How to finally stop farting in your sleep

FeaturedHealth & Fitness

Written by:

 

Everyone farts. Although it’s usually harmless, farting can be embarrassing in certain circumstances. And most of us don’t want to be known as the proverbial “fart in church” whose behavior is out of line in, say, a solemn occasion.

 

Whether you call it farting, flatulence, or passing gas, this natural bodily function happens—as many as 13 to 21 times a day—as a result of your digestive system breaking down the food you eat. Most of the time, it’s even normal to fart in your sleep.

______________________

SPONSORED: Find a Qualified Financial Advisor

1. Finding a qualified financial advisor doesn't have to be hard. SmartAsset's free tool matches you with up to 3 fiduciary financial advisors in your area in 5 minutes.

2. Each advisor has been vetted by SmartAsset and is held to a fiduciary standard to act in your best interests. If you're ready to be matched with local advisors that can help you achieve your financial goals get started now.

______________________

 

 

 

 

This article will explain why farting during sleep happens and offer tips to help you avoid farting in your sleep.

Can you fart in your sleep?

Yes, it turns out you can fart in your sleep. As to why this happens, the reason lies in the anal sphincter. The circular muscle that keeps the contents of your large intestine inside actually fluctuates in relaxing multiple times an hour.

As one study described it in the American Journal of Physiology, “the anal sphincter is a dynamic structure not often at rest.” So even though you may be asleep, your sphincter never sleeps.

 

During sleep, your anal sphincter is more relaxed. Unless you have diabetes or another medical condition, it isn’t so relaxed that feces slip out during sleep. But it can definitely allow the release of gas.

 

Although your body manages to turn off most of its other autonomic functions during sleep, it’s not unusual for a toot or several to slip out even while you’re adrift in dreamland.

What causes farting in your sleep?

Basically, you can fart in your sleep for the same reasons you fart while awake. Most gas in your intestine comes from intestinal bacteria feasting on whatever you eat. Other sources are air you swallow and stomach acid being neutralized.

 

Although we all fart, certain factors impact how much gas an individual passes—and, yes, whether it has a neutral (most common) or nastier smell.

 

What you eat and drink affects your body’s gas production, its scent (or not), and whether and how much you fart during your sleep. As Lizz Esther Kinyua, MD, a consultant for Oh So Spotless, puts it, “A diet that causes accumulation of gas can increase nighttime farting.”

 

This kind of gas-generating diet includes:

  • Carbonated drinks, like soda and sparkling water
  • Cruciferous vegetables, such as cabbage, broccoli, Brussels sprouts, and cauliflower
  • Beans, corn, and peas
  • Artificial sweeteners
  • Onions, leeks, and garlic
  • Prunes and figs

Although the fiber found in fruits and vegetables is healthy and necessary to keep you regular, it’s prone to create gas. You may also find that if you have any food sensitivity or intolerance, you’re more likely to experience more gas if you consume these foods.

 

Lifestyle factors may increase the gas you pass, including:

  • Taking antibiotics
  • Chewing gum, especially with artificial sweeteners
  • Eating quickly
  • Smoking cigarettes, because you swallow air when you inhale the smoke

Certain medical conditions can also cause more gas than usual, including:

  • Small Intestinal Bacterial Overgrowth (SIBO), a condition in which you have a general overgrowth of bacteria or a certain type in the small intestine
  • Crohn’s disease, an inflammatory bowel disease that causes inflammation in the digestive tract
  • Ulcerative colitis, another inflammatory bowel disease that usually causes inflammation in the large intestine
  • Celiac disease, a genetic autoimmune disease that causes damage to someone’s small intestines if they consume gluten, a protein found in such foods as wheat, rye, and barley
  • Colorectal or stomach cancer, particularly if the abnormal cells cause a blockage in the digestive tract

Bloating and gas also are common at certain points in women’s monthly menstrual cycle.

How to not fart in your sleep

Fortunately, there are things you can do—and not do—to stop, or at least greatly reduce the chance of, farting in your sleep.

Virginia Blackwell, MD, with Dofeve.org, recommends three things in particular:

  • Eat more slowly and be mindful.
  • Avoid chewing gum.
  • Cut off gas-producing foods.

Kinyua further recommends:

  • Consume probiotics, which improve diet health.
  • Take anti-gas pills (such as Beano and BeanAssist), which break down the carbohydrates in beans and other vegetables.
  • Stop smoking, which is good for your overall health and prevents you from swallowing air while inhaling.
  • Avoid foods that cause intolerance.
  • Treat your constipation if you have it.

If lifestyle remedies don’t work, you should consider visiting your doctor to get to the root cause of the issue. “See your doctor if you suddenly start passing excessive amounts of gas during the day or experiencing uncomfortable gas aching,” says Blackwell.

 

Kinyua adds that you should see a doctor if farting:

  • Interferes with your sleep
  • Is getting worse and more painful
  • Is associated with vomiting and abdominal pain
  • Occurs, with bloating, from every food you eat
  • Is concurrent with blood-stained diarrhea

FAQs

Can you fart in your sleep without knowing it?

Yes, most people never know they’re farting in their sleep—unless a bed partner tells them. If you’re slightly conscious while you’re falling asleep or only lightly sleeping, the sound of a fart could wake you up!

Can you control farting in your sleep?

You can’t control farting while you’re sleeping because, well, you’re asleep. But you can do things to stop, or greatly reduce, the chances of farting in your sleep. These include avoiding foods that upset your stomach, eating more slowly, and taking anti-gas medication.

How can you stop farting in your sleep?

