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How To Treat Heartburn At Night

What Causes Heartburn And What Does It Feel Like Exactly

What to know about foods that keep you awake/6 Foods That Keep You Awake at Night

Stomach acid is needed to break down the food you eat, something your stomach has no trouble handling. Your esophagus, on the other hand, is irritated by it.

To keep stomach acid in your stomach and out of your esophagus, a circular ring of muscle at the tubes base, called the lower esophageal sphincter, acts as a valve. When this valve is relaxed, food youve consumed is allowed to pass through to your stomach. When contracted, this valve prevents this food and acid from backing up into your esophagus.

If this valve relaxes abnormally and stomach acid is allowed to travel back into your esophagus, acid reflux occurs. Heartburn is the most well-known and obvious symptom.

It can feel differently depending on its severity, but heartburn symptoms include:

  • A burning sensation in your chest, behind your breastbone
  • Burning pain that rises up toward your throat
  • Having a bitter or sour taste in your mouth

Acid reflux and heartburn are sometimes caused by an underlying medical condition, or even a medication youre taking in some cases. But, more often than not, theyre triggered by things like your diet and lifestyle choices making the occasional bout of heartburn fairly common.

Common triggers of heartburn include:

  • Overeating or eating too quickly
  • Lying down too soon after eating
  • Consuming certain foods, including caffeine, carbonated beverages, alcohol, peppermint, citrus, tomato-based products, chocolate and fatty or spicy foods
  • Being overweight

Home Remedies For Heartburn: 10 Ways To Get Rid Of Acid Reflux

Despite what its name implies, heartburn has nothing to do with your heart.

Rather, it’s a burning sensation in your chest that occurs when stomach acid backs up into your esophagus, the 10-inch tube connecting your mouth to your stomach.

When it hits, heartburn can last for just a few minutes or as long as several hours. Either way, it’s uncomfortable so it’s no surprise if you’re looking for a way to get rid of the sensation fast.

Tips To Keep Heartburn On The Backburner

To prevent occasional bouts of heartburn, try taking the following five steps:

1. Avoid eating within three hours of the time you go to bed.

2. Take any acid suppressant medication, such as a proton pump inhibitor, first thing in the morning. Because of the way proton pump inhibitor-type medications activate, its not helpful to take these medications at night on an empty stomach, says Brown.

3. Sleep on a slight incline, with your head elevated, and/or sleep on your left side. If you have chronic heartburn, falling asleep in the wrong position enables acid to sneak into the esophagus. Keeping your head raised slightly keeps that from happening. Studies have also found that while sleeping on the right side actually aggravates heartburn, flipping over to your left side is likely to calm it, although the reason why is unknown.

4. Avoid foods that may cause acid reflux, such as peppermint, coffee and chocolate. Interestingly, spicy foods havent been shown to cause heartburn, says Brown. And theres some evidence that spicy foods may actually protect the body from ulcers.

5. If you smoke or use other tobacco products, quit. Not only does smoking relax the lower esophageal sphincter, allowing stomach acid to move up into the esophagus where it doesnt belong, but it also can slow the production of saliva, which protects against acid in the esophagus.

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You’re Using Your Phone Before Bed

Scrolling through Instagram feels relaxing, but it’s really keeping you from a good night’s sleep.

If you’ve ever found yourself frantically checking emails before bed, you’re not the only one, especially if you’re part of a younger crowd. Four out of five teens report sleeping with their phone in the room, and countless adults do as well. Many people even admit to checking a mobile device after they’ve gone to bed.

The artificial blue light emitted from screens delays your circadian rhythm and suppresses melatonin, a natural chemical that tells your body it’s time to sleep. When you stare at your phone right before bed, it causes your body to wake up and become more alert. Your natural rhythm is disrupted, and you’re much more likely to wake often throughout the night and experience a lower quality of sleep.

There’s a simple fix to this blue light phenomenon, though it’s not easy — don’t use your phone or computer right before bed. Two hours before you want to fall asleep, put all the screens away and focus on relaxing activities, like reading, light cleaning and spending time with loved ones. If you use your phone as an alarm, buy a cheap clock to use instead so that you can leave your phone outside of the bedroom for the whole night.

Gerd And Obstructive Sleep Apnea

Elevation Therapy For Heartburn At Night: Time To Sleep On An Incline ...

Research has also identified a link between GERD and obstructive sleep apnea , a sleep disorder that involves blockage of the airway that incites pauses in breathing during sleep. Debate exists among experts about whether GERD causes OSA, OSA causes GERD, or if they simply share similar risk factors.

