How to Sleep Well When You Have Acid Reflux

Interestingly, although rats have quite a different sleep pattern compared to humans, wakefulness in rats with reflux esophagitis increased in the early and late phases of the light period, which corresponds to nighttime in humans (Figure 3C). Further studies would be necessary to evaluate the association between reflux esophagitis and the circadian rhythm. The significant increase in the duration of REM sleep in rats with reflux esophagitis during the dark period, compared with controls (Figure 3C), might be attributable to a compensation for the insufficient amount of NREM sleep during the light period.

Visit your doc. If none of these lifestyle changes makes a difference, it’s time to head to your MD. OTC medications may be able to help, but you should consult a medical professional before taking one, says Besser. And if you’re already on a medication, the fix may be as simple as taking it before bed instead of in the morning, but you should check with your doctor before switching things up. Your nighttime habits may be triggering episodes of heartburn, but you don’t have to just lie there and suffer night after night.

Avoid trigger foods and drinks. For me, that would be tomatoes. And coffee. And red wine. (By the way, here’s how alcohol affects sleep.) Besser and Huber both advise limiting the intake of foods and beverages that you know give you heartburn-not just at night, but all the time.

Another contributing factor is that swallowing is less frequent while sleeping which slows the normal contraction of the esophagus that prevents the back up of acid. With the production of less saliva while asleep the return of normal PH levels to the esophagus after an acid reflux episode is hindered as well.

Because of the wide range of symptoms associated with GERD and the need to distinguish it from heart-related problems, the number of medical visits and tests needed to diagnose or rule out the disease tends to be quite high. In another study, this one in The American Journal of Gastroenterology, scientists fed a group of chronic heartburn patients a high-fat dinner and a bedtime snack, then measured reflux as they slept. The right-side sleepers had greater acid levels and longer “esophageal acid clearance.” Other studies have had similar results.

Your blood sugar already lowers naturally while you sleep, but people with GI issues are more at risk. To keep your blood sugar steady, avoid overly sugary foods all day long, not just before bed.

National Sleep Foundation

be the most effective for natural relief from nighttime acid reflux or GERD. You don’t have to sleep sitting up to take advantage of gravity and anatomy at night. You aren’t a giraffe after all. How you sleep can directly affect how often you feel symptoms, how bad those symptoms are, and how long the acid sits in your esophagus. The good news is that you can drastically change your nights by changing the way you sleep.

  • The problem is that for those with acid reflux or gastroesophageal reflux disease (GERD), stomach acid escapes to where it does not belong, into the delicate lining of the esophagus and sometimes even up into your lungs, throat, and sinuses.
  • This can cause heartburn and tissue damage, among other symptoms.
  • Learn which foods are beneficial here.
  • MedCline Reflux Relief System, specifically designed to create and maintain the inclined, left-side position, clinically proven to
  • So far, only Prilosec OTC is available over-the-counter.

Allen et al. [31] demonstrated that increased acid reflux in the early recumbent period occurs primarily during the recumbent-awake and not during the recumbent-asleep periods, suggesting that nighttime reflux is associated with difficulty in falling asleep. In a study on patients with GERD, Poh et al. [32] found an increase in the frequency of reflux events in the early morning (immediately after awakening from sleep) in approximately half of the patients with GERD.

Such a phenomenon is known as daytime sleepiness in humans. GERD is one condition that can interfere with sleep patterns and cause fatigue.

We all need a good night’s sleep. That’s a gut feeling for most people. Chair Division of Gastroenterology and Hepatology; Head of the Esophageal and Swallowing Center, Metro Health Medical Center, Case Western University, Cleveland, OH. “A good part of the explanation is gravity,” says Lawrence J. Cheskin, MD, co-author of Healing Heartburn and associate professor of medicine at the Johns Hopkins School of Medicine in Baltimore, Md. During the day, acids from the stomach may briefly force their way into your esophagus.

1ndividuals with nighttime GERD may wake up more often choking or coughing or with regurgitation (ie, an acid or sour taste in their mouth) at nighttime. A recent study has also shown that individuals with nighttime heartburn tend to have more severe GERD symptoms. 49.

Piling up the pillows isn’t the best way to go about this, though, as pillows are liable to shift. An adjustable base might be a better option for you if you have acid reflux, says Huber. Adjustable bases make it easy to get into a sleeping position that will help mitigate symptoms. 3.

People with GERD often have a hard time getting a good night’s sleep because of persistent acid reflux. Find out how to cut down on this problem. Tilting the head of your bed upward will raise your head, which can help reduce the chance that your stomach acid will reflux into your throat during the night.

Hospitals in the U.S. report that problematic diseases beginning with acid reflux are the most common of gut ailment complaints. Sleep difficulties were also associated with greater use of health-care resources (0.9 additional provider visits), loss of work productivity (5.5 percent decrease) and increased impairment of daily activities (10.9 percent increase).

stomach acid and sleep

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