You can eliminate or prevent the likelihood of farting in your sleep by making a few lifestyle changes. Try eating more probiotics, cutting out gas-producing foods, chewing more mindfully, avoiding foods that cause intolerance, treating constipation if you have it, and quitting smoking.

 

Is heartburn keeping you awake? Check out our guide to dealing with acid reflux at night to help alleviate your discomfort so you can get snoozing.

 

 

This article originally appeared on Saatva.com and was syndicated by MediaFeed.org.

More from MediaFeed:

The one gross reason why you should never fall asleep on the couch

 

If you ever wake up with a stiff neck or back problems after spending the night on a sofa, then you’re probably already well aware that couches don’t exactly make the best sleep surfaces.

 

But just how bad is sleeping on the couch, really? While the rare night on the couch won’t kill you, regularly catching Zs on your sofa can harm both your body and your sleep. Here’s why you may want to avoid the couch and fall asleep in your bedroom to get better sleep.

 

petrenkod / iStock

 

If you’re looking to improve your sleep quality or suffer from chronic back pain, sleeping on the couch is definitely a bad idea. The major drawbacks of sleeping on the couch include:

  • Lack of support
  • Little to no spinal alignment
  • It’s unhygienic—when was the last time you cleaned your sheets compared to your couch?
  • You’ll be more likely to sleep hot

 

Rawpixel / iStock

 

The biggest issue with couch-sleeping? Support. Most people have couches that are built for short-term comfort, meaning they’re soft and plushy but don’t offer enough back and spine support.

 

While a mattress is designed to provide head-to-toe support while you’re sleeping, most couches have multiple back and seat cushions, seams, and gaps and are built more for comfort than support. That lack of support can lead to serious soreness and stiffness in the A.M. Lack of support can also lead to unnecessary strain on the pressure points in your lower back and neck muscles. (Here are some of our tips on how to protect your back while you sleep.)

 

tommaso79/ iStock

 

Head perched on the armrest. Hips sinking between two cushions. Arm caught between your body and a blanket. Sound familiar?  In addition to a lack of support while you sleep, couches also interfere with proper spinal alignment. Couches tend to be soft and comfy in the middle so your body sinks down, but lots of people put their head on the armrest, so your head is cocked up in one direction which can lead to a stiff neck. Sleep posture is extremely important, especially if you’re trying to avoid neck and back pain.

 

Regularly sleeping in the wrong sleeping position for a long period can lead to pain, soreness, stiffness, and cramping in the neck, back and buttocks.

 

Andrii Bicher / iStock

 

While you may wash your bedding every week (at least we hope so), when is the last time you washed your couch? From pet dander to spilled snacks, kid germs to whatever was on your subway seat, your couch may be twelve times dirtier than your toilet, according to a study by Unicef and Domestos, reports the U.K. Express.

 

By sleeping on your couch instead of your bed, you’re exposing yourself to a range of bacteria, viruses and allergens that can impact your health as well as your sleep hygiene.

 

FotoDuets / iStock

 

While mattresses are designed with materials to keep you cool, comfortable, and supported, couches are designed for style. This can mean rough fabrics that may be durable for longevity but tough on your skin. Many couch fabrics also lack breathability, leading to a sweaty night of sleep.

 

A 2012 Sleep in America Poll found that 86% of respondents said comfortable sheets, pillowcases and bedding were key to a healthy sleep schedule—something a night on the couch won’t provide.

 

polkadot / iStock

 

While sleeping on the couch may not be the best sleep environment for a good night’s sleep, there are some potential benefits to doing it temporarily. These include:

  • Helping with insomnia symptoms
  • Staying comfortable while you’re sick
  • Additional neck support

 

Kiwis / iStock

 

If you suffer from a condition like insomnia, dozing off may be a little easier on the couch. It can help to give your body a change of scenery and may help to recalibrate your brain as you fall asleep.

 

 

fizkes / iStock

 

The soft surface and plushy feel can add a layer of comfort some beds don’t have, plus elevating your head can help alleviate congestion. So when you’re sick, you may find it’s easier to fall asleep on the couch.

 

 

alexei_tm / iStock

 

Sleeping on the couch can also help give you additional neck support by elevating your head and neck higher throughout the night. If you suffer from chronic neck pain, it may be worth it to sleep on the couch for a night or two to see if that helps.

 

 

David-Prado / iStock

 

If you do end up needing to sleep on the couch, there are things you can do to make the best of it. Some of our top sleeping tips for getting a good night’s sleep on the couch include:

  • Elevate your head and neck for more overall support and to help with spinal alignment.
  • Create a firm sleep surface using pillows or blankets. This will help keep your body from moving too much and keep you from straining your back.
  • Be mindful of your sleeping position. Side sleepers will have the easiest time sleeping on the couch because of how narrow couches are. You can try to switch up your sleeping position to get more comfortable.
  • Add a fitted sheet to the cushions. This mostly helps with comfort levels, but it can also make the couch feel more like a bed.
  • Limit your screen time. Many people fall asleep on the couch with the TV on, but the blue light from the TV screen can mess up your body’s circadian rhythm and keep you from getting enough sleep.

Additionally, if you find yourself regularly on the couch, consider underlying health issues that may be a factor. Many people choose to sleep on the couch because it helps quell symptoms of medical conditions like sleep apnea, heartburn or acid reflux. Instead of trying to solve the symptom, address the central health concern that puts you on the couch in the first place.

 

Related:

This article originally appeared on Saatva.com and was syndicated by MediaFeed.org.

 

petrenkod / iStock

 

 

fizkes / istockphoto

 

Featured Image Credit: Ridofranz / istockphoto.

AlertMe