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How Should I Sleep With Heartburn

Make Lunch Your Biggest Meal Of The Day

How to Improve Your Sleep When You Have GERD

Eating a big meal can put pressure on your stomach and allow acid to travel back up into your esophagusand that will only be compounded if you lie down soon afterward. To prevent a major case of acid reflux at night, Huber recommends eating a heavier lunch and a lighter dinner. I’ve started to spend a few hours on Sunday meal prep so that I can get more substantial lunches ready for the week.

Avoid Sleeping Flat On Your Back

When lying flat on your back, a poorly functioning LES can allow acidic stomach contents to flow freely into the esophagus, and as a result, exaggerate acid reflux at night. Studies have shown that in this position, symptoms are often more frequent and tend to last longer3. The severity of your symptoms may also increase if you have stomach fat, which pushes down on your stomach and LES and can force contents back up into the esophagus and beyond. To reduce your nighttime heartburn and decrease the risks associated with prolonged acid exposure, try to avoid back sleeping at night.

Bed Risers For Elevation Therapy

Bed risers are available for raising the head of your bed but I no longer recommend them.

Placing these blocks under the head of your bed isnt particularly safe and they dont work for all bed frames. The elevation therapy solutions I previously mentioned are much better options.

If you try bed risers, do so as a temporary measure.

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How Do You Get Rid Of Heartburn

Studies show that reducing overall body weight has a positive impact on reducing heartburn symptoms. Eating a diet full of fiber, protein, healthy fats, and vegetables can help lower your overall body mass. Exercising regularly, even just taking a walk around your neighborhood, can also help you lower body weight, and help you sleep . Cutting back on smoking, caffeine intake, and alcohol consumption significantly reduces heartburn attacks and also promotes better sleep.

Antacids, an over-the-counter medication, can manage mild heartburn symptoms by neutralizing the acid in your stomach. They are effective in reducing symptoms but require frequent administering and should not be taken longer than a few days.

Check with your doctor before starting any medication. If over-the-counter medication does not help, your doctor may be able to prescribe additional medication.

What Are The Best Sleeping Positions For Heartburn

Sleep On Side GERD

Sleeping on your left side may reduce your heartburn symptoms because it relieves the pressure on your stomach and allows for food to move to the lower part of the stomach. Conversely, some research suggests that lying on your right side aggravates heartburn and GERD .

Sleeping with the head of your bed elevated is another good way for people with heartburn to slip into a restful slumber. Heartburn is a result of the stomach contents coming back up into the esophagus, so utilizing gravity by elevating the head and upper body helps keep your stomach contents where they should be. You can purchase wedge pillows that keep you propped up all night, thus reducing heartburn.

Additionally, you can opt to raise the top two posts of your bed frame to elevate your upper body when you sleep. Bed raisers are available online and come in different heights to fit your preference. Just make sure that if your bed frame does not have a sturdy footboard, you secure your mattress to prevent it from slipping.

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Tip #: Dont Eat Meals Late At Night

If you regularly suffer from night-time reflux, make an attempt to eat smaller meals in the evening, since large meals tend to put pressure on the stomach. Eating several hours before bedtime also allows the stomach to digest the food and empty out, which can help to reduce and prevent the symptoms of reflux at night.

Positions You Should Avoid To Prevent Nighttime Heartburn

HomeBySteve Hood

Disclosure: I am compensated for purchases made through some links on this site. .

If youre like the millions of people suffering from heartburn at night, you probably dread laying down each night fearing what your night will bring. Nighttime heartburn can also be accompanied by other painful symptoms, such as coughing, choking, regurgitation, sore throat and even chronic sinus issues.

People searching for relief from nighttime acid reflux often turn to OTC or prescription heartburn medicine. These medications work for some but not for others. With the recent research linking PPIs to serious side effects, such as bone fractures, kidney failure, heart disease, pneumonia, Clostridium difficile, dementia, Alzheimers, and increased mortality risk, many people are searching for natural remedies for nighttime reflux.

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How To Sleep With Acid Reflux Or Gerd

    When you have to sleep with acid reflux, every night can be a challenge. The burning and discomfort not only makes falling asleep harder but nearly guarantees youll be waking up during the night making a good night of sleep difficult.

    Acid reflux and GERD are common conditions among adults in the United States in fact, an estimated 20 percent of American adults suffer from GERD. To make matters worse, most people with acid reflux or GERD experience those symptoms at night, either during sleep or while trying to fall asleep.

    Thankfully, there are ways to get a good nights sleep even if youre experiencing nighttime symptoms of acid reflux or GERD. But first, lets take a look at these two conditions, and how exactly they can ruin your sleep.

    Gerd And Obstructive Sleep Apnea

    Easy Solutions for Sleeping Problems and Insomnia, Acid Reflux, Bloating and Gas

    GERD is also closely related to obstructive sleep apnea , a sleep disorder in which people frequently stop breathing during sleep due to airway obstruction. Up to 75% of people who have OSA experience acid reflux. Also, continuous positive airway pressure , a treatment for OSA, has been demonstrated to reduce GERD symptoms, even in people who do not have OSA.

