Eighty percent of those who have frequent heartburn or acid reflux also have it when sleeping. There’s a chance that the discomfort and bad taste may prevent you from sleeping. Are you dealing with GERD? Find relief by learning about the best way to sleep to avoid heartburn and other symptoms of acid reflux. Searching for the best sleeping position with GERD? Find out how positioning yourself during sleep can help reduce nighttime heartburn and acid reflux! Learn the best position to sleep with GERD in this ultimate guide!
- Medical physicians Lawrence J. Cheskin and Brian E. Lacy state that “the cornerstone of treatment for any sickness or issue is prevention” when it comes to heartburn. Treatment options include over-the-counter drugs and prescribed medicines.
A few food and lifestyle modifications may frequently remove evening heartburn.
Sleeping With Acid Reflux: Tips & Tricks (GERD)
Insomnia is a constant problem for me because of my acid reflux. Even worse, the constant waking up to relieve the pain and burning almost guarantees that you will not be able to obtain a good night’s sleep.
- Acid reflux and GERD are quite common in the United States, with estimates placing the prevalence of both conditions at 20% among adult Americans. Most people who suffer from GERD or acid reflux have problems falling asleep or staying asleep at night.
There are ways to get some sleep even if acid reflux or GERD symptoms keep you up. To begin, however, let’s take a look at these two conditions and the ways in which they affect our ability to go to sleep and stay asleep. Learn the optimal sleeping position with GERD sufferers in this step-by-step guide, so that you can start getting a good night’s sleep tonight!
Explain Acid Reflux and Heartburn.
Acid reflux occurs when stomach acid flows back up into the esophagus. There are several potential triggers, including:
- Being burdened by the additional weight
- Hiatus Occurring Due to Pregnancy-Related Biological Differences Hernias
- The class of medications includes both pain relievers and tranquilizers.
- An Inadequate Dietary Supply
- The confluence of the esophagus and stomach is surrounded by a network of muscles, one of which is the lower esophageal sphincter.
- The esophageal sphincter functions properly when it allows food to pass into the stomach but not before.
- Symptoms of reflux emerge when it isn’t functioning normally. If anything went wrong here, stomach acid or food may enter the esophagus.
- Regurgitation of stomach acid is another symptom of acid reflux, along with a burning feeling in the chest and a sour aftertaste in the mouth.
Acid reflux, often known as “heartburn,” is a common enough occurrence that it is frequently overlooked as normal. But, if this is a persistent issue, gastroesophageal reflux disease may be to blame. Untreated GERD may cause esophageal erosion, Barrett’s esophagus, and cancer.
How Do GERD and Acid Reflux Impact Sleep?
Nighttime acid reflux symptoms are typical. Even if heartburn at night is making it hard to sleep, our sleeping habits might be exacerbating the situation.
Causes of nighttime acid reflux include:
- Because gravity isn’t on your side, reflux is far more likely to occur while you’re lying down.
- Saliva production, which might neutralize stomach acid, drops while you’re fast asleep. Having acid reflux makes it so your saliva is of little use.
- Stomach acid is allowed to exit more easily when swallowing pressure drops during sleep.
- GERD has its own symptoms and has been linked to sleep apnea.
- Gastroesophageal reflux disease affects 60% of patients who have OSA (GERD). There may not be a causal relationship between the two illnesses, but having one may exacerbate the other.
- It is possible for GERD to exacerbate OSA symptoms and vice versa. The severity of GERD symptoms is often accompanied by the comorbidity of obstructive sleep apnea.
When an apneic episode creates a vacuum around the stomach and neck, stomach acid rises into the throat. Because of the negative pressure created by the apnea, the chest collapses, letting breath in via narrower passages. Acid or other stomach contents might reflux into the esophagus and neck as a result of the increased pressure inside the stomach.
Remember research findings. sleeping position with GERD
Patients with both obstructive sleep apnea and gastroesophageal reflux disease may benefit from the same treatment. When used to treat obstructive sleep apnea, continuous positive airway pressure (CPAP) may also alleviate nighttime heartburn.
- Researchers found that the number of patients with OSA and GERD at night who reported heartburn decreased by 62% when utilizing CPAP therapy consistently. Long-term CPAP treatment reduced heartburn complaints.
Continuous positive airway pressure (CPAP) treatment is one of the most popular and effective methods for dealing with obstructive sleep apnea. There are solutions besides sleep apnea treatment for those who suffer from acid reflux at night.
Heartburn and GERD Ease Dreaming
The severity of your acid reflux symptoms may decrease significantly if you make certain positive changes to your lifestyle. You may start with these and perhaps get some relief. Learn the optimal sleeping position with GERD sufferers in this step-by-step guide so that you can start getting a good night’s sleep tonight!