It is possible that GERD affects the airway and ability to breathe normally, causing more apneas during the night. At the same time, people with OSA wake up frequently at night and may then detect GERD symptoms. Lack of sleep from OSA may make the esophagus more susceptible to reflux.

In addition, factors like alcohol consumption, smoking, and obesity can increase risk for both GERD and OSA, so the correlation between the conditions may be a result of these factors.

While the exact relationship between GERD and OSA is subject to further research, it is clear that the conditions can occur together and create significant complications for a persons sleep, comfort, and overall health.

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My Choice Experience Desired Solution For Elevation Therapy

I used the MedCline when I had GERD . I didnt buy the Reflux Guard. My wife doesnt have acid reflux issues and doesnt like sleeping on an incline. So the Reflux Guard was out. I prefer the Tempur-Pedic adjustable bed, my wife likes this idea too, for her back, but the cost Yep, its expensive. Expensive but worth it according to many people who have chronic acid reflux or worse.

Weigh your options and speak with your health professionals. They help steer you to your best choice.

How To Get Better Sleep In 2019

One easy-to-fix culprit of nighttime awakening is simply that your room, or internal body temperature, may be too warm. Your body temperature fluctuates throughout the day — when it rises in the morning and early afternoon, you become more alert, and as it falls at night it signals that it’s time for bed. If your room is too warm in the middle of the night, your body might think that it’s time to be awake and alert. Plus, if it’s super hot, you could wake up with night sweats, and no one likes being jolted awake by sticky sheets.

If you live in a warm area and don’t have the luxury of simply turning on the air conditioning, there are still things you can do to cool down. Taking a cold shower, using a bedroom fan and even putting your sheets in the freezer for a little bit before bed can all help.

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Why Is Gerd Worse After Going To Bed

There are several explanations for why GERD is commonly worse at night after going to bed:

  • When lying down, gravity no longer helps keep stomach acid down, making it easier for reflux to occur.
  • Saliva can help neutralize stomach acid, but production of saliva is reduced during deeper stages of sleep.

A combination of these effects can facilitate the leakage of stomach acid into the esophagus and allow the acid to remain in place for longer, potentially causing more severe GERD symptoms, including those that can disturb sleep. The problem may be even greater if a person goes to bed soon after eating and/or eats foods that trigger GERD.

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Home Remedies For Heartburn

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Tags: Digestive Health & Disorders ,

That unpleasant feeling of your last meal coming back into your throat. That uncomfortable, even painful, burning sensation in your chest. Heartburn has returned.

Heartburn is the feeling you get when the contents of your stomach back up into the esophagus toward the mouth. It’s common to experience it from time to time.

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Take An Acid Neutralizer

When heartburn hits and you need relief, try an antacid like Tums, Rolaids, or Maalox. These medications act quickly to neutralize the acid in the stomach, which can reduce your symptoms. Dont have any on hand? Dissolve a teaspoon of baking soda in eight ounces of water and drink to neutralize the acid in your stomach. Just use caution with this home remedy since its high in sodium and shouldnt be used by people on a sodium-restricted diet.

Learn more: Treating GERD with medications: What you need to know

We also like H-2 blockers, also known as Histamine H2-receptor antagonists. These include such brand names a Pepcid, Pepcid AC, Tagamet, and Zantac. These medications dont work as quickly as acid neutralizers, but they are still very fast. H2 blockers should be taken about 30 minutes before you eat or when you typically experience symptoms.

The benefit of H2 blockers is that they work longer than antacids, but they dont have the same medical risks associated with proton pump inhibitors. As is true with all medications we highly recommend that you discuss use with your doctor before you begin any drug treatment, prescription or over-the-counter.

And remember that while these quick fixes may help relieve your GERD symptoms, they dont address the underlying cause of those symptoms. Your goal should be to stop reflux from happening in the first place, which is why we recommend several long-term solutions to cure heartburn.

The Reason Your Heartburn Is Worse At Night

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.

Read Also: Symptoms Of Heartburn And Indigestion

How Do I Treat Heartburn During Pregnancy

When youre growing a human being, you dont have time for that yucky acid reflux. But your usual go-to methods for treating it may not be safe for your unborn baby.