    Experts have proposed multiple potential reasons for the relationships among GERD and sleep apnea, though none of these theories has been conclusively proven:

    • GERD symptoms cause brief awakenings that disrupt sleep
    • GERD causes swelling in the throat, which may lead to OSA
    • OSA causes pressure that opens the lower esophagus, which may trigger acid reflux

    More research is needed before we can definitively state why these issues interrelate. GERD and OSA are both more likely to occur in people with certain risk factors such as older age, obesity, alcohol consumption, male sex, and pregnancy.

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    When To See The Doctor If You Have Heartburn

    When you have heartburn and its terribly worsening gradually with the symptoms like waking up early morning or at the night, you need to see the doctor. Also when your heartburn dont get relieved by a glass of water or is persistant for the long time, you need to worry for its cause. If you have blackish colored stool, gradual loss of weight, vomiting and nausea, then you need to see the doctor immediately.

    Sleep On Your Left Side

    Stomach sleepers, take note: This is the worst position to sleep in if you have acid reflux, says Besser. “Sleeping on your stomach puts pressure on your stomach and can cause food to come back up,” she says. The best sleeping position for acid reflux is on your left side, says Huber, although he notes that no one’s entirely sure why. A JAMA Internal Medicine review of studies did find that the lower esophageal sphincter is relaxed for longer when patients lie on their right side. If side sleeping isn’t for you, sleeping on your back is suitable too if you have acid reflux, Besser says.

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    Side Sleeping: What Side To Sleep On With Acid Reflux

    A good nights rest can be the difference between a day of inspiring productivity and a day of extra coffee and feeling sluggish. Many Americans, however, are suffering from sleep deprivation for reasons they may not expect. Acid Reflux and GERD affect more people than you might expect, and many sufferers of nighttime heartburn and stomach discomfort find themselves researching best sleeping position and side sleeping to reduce acid reflux symptoms. In this guide, we will explore how acid reflux and GERD sufferers can get a better nights sleep by sleeping on their side and which side will provide the most relief.

    Is Gerd Keeping You Up At Night

    Sleep and Reflux symptoms: How to get a good rest

    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.

    Youre trying to get a good nights sleep, but it just isnt happening. In addition to tossing and turning, the burning sensation of heartburn isnt making your sleep efforts any easier.

    Whats going on? Was it something you ate? Your sleeping position?

    Heartburn and gastroesophageal reflux disease, or GERD, are frequent causes of sleeplessness. As many as one in four people who experience sleep disturbances report that they have nighttime heartburn.

    For people who have been diagnosed with GERD, the rate is even higher three people out of four report having nocturnal GERD symptoms. These individuals are more likely to suffer sleep problems such as insomnia, sleep apnea, and daytime sleepiness as a result of their nighttime heartburn.

    Sleeplessness poses a serious health problem. In addition to the physical and mental effects that stem from lack of sleep, people who experience nocturnal GERD are at greater risk for some of the worst complications of the disease, including erosive esophagitis, dyspepsia, and esophageal cancer.

    How Does GERD Disturb Sleep?

    Researchers have figured out several ways in which GERD-related acid reflux interferes with sleep:

    GERD and Sleep Position: Dos and Don’ts

    If you are a GERD sufferer, you can do a lot to improve your quality of sleep by changing your sleeping position. Doctors recommend that you:

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    How Do You Know What Is The Cause

    Detailed history and examination by doctor along with few investigations is required for the diagnosis of the particular cause of heartburn. Your doctor can do urea breath tests for knowing if there is presence of H pylori in the intestine or not. Further, upper endoscopy may be required where your doctor looks upon the causes in stomach with a thin pipe inserted via your mouth.

    Back Sleeping: Avoid Whenever Possible

    What may be the best sleeping position for some could actually aggravate GERD symptoms. Back sleeping is the worst for those with acid reflux at night. When acid escapes from your stomach and you are sleeping flat on your back, it is able to flow freely into your esophagus and beyondand stay there. Studies show that in this position, symptoms are often more frequent and tend to last longer 3 because the acid has nowhere to go. The severity of your symptoms may also increase if you have stomach fat, which pushes down on your stomach forcing contents to escape. Back sleeping should be the #1 position to avoid at night, if you suffer from nighttime acid reflux.

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    Learn more about your own sleep and getpersonalized advice using the SleepScore app.

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    How Acid Reflux Affects Your Sleep

    So what’s the connection between acid reflux and sleep? As I can attest, heartburn is usually worse at night, and that can make falling asleep more difficult. “Most people are prone to acid reflux when they lie down,” says Scott Huber, MD, gastroenterologist at the Institute for Digestive Health and Liver Disease at Mercy Medical Center in Baltimore. When you’re lying down, you don’t have gravity to pull acid back down into your stomach the way you do when you’re sitting or standing up, Huber explains.