Try various sleeping positions. sleeping position with GERD
I’ve explained why our nighttime routines could be exacerbating our GERD. But if you try a new sleeping position, you may discover that your problems go away.
To avoid making your problem worse, it is suggested that you sleep on your side instead of your back. Acid reflux is made worse by lying on one’s back and may be so bad that it causes one to cough or choke throughout the night. Learn the best position to sleep with GERD in this ultimate guide!
left-side sleeping. sleeping position with GERD
When you go to bed, consider sleeping on your left side instead. The majority of people with gastroesophageal reflux disease get relief from their symptoms when they rest on their backs because gravity pulls their stomachs down below their esophagus. If you suffer from acid reflux, sleeping on your stomach is the best position since gravity aids in the return of stomach acid to the stomach faster than lying on your back or right side.
- In addition, pregnant women who have nighttime acid reflux should sleep in this position.
In contrast, if you convert to sleeping on your right side, you will no longer get the benefits of sleeping on your left. Sleeping on your left side may be recommended by a doctor if you’ve tried both sides of the bed and are still experiencing discomfort. The second issue is more manageable, although still annoying. It’s important to remember that right is wrong while contemplating a change in your sleeping position.
Sleep angle matters. sleeping position with GERD
Sleeping on your side or stomach may help reduce acid reflux, while elevating your upper body may aid those who have problems sleeping on their backs. When you lie on your back, your stomach will be lower than your esophagus, which means that gravity will make it more difficult for reflux to go from your stomach to your esophagus.
But, propping yourself up with pillows won’t help since it just elevates your head. A wedge cushion, which is broader at the top and smaller at the bottom, is another option. Maintain a slight incline to alleviate the discomfort of acid reflux. Learn the best sleeping position for people with GERD that can help reduce the symptoms of gastroesophageal reflux disease. Get comfortable now! Find the best position to sleep with GERD.
Eat mindfully. sleeping position with GERD
Avoid hot or heartburn-causing meals before bed. Some examples of what this may include are:
- Spicy foods
- Caffeine and alcohol are a dangerous combination.
- Examples of foods that are high in acid include tomatoes and citrus fruits.
- cholesterol-rich foods
- Onions or Garlic
- If you want to reduce stomach acid and allow food to move more easily through the digestive system before night, stopping eating at least two to three hours beforehand is recommended. As an example, if you have acid reflux, you shouldn’t eat a huge meal just before bed.
Weight reduction alleviates GERD symptoms. Being overweight puts extra stress on the stomach and diaphragm, which may aggravate symptoms of acid reflux and GERD. If you reduce your body weight, the stress on your internal organs should lessen, and your symptoms should improve.
How Much Assistance Do I Need?
It’s possible that adjusting your usual bedtime routine might help you sleep better and prevent such disturbances in the future. If you discover that making adjustments to your regular routine has not helped with your nocturnal symptoms, it is important to talk to your doctor about additional treatment options. Those with severe acid reflux may seek treatment with medication or even with specialist surgery. Learn the best position to sleep with GERD in this ultimate guide!
Sleep deprivation is frightening. sleeping position with GERD
If you aren’t getting enough sleep and you don’t believe it’s due to acid reflux, you may have an undiagnosed sleep disorder. If you have trouble sleeping and you think it could be because of a sleep disorder such as obstructive sleep apnea or insomnia, talk to your doctor or a sleep expert. A correct diagnosis and treatment plan may be provided by these professionals. Learn the best sleeping position for people with GERD that can help reduce the symptoms of gastroesophageal reflux disease. Get comfortable now!
To help consumers find qualified sleep specialists in their area, the American Academy of Sleep Medicine provides this directory.
Acid reflux may be quite uncomfortable, making it difficult to get a good night’s sleep. But making some basic but comprehensive changes to your daily routine will permanently cure acid reflux. Try them out and see how you feel about them.
12 Nighttime Heartburn Remedies
Start by sleeping left-sided. sleeping position with GERD
Internal medicine department chairman at Eastern Virginia Medical School in Norfolk, David A. Johnson, MD, says this position may help alleviate nighttime heartburn symptoms. Johnson recommends recalling the phrase “Right is wrong” to decide which side of the bed you prefer.
Lose weight. sleeping position with GERD
Try losing some weight if you can. But Johnson suggests that even a modest weight loss of 2.5 pounds may help reduce heartburn symptoms.
Extra pillow. sleeping position with GERD
Lastly, use extra pillows to elevate your head and neck while you sleep. If you’re resting on your back, it’s easy for stomach acids to go up your esophagus and give you heartburn. Your body may be lifted in two ways:
- Place a stack of blocks, each measuring between 4 and 6 inches in height, on top of the mattress to raise it.