Instead, here are some of the safest and best ways to get rid of heartburn when youre pregnant:

  • Dip into some yogurt. Its probiotics and soothing texture make yogurt a great option for extinguishing heartburn or at least dousing the flames a little.
  • Drink milk with honey. According to the American Pregnancy Association, a tablespoon of honey mixed in a glass of warm milk may be just what you need to neutralize heartburn-causing acid.
  • Snack on almonds. Munching on a handful of almonds may provide heartburn relief since these nuts have a lower acidity level than others.
  • Eat pineapple or papaya. For some women, the digestive enzymes in pineapple and papaya have helped ease symptoms. Eating these fruits after your meals can aid digestion and reduce your chances of heartburn.
  • Try a little ginger. You probably knew ginger was a good remedy for an upset stomach. Well, that makes it a helpful candidate for fighting off heartburn, too. Among gingers many benefits, it can reduce inflammation and prevent stomach acid from traveling up the esophagus.
  • Chew sugar-free gum. Another effective method for taming the burn is to chew some sugar-free gum. One study found that chewing sugar-free gum for 30 minutes after a meal can reduce acid reflux.
  • How To Relieve Heartburn At Night

    2 Positions You Should Avoid to Prevent Nighttime Heartburn

    Waking up with heartburn in the middle of the night? Youre not alone. Studies show about 20 percent of adults in the U.S. suffer from heartburn at least once a week, and among those, 75 percent experience heartburn at night. The discomfort of having heartburn at night often results in problems falling or staying asleep. Learn about the possible causes and treatment options for heartburn.

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    Sleep On Your Left Side

    Studies have shown that sleeping on your left side can ease heartburn discomfort as gravity will work in your favor. By sleeping in this position, your stomach will be positioned under your esophagus which helps to prevent acid reflux from happening. If any acid DOES seep through, gravity will ensure it flows back down into your stomach faster than if you were sleeping on your back or your right side.

    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.

    Also Check: What Can I Eat When I Have Heartburn

    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.

    The Best Flat Sleep Position For Acid Reflux At Night

    5 Minutes Home Remedies For Heartburn and Acid Reflux Treatment

    Your left side is the best flat sleeping position for avoiding acid reflux at night.

    In this position your, LES typically stays above your stomach contents thus lowering the likelihood of acid reflux.

    If reflux occurs when lying flat on your left side, gravity works with you to return contents to your stomach. Also, your reflux is typically more gaseous in nature.5

    The combined benefits of sleeping on your left side

      Acid reflux symptoms are less frequent and less severe when sleeping flat on your left side as compared to on your right side, back, or stomach.4 This makes your left side the most desirable flat sleep position.

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      Take An Antacid When Heartburn Hits

      Antacids will work very quickly on heartburn you may be experiencing before you go to bed. It can also be used for those heartburn episodes that wake you up during the night if the heartburn comes back. Unfortunately, this is very possible. An H2 blocker taken at bedtime takes 30 to 90 minutes to work and the benefits typically last several hours. Symptoms may improve for up to 24 hours after taking the drug. Another option is to combine the two. The antacid will provide the quick relief you need, and will likely last until the H2 blocker begins to work.

      If you continue to experience frequent heartburn symptoms at night, even after trying to narrow down the cause, see your healthcare provider. He or she will be able to diagnose whether you are suffering from just occasional heartburn, or something more serious, such as gastroesophageal reflux disease, an ulcer, or a hiatal hernia. You will be able to discuss with your healthcare provider different treatment options, including medications such as proton pump inhibitors.

      What Foods Get Rid Of Heartburn

      Eating certain foods can also help relieve heartburn symptoms.

      8. Drink ginger tea

      Ginger is an ancient remedy used for the digestive system. It can help relieve irritation and inflammation in your esophagus and digestive tract.

      9. Eat fennel

      Fennel is another soothing digestive remedy. Try grilling this low-acid vegetable as a hot vegetable dish, or drink fennel tea.

      10. Eat mild vegetables

      Mild vegetables like lettuce, celery, cucumbers, and sweet peppers are gentle on the stomach and dont cause gas. Less belching can help relieve heartburn symptoms.

      11. Enjoy melons

      If citrus fruits make your heartburn worse, try swapping them for melons. Theyre low in acid and a healthy option.

      12. Try oatmeal

      Whole grains like oatmeal are high in fiber, which makes you feel full for longer. You might be less likely to overeat, which can ease heartburn.

      Also Check: How To Get Rid Of Heartburn While Sleeping

      How To Treat Nighttime Heartburn Symptoms

      For nighttime heartburn relief, elevate your head and chest upright in bed, lie on your left side, or try standing up. Raising your upper body can naturally help the stomach acid move down the digestive system and reduce heartburn symptoms.

      If occasional heartburn symptoms persist, they can be treated with over the counter medications, such as PEPCID®. PEPCID® is a Histamine-2 blocker, with the active ingredient famotidine, which can help relieve heartburn by reducing the amount of acid in the stomach. It works fast and will help to control acid all night*. If you do not have OTC heartburn medications readily available, learn more about easy ways to manage with at-home heartburn remedies.

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