Sleep Solutions Used In Elevation Therapy For Heartburn At Night
Not every form of elevation therapy for heartburn at night is equal. Some ways of raising your head and torso are better than others.
Lets look at some of the common elevation therapy solutions to discover your best options.
Keep in mind that the height of elevation needs to be 68 inches or greater to prevent acid reflux. Greater the angle, the better the results. You do, however, need to consider sleep comfort when choosing the height of your sleep therapy device. Sitting straight up would provide great results but what a super uncomfortable sleep position! I sure cant do it.
Resist The Urge To Overeat Or Eat Quickly
When it comes to preventing heartburn, watching portion sizes at meals can go a long way. Having a large amount of food in your stomach may put more pressure on the valve that keeps stomach acid out of your esophagus, making acid reflux and heartburn more likely. If you’re prone to heartburn, consider eating smaller meals more frequently. Eating quickly can also be a trigger of heartburn so be sure to slow down and take time to chew food and drink beverages.
What Helps Heartburn Fast At Night
These tips can quickly help relieve nighttime heartburn.
22. Prop yourself up in bed
Keeping yourself upright in bed can help take some pressure off your stomach and valve and relieve symptoms.
23. Try baking soda and water
Baking soda can help neutralize acid. Try drinking a half teaspoon of baking soda dissolved in 4 ounces of warm water.
24. Take antacids
You can buy antacids from your pharmacy. These work by changing your stomach acid that causes heartburn.
25. Try over-the-counter histamine-2 blockers
Histamine-2 blockers help heartburn by changing how much acid your stomach makes. These can relieve symptoms for a few hours.
26. Try OTC proton pump inhibitors
You can try these medications from your pharmacy if nothing else is working. These should only be taken for 14 days at a time and only 3 times a year.
27. Take prescription medications
If nothing helps your heartburn, talk to your doctor. They can give you stronger prescription medications.
Sometimes surgery on your esophagus sphincter can help heartburn that doesnt get better with treatment. Talk to your doctor about ongoing heartburn.
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Why Does The Sphincter Weaken
Various factors may make the lower esophageal sphincter weaker or cause it to relax at times when it should stay closed.
According to the
According to the American Academy of Allergy, Asthma, and Immunology , a person can ease acid reflux they experience when trying to sleep by:
- elevating the head of the bed 6â8 inches
- avoiding lying down 2â3 hours after a meal
- eating smaller meals more frequently and not eating heavy meals before bedtime
The side of the body on which a person sleeps may also make a difference. A found sleeping on the left side alleviates acid reflux.
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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Can I Die From Acid Reflux In My Sleep
Acid Reflux every now and then is not a cause for concern, however, if it is becoming more frequent , it is a sign of GERD and you should check in with your doctor. According to the American Cancer Society, patients with GERD have a slightly increased risk of permanent damage to the esophagus and can also lead to a condition called Barretts esophagus which can increase your risk for developing esophageal cancer. In short, you are not going to die from acid reflux in your sleep. However, if acid reflux occurs frequently and is left untreated, it can lead to higher likelihood of developing serious or life threatening complications such as esophagitis, ulcers, aspiration pneumonia, and Barretts esophagus.
Thankfully, you can act now. There are many ways to treat and prevent acid reflux, such as you can try to pinpoint your reflux triggers and avoid them as much as possible. You can also try to avoid eating meals late at night . If symptoms continue to persist, you may turn to over-the-counter medications that neutralize stomach acid , decrease stomach acid production , or heal the esophagus .
Because many people find GERD to be worse around bedtime, focusing on how to sleep with GERD may help reduce symptoms and improve sleep. Continue reading to learn more!
When To See A Doctor
Intermittent heartburn at night can be normal, and many times you can identify a culprit, such as a big meal, eating too close to bedtime, or eating certain foods.
But if you experience frequent heartburn, you should see a healthcare provider. Persistent heartburn can scar and narrow your esophagus if left untreated, and it can even lead to esophageal cancer.
See a provider if you think you may have GERD, or if your heartburn doesnt get better after using OTC medication or attempting to make some lifestyle changes.
You should also check in with your provider if you experience any of the other symptoms of GERD beyond just heartburn.
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Causes Of Heartburn At Night
Despite its name, heartburn has nothing to do with the heart.
Heartburn happens when the lower esophageal sphincter does not work properly.
Normally, the lower esophageal sphincter opens to let food and liquid into the stomach, then closes to keep the contents inside.
When you have heartburn, the lower esophageal sphincter weakens or relaxes too much.
This allows stomach acid to leak into the esophagus.
Acid reflux, and therefore heartburn, is often worse at night because lying down makes it easier for the contents of the stomach to flow through the lower esophageal sphincter and back into the esophagus.
Think about it: When youre standing up, gravity is on your side. When youre horizontal, its not.
While they do not cause heartburn, certain factors can increase the risk of heartburn:
- Being pregnant
- Being overweight/obese
Can I Choke In My Sleep From Acid Reflux
Gastroesophageal reflux disease is a condition marked by repeated episodes of acid reflux that can affect your quality of life. Most patients with GERD experience an increase in severity of heartburn symptoms while sleeping or attempting to sleep. Beyond just heartburn, if the stomach acid backs up into the esophagus and far enough to reach the throat and larynx, you may wake up coughing and choking at night.
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More than 60 million Americans have heartburn at least once a month. I’m one of them. In fact, I was found to have gastroesophageal reflux disorderaka GERD, more commonly known as acid refluxback in college because of just how frequently I was getting heartburn.
If you have acid reflux, or even occasional heartburn after a spicy meal, you know that it can keep you awake tossing and turning. Here’s what I’ve learned about coping with acid reflux so it doesn’t get in the way of a good night’s sleep.
