Why You Have Morning Gas and Fart in Your Sleep

Table of Contents
View All
Table of Contents

If it seems like you have a lot of gas in the morning, or you've been told that you fart in your sleep, there are a few reasons this could be happening. Changes in your anal sphincter are why you may fart so much at night or first thing in the morning. This ring of muscle keeps the anus shut. However, it is more relaxed during sleep and will spontaneously relax as you awaken, which makes it easier for gas to escape.

Other factors like older age, diet, obesity, gastrointestinal problems, rectal injury, medications, and even the position of your body in bed can also contribute to night farts and morning gas.

This article will help you understand why you pass gas so much in the morning or overnight. It also offers tips and advice on how to reduce morning and nighttime flatulence.

Causes of Morning Gas

Basically, the causes of morning gas are the same as they are for all farts, also known as flatus. Gas enters into your digestive tract as you swallow air while eating, or as acids and bacteria in the digestive system break down the food and drink you've consumed.

Throughout the night, the healthy bacteria that work in the gut to digest food continue to do so. The process of creating gas continues as you sleep, so you may wake up with morning gas often.

Further, when you eat food, it stimulates the digestive system muscle activity that's suppressed when you sleep. Getting up in the morning and starting your day may spur a bout of morning farts, especially if it's experienced with a routine daily bowel movement in the morning, too.

In some cases, medical conditions may contribute to how much gas your digestive system produces. These conditions include:

Morning Gas and Inability to Belch

In 2019, researchers described a digestive syndrome called retrograde cricopharyngeus dysfunction (R-CPD) in which people are unable to belch, causing excess morning gas. Botulinum toxin (Botox) injections in muscles of the throat have proven effective in relieving R-CPD symptoms.

Medications That Cause Gas

Medications and vitamin supplements can cause gas, too. Some of the more commonly used over-the-counter products include:

Facts About Gas and Farting

The average person produces between 0.6 and 1.8 liters of gas per day. It leaves the body either as a burp or fart, The average person farts 25 times a day.

Why You Fart When You Sleep

It may seem like you have more morning gas, but experts suggest that's not always true. You're less likely to swallow air while sleeping, but may actually be more likely to fart than you are while awake.

This may have to do with the body's metabolic state while sleeping, although it remains poorly understood. It's also likely related to the way your anal sphincter works, its level of relaxation, and the pressures found inside your rectum that help you to expel gas and feces (poop).

Sometimes, the anal and rectal pressures associated with farting and passing feces are assessed with an anorectal manometer test, often used when treating bowel movement difficulties in children.

The sphincter controls your ability to pass gas, which relies on specific reflexes and messages from the nervous system. One, called the coloanal reflex, is at work when you fart because it allows for both the internal and external anal sphincter to relax in response to pressure waves in the rectum.

Another, called the rectoanal inhibitory reflex (RAIR), allows the internal sphincter to relax but not the external sphincter. This helps with control over gas and bowel movements.

People don't typically lose bowel control when sleeping unless there's an underlying medical reason, but the gas itself may pass. On the other hand, sleep inhibits muscle activity that's involved in these responses, so some people may find they have far more morning gas when they wake up.

Preventing Morning and Nighttime Flatulence

If you're looking to prevent morning gas, consider a few lifestyle changes first. You may want to avoid some of the ways you ingest air into your digestive system. These behaviors include:

  • Smoking
  • Eating or drinking too quickly
  • Chewing gum
  • Drinking carbonated beverages
  • Wearing dentures that are a poor fit

Foods that you may wish to avoid include more than beans. Other foods that lead to gas are:

  • Milk and dairy products
  • Wheat and bran
  • Broccoli, cabbage, and cauliflower
  • Some fruits, including apples and peaches

Exercise also can help to establish healthier bowel habits and less frequent gas.

Over-the-counter medications, including products with simethicone to relieve gas, also may help.


It's quite common to need to fart in the morning, and the causes are typically common too. The digestive process itself generates gas, along with the air that you swallow in the course of a day.

In most cases, morning gas is a function of the way the body's digestive tract works. While you can still fart in your sleep, the act of waking up, starting your day, and your normal bowel routine all may contribute to your morning gas.

Morning gas may be reduced with lifestyle and diet changes. You also may want to avoid habits that contribute to the amount of air you swallow, like smoking, or try over-the-counter gas relief products.

A Word From Verywell

Morning gas is common, and so is farting at any time of day. If you are concerned that your gas is excessive, or you have gas in a pattern with other symptoms, contact your healthcare provider to learn more about what's causing it.

8 Sources
Verywell Health uses only high-quality sources, including peer-reviewed studies, to support the facts within our articles. Read our editorial process to learn more about how we fact-check and keep our content accurate, reliable, and trustworthy.
  1. National Institute of Diabetes and Digestive and Kidney Diseases. Symptoms & causes of gas in the digestive tract.

  2. Nocera F, Angehrn F, von Flüe M, Steinemann DC. Optimising functional outcomes in rectal cancer surgery. Langenbecks Arch Surg. 2021 Mar;406(2):233-250. doi:10.1007/s00423-020-01937-5.

  3. Hoesli RC, Wingo ML, Bastian RW. The long-term efficacy of botulinum toxin injection to treat retrograde cricopharyngeus dysfunction. OTO Open. 2020 Jun 29;4(2):2473974X20938342. doi:10.1177/2473974X20938342. 

  4. Penn Medicine Lancaster. Medicines or vitamins that can cause gas, bloating, or burping.

  5. Gastrointestinal Society. Intestinal gas.

  6. Shukla C, Basheer R. Metabolic signals in sleep regulation: recent insightsNat Sci Sleep. 2016;8:9–20. doi:10.2147/NSS.S62365

  7. Carrington EV, Brokjaer A, Craven H, Zarate N, Horrocks EJ, Palit S, et al. Traditional measures of normal anal sphincter function using high-resolution anorectal manometry (HRAM) in 115 healthy volunteers. Neurogastroenterol Motil. 2014 May;26(5):625-35. doi:10.1111/nmo.12307.

  8. Huizinga JD, Liu L, Barbier A, Chen JH. Distal Colon Motor Coordination: The Role of the Coloanal Reflex and the Rectoanal Inhibitory Reflex in Sampling, Flatulence, and Defecation. Front Med (Lausanne). 2021 Sep 6;8:720558. doi:10.3389/fmed.2021.

By Brandon Peters, MD
Brandon Peters, MD, is a board-certified neurologist and sleep medicine specialist.