Why Do People Poop in the Morning [Questions Answered]

17 Dec, 2020

Woman opening the curtains with morning light shining through

Ahhh the lovely sounds of morning. Birds chirping, coffee percolating and, well, a deuce dropping. Forget Bacon Egg and Cheese. Nothing says AM like a BM. If you’re asking yourself “why do I always have to poop in the morning”, we’ve got your ass covered. Read on!

What Happens to Our Digestive System During Sleep?

Quality sleep and digestive health are bffs, a.k.a. they are directly linked. REM sleep is like the graveyard shift for your gut. Since you’re not eating or drinking anything new, the gut is able to slow down digestion work.

First, the colon and intestine wrap up digesting any food left over from the day. Instead of pushing the process to completion (pooping), the digestive system then focuses on tasks related to recovery, like repairing tissue in the area. It’s a twilight shift multitasking vibe and we are simply here for it. 

How Gut and Digestion Can Influence Your Sleep

If you’ve had a big meal before bed, you’re forcing your gut to digest food while you sleep. Like you, your tum would prefer to rest and recover. Instead, a midnight meal is basically asking your intestines to pull an all-nighter. 

So what? Well, if your partner or roommate were pulling an all nighter, it might keep you awake, right? Well, put that all-nighter in your tummy and, no surprise, it may affect your ability to get quality sleep. Studies have found that eating and then lying down can cause indigestion or heartburn. 

Think about how a walk is good for digestion. Of course, lying down is yin to taking a walk’s yang. It’s just not ideal for an easy digestive experience. 

Bottom line, you should aim to eat enough throughout the day that you can comfortably stop munching about 3 hours before bed. If your gut is relaxed and able to focus on restorative work, you’ll be resting easy.

What Leads to Pooping in the Morning?

You may be thinking, why do I always have to poop in the morning? 🤔🤔

Well when you wake up, your colon automatically starts going ham... in a good way! The colon contracts about 3 times as hard in that first hour you’re awake as when you’re sleeping. About 30 minutes after waking, the urge to poop will set in.

It’s kinda like an internal alarm clock in your body saying “time to poop!”. There’s no other part of the day that sounds the “Drop Deuce Now” alarm quite so hard. If your morning routine includes coffee and stretching, you’re basically laying the groundwork for a quality morning BM. We love that for you.

Is NOT Pooping in the Morning Normal?

Short answer: yes! Or, probably! Some people simply don’t have morning BMs and that can be totally normal. If you’re pooping between three times a day and once every three days, you’re staying regular and have nothing to worry about. Unlike our highschool track coach, your body isn’t blowing a whistle at you with a timer every morning. As long as you’re regular, you’re good. 

Now, if you want to poop in the morning, you can make that happen. There’s such a thing as bowel retraining, and it’s very achievable. Normally, people go through the process to change their bowel routine if they’re experiencing chronic constipation or loss of bowel control. But if you’d simply prefer to chop your logs at home instead of out and about, bowel retraining could be for you. 

All in all, you’ll generally be pooping around the same times daily because of everything else you do at the same time every day. From when you sleep to your morning Starbucks run, your routines teach your body when to poo. From where we’re sitting, it seems like your body learned great.

What You Can Do Before Bed For Better Gut Health

Simple daily habits can help make sure your gut is grooving from dusk till dawn. If you want to make tweaks to your routine for optimal gut-sleep relations, consider making the following steps part of your routine:

Avoid big meals before bed

Keep in mind: your digestive system needs rest too. If you give it a bunch of food before bed, it’s going to work all night. Ideally, you’ll eat enough throughout the day that you can stop munching a few hours before bed. If you find you must nom nom late at night, opt for a small, filling, easy-to-digest snack like an apple with nut butter. 

Go to bed at the same time every night

Basically, quality sleep leads to good *everything else in your body* function. One of the best ways to ensure good sleep is having a quality bedtime routine. In addition to setting a bedtime, keeping your bedroom cool, quiet and screen-free will help you get deep rest, which will support your gut and overall health.

Do yoga or practice meditation

Relaxation is key. Don’t stress about being zen, but def consider adding practices into your day that help you manage stress. Physical exercise and mental-emotional regulation help your body and mind relax, which leads to better sleep. Stress can cause constipation, which in turn can cause stress. Skip this sick-cycle carousel by peppering calm-making routines throughout your weekly schedule. This will help you stay in “rest-and-digest” sleep instead of fight-or-flight mode.

Cut back on alcohol

Alcohol may knock you out, but it is not supportive of deep REM sleep. Even one drink can impair the quality of your rest. It’s also dehydrating, which is generally bad for digestion. We’re not saying go cold turkey, but you can be selective about the frequency of your drinking so you can catch every Z your body deserves.

Conclusion

Most colons take your morning alarm seriously. They pop into active mode and poop follows shortly thereafter. And the relationship between gut and sleep is close AF. Sleep puts your body in a rest/digest/recover mode that allows your gut to function better all day long. To get the full benefits of rest, your digestive system needs to start the evening with a pretty clean slate.

There are simple habits that can support deeper sleep and overall gut health, from cutting back on food and alcohol before bed to setting a regular bedtime routine. Overall, if you’re regular, you’re in great shape. And you can always manage your morning BM cleanup with a TUSHY bidet attachment.

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