What Are Some Ways To Sleep Better With Heartburn
Creating a sleep hygiene routine that is easy and comfortable to follow may also help improve your sleep. Taking steps such as setting a sleep schedule, creating a quiet, dark bedroom environment, and avoiding eating in the hours before you go to sleep might help. Choose pajamas that are loose around the waist to prevent any restriction around the stomach that could impact your heartburn symptoms.
How To Naturally Treat Your Heartburn
ByFrank Hagan | Submitted On September 08, 2009
If you have acid reflux, or even the more severe gastroesophageal reflux, you might be able to free yourself from it by merely changing your life. Avoiding medicine or, quite possibly worse, surgery, is possible if you practice some of the following tips.
Because most individuals get heartburn later at night, it’s best to limit your nighttime eating. Try to finish eating 2-3 hours before you go to bed. If you’re someone that eats at night while watching TV , then look for another habit to pursue before you get some shut-eye.
Your diet is as important as the time you eat as far as getting rid of heartburn. Food items that are acid-forming can make it easier to get acid reflux. Juice and coffee should be reduced, as well as alcoholic beverages.
Foods that cause your stomach to produce acid are more common than you may imagine. Foods that contain high fat, such as candy , and hot and spicy foods incorporating peppers will cause heartburn. Dishes like pasta should be eaten in limited quantities due to how quickly tomato sauce may promote acid reflux.
Another ingredient in remaining clear from acid reflux symptoms is to cut back the amount of food that you consume. Try consuming tinier portions. Eating too much food can cause acids in the stomach to be forced upwards, which leads to a burning sensation in your throat.
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Food And Drink Tips For Nighttime Heartburn Relief
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Signs And Symptoms Of Heartburn In Teens
The prominent symptoms of heartburn are burning sensation in the chest or throat and taste of acid or food in the mouth.
The following symptoms are often associated with heartburn :
- Sour taste
- Trouble in swallowing
- Sore throat
Your teen may experience heartburn while lying down or bending after eating. Although heartburn can be associated with a heart attack in adults, it may not apply to teens. This chest discomfort due to acid reflux can be alleviated with some over-the-counter antacids. However, if the problem persists, you may consult a doctor to identify the exact cause and treat it.
Back Sleeping: Avoid Whenever Possible
Sleeping on the back increases how often acid reflux happens at night.
When you sleep flat on your back and acid escapes from your stomach, it can flow freely into your esophagus and remain there.
Studies show that symptoms are often more frequent in this position and tend to last longer because the acid cannot flow back to the stomach.
Your symptoms may also be more severe if you have stomach fatwhich 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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Chocolate Can Cause Everyday Heartburn
Your sweet tooth aint gonna like this, but chocolate may also trigger heartburn attacks.
Again, the problem lies in LES relaxation and subsequent acid reflux.
Eating chocolate boosts your serotonin level, making you feel happy and relaxed.
Unfortunately, the same goes for your LES, which has different types of
And you know the drill: relaxed LES => acid reflux => heartburn
Theobromine and caffeine in chocolate may contribute to LES relaxation, too.
Sleep With Your Head And Shoulder On An Incline
Lying down flat presses the stomach’s contents against the LES. With the head higher than the stomach, gravity helps reduce this pressure and keeps stomach contents where they belongin the stomach. You can elevate your head in a couple of ways. You can place bricks, blocks or anything that’s sturdy securely under the legs at the head of your bed. You can also use a wedge-shaped pillow to elevate your head.
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Tests And Surgery For Heartburn And Acid Reflux
If medicines do not help or your symptoms are severe, a GP may refer you to a specialist for:
- tests to find out what’s causing your symptoms, such as a gastroscopy
- an operation on your stomach to stop acid reflux called a laparoscopic fundoplication
Page last reviewed: 09 September 2020 Next review due: 09 September 2023
Other Causes Of Morning Heartburn
Although GERD is a common reason for heartburn in the morning, there are other reasons that someone can experience heartburn during this time. Some factors include your activities the night before and lifestyle habits. Other factors include:
- Having a high stress level
- Hiatal hernia
- Wearing tight clothes and belts
- Acidic foods like tomatoes and citrus
- Alcoholic beverages
Your healthcare provider can help you create a list of foods to remove and incorporate into your diet that will help treat your GERD symptoms. It is important to work with your healthcare provider, continuing to take your medicineif prescribedand following a plan that will help you have the best outcome regarding your condition.
