I so gassy at night?” this one’s for you.

Truth is, it’s pretty normal to have some gas after you eat, says Supriya Rao, MD, a gastroenterologist at Tufts Medicine in Boston, Massachusetts. And farting more at night—after you’ve likely had your biggest meal of the day—isn’t usually cause for concern.

Still, it would be nice hit the hay without a bubble gut. Here, we’ll take a closer look at what causes nighttime farts, how to prevent them, and when it’s time to see a professional about your farts and gut health.

9 possible reasons why you’re so gassy at night

Here are some top causes of farts at night, from mild lifestyle things to potential underlying conditions.

1. You’re just digesting food (no biggie)

“Some gas and bloating is a natural and normal part of the digestive process,” says Dr. Rao. As the bacteria in your gut break down your food, they produce gases like hydrogen, carbon dioxide, and methane that take up extra space in your GI tract (causing some bloating) and eventually need to be released—via farting or burping, per the Cleveland Clinic.

2. You ate a meal high in fiber or FODMAPs

Certain foods are more gas-producing than others—especially if you’re eating large amounts of them at dinner. Dr. Rao notes this can lead to bloating. These foods are often higher in fiber or contain FODMAPs (i.e., certain carbohydrates that are difficult for the GI tract to break down). According to the Mayo Clinic and Johns Hopkins Medicine, these might include the following:

  • Beans and lentils
  • Some vegetables, especially cabbage, Brussels sprouts, broccoli, cauliflower, bok choy, onions, garlic, artichokes, and asparagus
  • Wheat-based foods like bread or pasta
  • Some fruits, especially apples, cherries, pears, and peaches
  • Lactose-containing dairy products like milk, yogurt, ice cream, and cheese
  • Sorbitol, a sugar alcohol commonly found in gum or sugar-free foods
  • Carbonated drinks

3. You ate a rich or fatty meal

Meals high in fat (like pizza or a burger and fries) can make you bloated and gassy, too. That’s because fat takes longer to digest than carbs or protein, according to Merck Manuals. “So when the food is sitting in your stomach for a long time, that can interact with the bacteria in your gut and cause increased gas development,” Dr. Rao explains.

4. You just ate a lot

Eating large portions of food at once can also increase gas production. Besides just taking up more space in your stomach (making you feel extra full), more food takes longer to digest, which sets the stage for more gassiness. This is especially true “if dinner is your largest meal if the day,” says Dr. Rao. There’s a good chance it’ll give you more gas compared to your smaller breakfast or lunch, she adds.

5. You’re constipated

Just like how food sitting in your GI tract for longer can give you more gas, so too can stool that’s been sitting around in your colon. If you haven’t pooped all day, that buildup can start to make you feel gassy and uncomfortable by the evening, Dr. Rao points out. Other constipation symptoms include abdominal pain, straining when you poop, and bloating, per the Mayo Clinic.

6. You’re not moving enough after dinner

Plopping on the couch after you eat feels so good…but it’s not the best for your gut. If you want to help your body digest dinner at a quicker rate, and avoid farting in bed, getting in some movement can help, notes Dr. Rao. It also helps move poop, too, which can ease constipation and potentially reduce gas, per Harvard Health Publishing.

Some suggestions? Go for a “fart walk” around your neighborhood after dinner (thanks, TikTok, for this new trend!), or do some light yoga or stretching to encourage that gas to move.

7. You have a food intolerance

Again, it’s pretty normal to have some gas after eating certain foods. But if you notice that some menu items are causing gas or bloating that’s actually painful, giving you diarrhea, or causing you to make changes to your usual nighttime routine, you could have a food intolerance.

The most common food intolerances include the following, per the Cleveland Clinic:

  • Lactose (a sugar in dairy like milk or ice cream)
  • Gluten (a protein in wheat, barley, or rye)
  • Histamine (a naturally occurring chemical found in foods like cheese, pineapples, bananas, avocados, and chocolate)

Keeping a food journal can help you track your symptoms to determine if you’re sensitive to a particular food or ingredient.

8. You started a new medication

Certain meds are known for causing constipation, which can make you gassier. (Nice, right?) According to Harvard Health Publishing, common culprits include the following:

  • Antidepressants, especially SSRIs
  • Opioids like oxycodone and hydrocodone
  • Calcium channel blockers
  • Antihistamines like diphenhydramine

This side effect typically goes away over time, but if your medication is causing worsening stomach issues, let your doctor know.