    According to an American Journal of Gastroenterology survey of 1,000 people with heartburn at least once a week, 79% of respondents said they experience heartburn at night. Three-quarters of nighttime heartburn sufferers said heartburn affected their sleep, while 63% said they believed heartburn negatively impacted their ability to sleep well, and 40% said they believed it made it harder to function the next day. Per the National Sleep Foundation, if you have acid reflux, you could very well wake up in the middle of the night with heartburnand you might even experience middle-of-the-night choking or coughing, depending on how far up your esophagus the acid travels.

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    GERD is often cited as a cause of sleeping problems, including in the National Sleep Foundations 2001 Sleep in America Poll. In a more recent survey of people with frequent heartburn, nearly 60% said it affected their sleep, and more than 30% said it hurt their daytime functioning.

    Flare ups of GERD symptoms after lying down can make it hard to fall asleep and can cause nighttime interruptions from heartburn, chest pain, and coughing. Studies in sleep clinics of people with GERD have found that these symptoms are correlated with lower sleep quality.

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    Tips For Nighttime Heartburn Relief

    1. Sleep on your left side.This position seems to help reduce nighttime heartburn symptoms, says David A. Johnson, MD, internal medicine division chief at Eastern Virginia School of Medicine, Norfolk, Va. To remember which side to sleep on, Johnson offers this memory trick: Right is wrong.

    2. Lose weight, even a little. Heartburn often just gets worse as you gain weight, but losing as little as two and a half pounds can help reduce heartburn symptoms, Johnson says.

    3. Sleep with your upper body elevated. When you lay flat in bed, your throat and stomach are basically at the same level, making it easy for stomach acids to flow up your esophagus, causing heartburn. You can elevate your body in two ways:

    • Put the head of your bed on 4- to 6-inch blocks.
    • Sleep on a wedge-shaped pillow that’s at least 6 to 10 inches thick on one end. Don’t substitute regular pillows they just raise your head, and not your entire upper body.

    4. Wear loose-fitting clothes. Tight clothes, especially near your waist, can put pressure on your stomach, leading to heartburn symptoms.

    6. Steer clear of late-night meals or big meals. Avoid eating meals two to three hours before bedtime to reduce stomach acid and allow the stomach to partially empty its contents before you sleep, suggests the American Gastroenterological Association. Because large meals put pressure on your stomach, try eating a smaller meal in the evening to help prevent nighttime heartburn symptoms.

    Avoid Eating Before Bed

    Night-time heartburn is heartburn that occurs at night, and 79% of weekly heartburn sufferers may experience it.1 When you are upright, gravity helps keep stomach acid in the stomach where it belongs, but when you lie down at night, it can become easier for stomach acid to push past your lower esophageal sphincter and leak into your esophagus.

    For many people, night-time heartburn can be more disruptive than the symptoms they experience throughout the day. Night-time heartburn can make it hard to fall, and stay, asleep.

    Suffering from night-time heartburn, even once a week, can cause fatigue, decrease productivity at work, and overall impact to your daily life. This type of heartburn also has been linked to increased snoring.

    To manage your night-time heartburn, consider making changes to your diet and lifestyle, such as avoiding eating before bed or sleeping with your upper body slightly elevated.2

    Antacids like TUMS work quickly to bring you heartburn relief. Keep a bottle beside your bed, so you can get back to sleep faster. Take medication at night in an upright position, before lying down to resume sleep. If your night-time heartburn doesnt improve, you may want to talk to your doctor about Nexium 24HR , a proton pump inhibitor that requires only one pill for all day and night relief.3


  • Fries, Wendy C. “28 Tips for Nighttime Heartburn Relief.” WebMD. N.p., n.d. Web. .
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    Best Sleeping Positions For Heartburn


    Its advisable to sleep on your left side. Sleeping on the right has been found to relax the connecting muscles between the stomach and the oesophagus. When these muscles are contracting they help to control the process of acid reflux.


    Try to avoid sleeping on your front. This can put pressure on your stomach which pushes acid upwards to cause heartburn. This is more likely to happen if you are overweight or obese, but you should try other positions to see whats best for you, regardless of your weight.


    When lying in bed, raising your head and shoulders a few inches can stop acid rising towards your chest and causing heartburn. A wedge shaped pillow or a few blocks that elevate the whole upper body can work wonders when youre trying to sleep with acid reflux.

    The Reason Your Heartburn Is Worse At Night

    #Repost @physology (@get_repost) The position you choose ...

    Whether after eating food with tomato sauce or wearing tight pants, you dread that unpleasant burning sensation in your chest. If youâre suffering from heartburn, youâre not alone. According to the American College of Gastroenterology, more than 60 million Americans have heartburn at least once a month, and 15 million experience it every day. Elderly people and pregnant women are more likely to experience symptoms of heartburn.

    Heartburn, or acid reflux , occurs when liquids in the stomach flow back into the esophagus. This happens when the lower esophageal sphincter , the muscle between the esophagus and the stomach, relaxes. During eating, the LES relaxes to let food into the stomach and contracts to prevent backflow into the esophagus. Even in people who donât experience acid reflux, stomach acid may travel into the esophagus for brief periods without symptoms.

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