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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
Do You Have Heartburn Only At Night
There are several reasons why a person can have heartburn at night.
The issue with reflux may be that you have excess acid in your stomach at night, but in fact the difficulty started with low acid. This is the most important thing to understand.
The answer to the difficulty of why is there acid reflux at night would then be reframed then to why is there low acid at night.
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Preparing For Your Appointment
You can help your doctor diagnose and treat your condition by being prepared to answer the following questions:
- What are your main symptoms? Report any symptoms, such as abdominal pain, a change in bowel habits, or vomiting.
- How long have you had heartburn?
- Have you had this problem before? If so, do you know what caused the problem at that time? How was it treated? How did you respond to that treatment?
- Have you had any signs of bleeding from your digestive system?
- Have you had any difficulty swallowing when you eat or drink?
- How much tobacco do you use? How much alcohol do you drink? How much caffeine do you drink?
- Has your weight increased or decreased more than 2 kg recently?
- Have there been any changes in your diet? Are you eating certain foods more often?
- Have there been changes in your daily schedule, such as when you eat and when you go to bed?
- Are you taking any non-prescription or prescription medicines? Bring a list of all the medicines you are taking to your appointment.
- What home treatment measures have you tried? Did they help? Be sure to include lifestyle changes you have made.
- What non-prescription medicines have you taken or used to treat your heartburn? Did they help?
- Do you have any health risks?
It will be easier to make lifestyle changes if your family understands the reasons for the changes. Take a friend or family member to the appointment with you, and discuss diet and sleeping habits with your doctor.
How To Avoid Heartburn At Night
While its often recommended to raise the head of your bed with risers to help gravity keep the stomach acids where theyre supposed to be, it may also be helpful to use a body pillow to help you sleep on your left side with your head elevated. Staying on your left side during the night allows acids to pass through the LES and then into the stomach and elevating your head helps gravity do its job.
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Try Sleeping On Your Left Side
Gastroesophageal reflux disease occurs when the upper portion of the digestive tract is not functioning properly, causing stomach contents to flow back into the esophagus. The esophagus is a muscular tube linking the mouth to the stomach. In normal digestion, a specialized ring of muscle at the bottom of the esophagus called the lower esophageal sphincter opens to allow food to pass into the stomach and then quickly closes to prevent backflow into the esophagus. The LES can malfunction, allowing contents from the stomach, including food and digestive juices, such as hydrochloric acid, to push up into the esophagus. In GERD, this backflow is ongoing.
When you are standing, or sitting upright, gravity helps prevent stomach contents from rising up into the esophagus. However, reflux can become much worse while you are sleeping or lying in bed without the aid of gravity, it is much easier for stomach contents to spill through the malfunctioning LES and flow into the esophagus. This leads to an increase in symptoms, such as a burning in the chest, the feeling of food or liquid rising into the mouth, a sour or bitter taste, a sore throat, and coughing, which can make getting a good nights sleep a difficult task.
First published in the Inside Tract® newsletter issue 201 2017
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Be Careful With Citrus
Citrus fruits like oranges, lemons, and grapefruits are also high in acid and irritating to the digestive tract. The extra acid from these foods aggravates reflux and worsens heartburn. Remember that orange juice, lemonade, grapefruit juice, and products made with citrus fruit juices, such as some marinades, will have the same negative effect. Choose fruits that are less acidic to satisfy your daily fruit requirements.
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What Causes This Burning Sensation
When you eat, food passes down your throat and through your esophagus to your stomach. A muscle controls the opening between the esophagus and the stomach. It remains tightly closed except when you swallow food.