9. You have an underlying health condition

Lots of GI conditions can cause symptoms like bloating, cramping, and gas. (Though the symptoms can hit anytime, not necessarily just at night.) Per the Mayo Clinic, these can be things like:

  • Celiac disease
  • Functional dyspepsia
  • Gastroesophageal reflux disease (GERD)
  • Gastroparesis
  • Intestinal blockage
  • Irritable bowel syndrome (IBS)
  • Lactose intolerance
  • Pancreatic insufficiency
  • In rare cases, certain cancers, including colon cancer and ovarian cancer

How to reduce gas and bloating at night

When the “wind” starts coming nonstop, you’ve got some gas relief options to get the situation under control.

Take a walk after dinner

A 15- or 20-minute stroll after eating is Dr. Rao’s go-to for dealing with post-dinner gas, because it helps encourage digestion. “The more active you are, the less bloating you’ll feel,” she says.

Natural remedies

Natural gas relief is also an option. One of the best go-tos? Ginger tea, which you can make by steeping a few slices of fresh ginger in hot water. It’s got gingerol—a compound that’s shown to reduce gas buildup by encouraging your GI muscles to relax, according to January 2019 research in Food Science & Nutrition.

Peppermint works, too, for similar reasons, per a January 2019 meta-analysis in BMC Complementary Medicine and Therapies. You can sip mint tea, or try a peppermint oil capsule like NOW FOODS Peppermint Gels.

Over-the-counter gas relief medication

If you’re wondering how to relieve gas pain, turning to an over-the-counter (OTC) medication can help—especially when all else fails and you need fast relief. Try an OTC anti-gas med like simethicone (Gas-X) or TUMS, recommends the Mayo Clinic. Both help by breaking up air bubbles in your GI tract, which can curb bloating and gas.

Preventing nighttime gas and bloating

Next time you want to nix the post-dinner gas fest, Dr. Rao recommends trying these tactics:

  • Eat smaller portions: Less food in your stomach means it’ll get digested faster, so you’ll be less gassy.
  • Eat slowly: We tend to swallow more air when we eat fast, which can cause more gas and bloating.
  • Get enough fiber, but spread it out: Fiber helps keep you regular so you don’t end up constipated. Just try to eat a little bit at each meal instead of going all-out at dinner. Having a ton of high-fiber foods at once is a recipe for gas.
  • Drink enough water: Staying hydrated also helps stave off constipation.
  • Avoid or limit foods that make you gassy: If you notice that beef and broccoli stir-fry or cheesy pasta dish always sets you off, consider steering clear or eating less (and replacing with more gut-friendly foods, of course).

When to see a doctor

Having some gas at night can be pretty normal, especially if you eat a big meal, hang out on the couch, and hop into bed afterwards. But if being super gassy at night is a regular thing for you, causes you pain, or comes with other GI symptoms (like changes in bowel habits), you should let your doctor know, Dr. Rao recommends. Together, you can take a broader look at your gas and health, and decide if it’s worth getting evaluated for underlying GI problems.

FAQ

How do I get rid of gas ASAP?

Taking a walk works pretty well to get rid of trapped gas, Dr. Rao says. One 2021 study in Gastroenterology and Hepatology from Bed to Bench found that walking for 10 to 15 minutes eased symptoms like gas, bloating, and discomfort about as well as gas-relieving meds.

What position helps you release gas?

The best position to release gas and stomach pain at night is laying on your left side with your knees tucked up towards your chest. “Laying on that side tends to put your organs in such a way that it takes a lot of strain off of the gut, which allows the gut muscles to relax,” and release trapped gas, Dr. Rao says.

Why is my gas so smelly?

Chances are it was something you ate. Certain foods can definitely make your farts smell worse, per the Cleveland Clinic. The most common culprits include beans, cruciferous vegetables, eggs, garlic, grains, nuts, meat, alcohol, dairy (if you have trouble with lactose), sugar alcohols, and spicy foods.

What to eat at night to avoid gas?

It’s more about what not to eat, TBH. Paying attention to your portion size and limiting your intake of fatty foods at night will support speedier digestion, which can add up to less gas.

Why am I so gassy lately as a female?

Hormone fluctuations are the most common reason why this happens. Changes in the hormones estrogen and progesterone in the days leading up to your period can cause an uptick in GI symptoms like bloating, gas, and even diarrhea, per a January 2014 study in BMC Women’s Health.