How Can I Prevent Heartburn During Pregnancy
They say prevention is the best medicine, so knowing common heartburn triggers can help you keep the acid at bay.
Of course, pregnancy itself is a major trigger for heartburn. As your growing uterus puts pressure on your stomach, this pushes stomach acid up your throat.
Those lovely hormones are no help either. They tend to relax the valve between your stomach and esophagus, which makes it easier for acid to make its way upward.
While theres nothing you can do to stop this entirely, there are a few things that can help prevent heartburn from flaring up during pregnancy:
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Vinegar To Cure Heartburn
Vinegar has long been used to get rid of heartburn. Although there is no medical proof of vinegar being a remedy for heartburn, people who use it swear by its efficacy. You too can use vinegar- white or apple cider vinegar- to treat your heartburn but only after diluting it with water. It may or may not give you the required relief from acid reflux but you can know that only after experimenting with it at least once.
- Add the vinegar to your glass of water and mix well.
- Now have this water.
- You may have it 2-3 times a day if you dont notice any discomfort.
- Take it before meals or before bedtime if you cant sleep due to heartburn at night.
Warning: Never use vinegar undiluted. When done so, vinegars acidity may cause damage not only to your esophagus but also to your tooth enamel. Always dilute the vinegar with water before consuming it and wash your mouth with clean water after having it to protect your tooth enamel. If you are not comfortable after having diluted vinegar, immediately stop having it.
Diet Nutrition And Lifestyle
What and how you eat can make all the difference with heartburn during pregnancy.
- Eating smaller meals throughout the day
- Making your main meal at lunchtime, which takes pressure off the digestive tract later in the day when the body is tired or ready for bed
- Avoiding food a couple hours before bed or a nap
- Sitting upright after eatinglying down can push stomach contents back up
- Propping your head up with a couple of pillows while sleeping
- Spicy, fatty, rich, and fried foods
- Fizzy drinks
- Large quantities of meat in one sittingthe body works harder if overloaded or too rich
Again, adding and subtracting certain foods and behaviors daily will help build a more balanced foundation for your wellness.
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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.
Which Foods Can Make Heartburn Worse
Certain foods are found to be more commonly associated with triggering heartburn than others. Foods and beverages linked to heartburn include.
Citrus juices:Citrus fruits like oranges, lemons, limes and grapefruits are highly acidic and may contribute to acid reflux.
Coffee:Caffeine in coffee relaxes the lower part of the esophagus and contributes to heartburn and acid reflux, while some varieties also contain more acidity.
Peppermint: This plant is found to have relaxing effects on the sphincter muscle that separates the stomach from the esophagus, which contribute to heartburn.
Soda & Other Carbonated Beverages: Bubbles in carbonated soda can expand inside the stomach and increase pressure, pushing stomach acids back up the esophagus.
Excessive Salt: High-sodium diets have been linked to acid reflux and heartburn.
Spicy foods: Spicy foods may contribute to heartburn and further irritation to an inflamed esophagus because they contain compounds that slow the bodys digestion rate.
Alcohol: Beer, wine, and liquor have sedative effects that relax the lower part of the esophagus and make it easier for acid to flow back into the esophagus.
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Bring Lifestyle Changes To Get Rid Of Heartburn
Wrong eating habits and certain other habits make it difficult for your body to digest food properly. There are some other lifestyle habits that lead to heartburn and you need to change them. Here is a list of such lifestyle changes that you must adopt if you want to get rid of heartburn.
How To Stop Acid Reflux At Night Choking While Sleeping
In this article, we assume you already narrowed down exactly what you are experiencing and believe that its cause is Acid Reflux. If you are Not sure what the cause is, We recommend you read our Comprehensive Article Choking while Sleeping Causes, Complications, and Treatment
Do you think you are suffering from Acid Reflux or GERD? Read further
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When To See A Healthcare Provider
If heartburn becomes chronic, it can lead to respiratory problems, inflammation, and narrowing of the esophagus.
If you have symptoms that include the following, you should contact your healthcare provider.
- The heartburn wont go away.
- You have serious wheezing.
- The symptoms of heartburn are more frequent and severe.
- You have consistent hoarseness.
- There is unexpected weight loss.
- You have been taking over-the-counter antacids for more than two weeks, and you still have heartburn symptoms.
- Vomiting occurs because of heartburn.
- Prescription medicine doesnt relieve heartburn.
It is important to keep in contact with your healthcare provider
about your symptoms and progress. They can help you with any questions and concerns related to your specific condition.
How Are Gerd And Sleep Related
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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Consider Eating Less Chocolate
GERD patients are sometimes advised to avoid or limit their consumption of chocolate. However, the evidence for this recommendation is weak.
One small, uncontrolled study showed that consuming 4 ounces of chocolate syrup weakened the lower esophageal sphincter .
Another controlled study found that drinking a chocolate beverage increased the amount of acid in the esophagus, compared to a placebo .
Nevertheless, further studies are needed before any strong conclusions can be made about the effects of chocolate on reflux symptoms.
There is limited evidence that chocolate worsens reflux symptoms. A few studies suggest it might, but more research is needed.
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Use A Mattress Elevator
Sleeping in a sloped mattress using a full-width mattress elevator might be the perfect solution that you are looking for. Known for its therapeutic benefits, this not only helps relieve your heartburn but also makes your sleep more comfortable.
A mattress elevator works by altering the height of your bed and safely lifting you into a seated position in your bed. You can place this under your mattress or strap it right above your mattress as a bed topper.
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Food And Drink Tips For Nighttime Heartburn Relief