You should choose a cushion that is 6-10 inches thick at its thickest point. Don’t resort to using just any old pillow since it won’t provide the same support for your upper body as a body pillow would.
Tight clothing, especially around the waist, may put pressure on the digestive organs and lead to discomfort and even heartburn.
Avoid heartburn-causing foods
To avoid heartburn, rule number five is to avoid meals that trigger it. What gives one person heartburn may not give another. Common culprits in causing heartburn and keeping individuals awake at night include alcoholic beverages, coffee, tea, colas, chocolate, peppermint, garlic, onions, milk, fatty, spicy, greasy, or fried meals, and acidic foods like citrus or tomato products. Keeping a food journal might be useful for figuring out what you’re eating that’s giving you heartburn.
Avoid late-night munching and overeating.
Stay away from late-night snacking and excessive meal sizes. The American Gastroenterological Association suggests waiting at least three hours after eating before going to bed so that the stomach has a chance to clear. When you eat a smaller meal in the hours leading up to the bed, you reduce the stress that your stomach experiences from digesting a full meal, which may help reduce the frequency and severity of heartburn at night.
Stay relaxed. sleeping position with GERD
Be relaxed as you eat. Eating hastily increases stress levels, which in turn increases stomach acid production. Relax after supper, but don’t go to bed. The experts advise attempting some meditation or deep breathing to help you relax.
Eat with your back straight.
The risk of having stomach acid rise into your neck will be reduced if you follow this advice. In lifting, maintain a neutral spine and avoid stooping or hunching over. Learn the best sleeping position for people with GERD that can help reduce the symptoms of gastroesophageal reflux disease.
Exercise schedule. sleeping position with GERD
Learn to delay your exercise and conquer procrastination. Do not engage in vigorous activities for at least two hours after eating. You may let all the food in your stomach go down this way.
Tenth, pop some gum in your mouth. Gum chewing has been demonstrated to relieve acid reflux by increasing saliva production, which in turn helps push acid down the esophagus and into the stomach.
Smoking doubles the negative effects of acid reflux. Cigarette smoke may cause acid reflux and other gastrointestinal issues by relaxing the esophageal muscles that typically keep stomach acid at bay.
Tell your doctor
Inform your doctor about all the medications you are currently taking. The use of nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs), medications for osteoporosis, cardiovascular medications, hormone replacement therapy, asthma medications, and mood stabilizers may all cause or worsen heartburn. Like the foods that set off one’s heartburn, medications might have unique triggers.
What to Do and What Not to Do When You Sleep If You Have GERD
If you have gastric reflux disease, you may be able to enjoy a better night’s sleep by changing your sleeping position. A doctor could advise you.
- Acid reflux may be reduced by elevating your head by 6 to 8 inches as you sleep.
- Your stomach is placed under additional pressure when you rest on your back, which might cause acid reflux, especially if you are overweight.
- You run the risk of hurting yourself if you sleep on your right side. The lower esophageal sphincter, a muscular ring that ordinarily prevents reflux, seems to become weaker as a result of this.
- Try to sleep on your left side if you can. This sleeping posture significantly reduces acid reflux symptoms, according to studies.
- Giving yourself an extra three or four hours to unwind after dinner before going to bed is another approach to boost your sleep. By doing this, you give your digestive system a head start so it can begin processing the food before it reaches your small intestine. Since your stomach won’t be as full, acid reflux is more likely to occur when you lay down. In a similar line, it is advised that you cut down on the amount and size of your evening meal.
By making a few changes to your daily routine, you could see a decrease in GERD symptoms and an improvement in the quality of your sleep.
What to Expect From Your Physician If Your Stomach Hurts
If making lifestyle changes does not relieve heartburn symptoms, medication or other treatment may be recommended. Learn the best sleeping position for people with GERD that can help reduce the symptoms of gastroesophageal reflux disease. Get comfortable now! In the event that any of the following describe your situation, it is recommended that you make an appointment with your doctor:
- Your heartburn hasn’t gone away.
- You may find it tough to swallow.
- Because of your heartburn, you have the want to throw up.
- When a patient’s heartburn does not improve after two weeks of using antacids, it’s time to discuss additional treatment options with their doctor.
- Persistent heartburn needs medical attention. Gary Gitnick, MD, the chief of digestive diseases and gastroenterology at UCLA, cautions that neglecting chronic acid reflux may lead to scarring and constriction of the esophagus. Stomach acid backs up into the esophagus, causing heartburn and, if untreated, gastroesophageal reflux disease (GERD).
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