When this muscle fails to close after food passes through, the acidic contents of your stomach can travel back up into the esophagus. Doctors refer to this backward movement as reflux. When stomach acid hits the lower part of the esophagus, it can produce a burning sensation. This is what we call heartburn or, more formally, gastroesophageal reflux disease .
About one in 10 adults has heartburn at least once a week, and 1 in 3 have it every month, says Dr. Gabbard. About 10 to 20% of adults have chronic heartburn.
What Are The Signs & Symptoms Of Gerd
Often, people who have GERD notice that they regularly have the pain of heartburn in the chest or stomach. This can last up to a couple of hours. Many notice their heartburn is worse after eating.
Regurgitation when food and liquid containing stomach acid comes back up into the throat or mouth is also a sign of GERD. But, like heartburn, occasional regurgitation is common for everyone.
Other symptoms of GERD include:
- a sore, raw throat or hoarse voice
- a frequent sour taste of acid, especially when lying down
- a feeling of burping acid into the mouth
- trouble swallowing
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Dont Drink Too Much Alcohol
Alcohol increases the amount of acid the stomach produces and relaxes the lower esophageal sphincter . If you do want to have some alcohol during your festivities, try the following tips:
- Dilute alcoholic beverages with water or club soda.
- Limit alcohol consumption to one or two mixed drinks, no more than 16 ounces of wine, or and no more than three beers.
- Drink white wine instead of red wine.
- Choose non-alcoholic beer or wine.
- Keep track of which alcoholic drinks aggravate your heartburn, and avoid them as much as possible.
Symptoms Of Heartburn At Night
Its common for heartburn to become more pronounced in the evening.
People who experience heartburn at night typically report the following symptoms:
- Worse pain when lying down or bending over
- A bitter or acidic taste in the mouth
These heartburn symptoms can last anywhere from a few minutes to a couple of hours.
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What Causes Heartburn
A muscle called the lower esophageal sphincter at the bottom of the esophagus normally prevents foods and acid from backing up. This muscle acts like a tight drawstring to close off the opening between the esophagus and stomach when a person is not eating.
Heartburn occurs when the lower esophageal sphincter does not close all the way.
Why doesn’t the lower esophageal sphincterclose all the way?
Many different things loosen the lower esophageal sphincter.
- Certain foods and drinks loosen the lower esophageal sphincter. These include chocolate, peppermint, caffeine-containing beverages , fatty foods, and alcohol.
- The body’s position affects the lower esophageal sphincter. It is easier for stomach acid to flow back into the esophagus if a person is lying down or bending over.
- Anything that increases the pressure on the stomach can force stomach acid backward and cause heartburn. Lifting, straining, coughing, tight clothing, obesity, and pregnancy can worsen heartburn.
- Certain medical conditions increase a person’s chance of suffering from heartburn. A hiatal hernia, diabetes, and many autoimmune diseases are linked to heartburn.
- Many prescription medications can loosen the lower esophageal sphincter, including certain blood pressure and heart medications and the asthma drug theophylline.
How Is Gerd Treated
Treatment for GERD depends on how severe symptoms are. For some people, treatment may just include lifestyle changes, such as changing what they eat or drink. Others will need to take medicines. In very rare cases, when GERD is particularly severe, a doctor will recommend surgery.
These lifestyle changes can help ease the symptoms of GERD or even prevent the condition:
- quitting smoking
- avoiding carbonated beverages
- avoiding foods that trigger reflux
It also can help to not lie down for 3 hours after a meal and to not eat 2 to 3 hours before going to bed. Doctors sometimes also recommend raising the head of the bed about 6 to 8 inches. Before you start a major bedroom makeover, though, talk to your doctor and your parents about the best sleeping position for you.
If symptoms continue, doctors might prescribe medicine, such as:
- H2 blockers, which can help block the production of stomach acid
- proton pump inhibitors, which reduce the amount of acid the stomach makes
- prokinetics, which help the esophageal sphincter work better and the stomach empty faster. This can prevent reflux episodes.
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Reasons For Getting Heartburn Every Day
Heartburn that happens occasionally is considered normal, but when we start experiencing it daily, it becomes a major problem.
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