Better to sit up or lie down stomach ache

Your stomach may be cramping or you may be feeling uncomfortably full.

This is something you may normally experience at the end of a long or busy day, or after eating.

Your stomach may also be feeling a little tender or swollen.

Restless leg syndrome

This is a neurological condition that causes the urge to move your legs.

It can feel like tingling, itching, or aching.

In some people, the urge to move their legs can get so bad they find it difficult to go about their day.

It can be triggered by:

  • Aching, tired, or sore muscles
  • Stress
  • Anxiety or depression
  • A cold or flu
  • Caffeine
  • Alcohol

Your feelings of restlessness may also increase during the night.

It’s easy to confuse this with the symptoms of restless leg syndrome, so be sure to tell your doctor if you have the latter.

Other sleep-related problems

There are several other sleep-related conditions that can occur alongside other sleep disorders, including:

  • Sleep apnea
  • Restless leg syndrome
  • Restless leg syndrome with anxiety

It’s important to be aware of these conditions so you can treat them early.

What causes your stomach to be upset and uncomfortable?

There are a number of different causes for stomach upset.

Hormonal changes

Hormonal changes may be responsible for your stomach feeling uncomfortable.

For example, the end of your menstrual cycle is when your period is due.

After a period, you may also have a drop in your natural hormones. This may cause bloating and cramping.

Some people may also develop hormone-related sleep problems.

Diagnosing the cause

If your doctor suspects you may have a stomach upset, they may refer you to a gastroenterologist.

They will perform tests to check your intestinal lining. They may also take a small sample of your stool to check for parasites or infections.

They may also take a sample of your blood to check for a hormone imbalance.

If your doctor suspects you may be experiencing any other stomach-related symptoms, they may refer you to a specialist to diagnose that as well.

Treatment options

There are a number of different treatments for stomach upset.

It’s important to talk to your doctor to find the right treatment for you.

They may recommend:

  • Taking simple over-the-counter (OTC) pain relief, such as ibuprofen (Advil, Motrin) or acetaminophen (Tylenol)
  • Eating more regularly
  • Taking a stool softener
  • Taking an antispasmodic (pain reliever)

Your doctor may also suggest a combination of treatments.

These may include:

  • Taking anti-diarrheal drugs, such as loperamide (Imodium)
  • Taking anticholinergic medications, such as ipratropium (Atrovent)
  • Taking antispasmodic medications, such as dicyclomine (Bentyl)
  • Taking an antispasmodic and anti-diarrheal medication, such as dicyclomine and bismuth subsalicylate (Pepto-Bismol)
  • Taking antidepressants, such as citalopram (Celexa) or fluoxetine (Prozac)

If your stomach upset is chronic, your doctor may recommend that you take a probiotic or antibiotics.

How to prevent stomach upset?

If you’re experiencing stomach upset, there are a few steps you can take to try to prevent it.

For some people, eating a healthy diet can help prevent stomach upset.

Eating a balanced diet with plenty of fruits and vegetables can improve your overall gut health.

It’s thought that healthy gut bacteria may help prevent some stomach issues, including:

  • Irritable bowel syndrome
  • Ulcerative colitis
  • Crohn’s disease

Eating a gluten-free diet may also help prevent some stomach issues.

Talk to your doctor

If you’re experiencing symptoms of stomach upset, talk to your doctor.

They can help you find the right treatment for you.

You can also read more about managing your stomach upset by watching:

3 steps to managing a stomach upset

What’s the best way to manage a stomach upset?

There are a few steps you can take to try to manage your stomach upset.

These include:

  • Taking OTC pain relievers, such as ibuprofen or acetaminophen
  • Eating a balanced diet
  • Getting enough sleep and rest
  • Taking an antispasmodic
  • Taking anti-diarrheal medications, such as loperamide
  • Taking an anticholinergic medication, such as ipratropium
  • Taking antidepressants, such as citalopram, fluoxetine, or sertraline
  • Taking a probiotic or antibiotic

You might also consider trying to:

  • Manage your stress and anxiety
  • Reduce your caffeine intake
  • Manage any other sleep-related issues
  • Reduce alcohol intake
  • Relax your body
  • Practice yoga
  • Exercise regularly
  • Get enough vitamin D
  • Drink green tea
  • Avoid spicy, fatty, or high-salt foods
  • Drink more water

What are the symptoms of a stomach upset?

The symptoms of a stomach upset can vary. Some people may experience one or more of the following:

  • Diarrhea
  • Pain in your stomach
  • Vomiting

Some people may develop a fever, too.

If you’re experiencing any of these symptoms, it’s important to go to the doctor for a proper diagnosis.

The doctor may refer you to a gastroenterologist, who can help you find the cause of your stomach upset.

You may also be referred to a sleep specialist, if you’re experiencing any other sleep-related issues.

If you experience any of the following symptoms, it’s important to seek immediate medical attention:

  • Foul-smelling stool
  • Persistent vomiting
  • Diarrhea with blood
  • Fever

How is a stomach upset treated?

If there’s any chance of a stomach upset, you should take steps to try to prevent it.

This may include:

  • Drinking plenty of water
  • Eating more fruits and vegetables
  • Eating a gluten-free diet
  • Taking a probiotic
  • Taking an antidiarrheal medication, such as loperamide
  • Taking an antidepressant

It’s also important to treat any other underlying symptoms.

You may need to reduce your caffeine and alcohol intake.

You may also need to take a probiotic or antibiotics.

If you have any underlying conditions, you may need to treat them.

You may also need to treat any other sleep-related issues, such as insomnia.


If you’re experiencing stomach upset, it’s important to see your doctor.

It’s easy to mistake the symptoms of stomach upset with those of other conditions.

Be sure to tell your doctor about any symptoms you’re experiencing, and describe any new or worsening symptoms.

If you think you may be experiencing stomach upset, be sure to see your doctor. They’ll be able to give you a diagnosis and prescribe the best treatment for you

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