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10 Sleeping Tips for Nighttime Heartburn

Approximately four out of five people that suffer from regular Gastroesophageal Reflux Disease (GERD) symptoms, have nighttime heartburn. Nighttime acid reflux symptoms disrupt sleep and can make you feel tired and cranky the next day. Follow these tips to stop nighttime heartburn before it starts.

  1. Elevate your body at night. Add four to six inch blocks to the head of your bed. Alternatively, sleep on a wedge pillow, which provides elevation of your esophagus and head.
  2. Avoid late night and big meals. – Both large meals and eating late at night can put pressure on your stomach, leading to acid reflux. As an added tip, relax and eat slowly to prevent your stomach from producing excess acids in response to stress.
  3. Wear loose-fitting clothing – Tight fitting clothing, especially on the waist, can put pressure on your stomach, causing Gastroesophageal Reflux Disease (GERD) symptoms.
  4. Lose weight – Symptoms of acid reflux tend to get worse as a person gains weight.
  5. Sleep on your left side – Some experts believe that sleeping on your left side reduces nighttime heartburn because of the layout of the stomach and esophagus.
  6. Avoid exercising right after eating – Waiting a couple of hours to exercise vigorously allows your stomach to empty out.
  7. Chew gum before bed – Chewing gum triggers saliva production, which helps wash down acid in the esophagus.
  8. Quit smoking – Smoking relaxes the lower esophageal muscle, so smoking before bed is more of an invitation to nighttime heartburn.
  9. Review your medications – Speak to your Albany doctor about the medications you are taking. Some medications, like NSAIDs, blood pressure medications, and osteoarthritis drugs, may make your Gastroesophageal Reflux Disease (GERD) symptoms worse.
  10. Avoid food triggers – While some people can eat chocolate and not experience acid reflux, for others it’s a sure fire way to get heartburn. Some common heartburn triggers include, alcohol, coffee, peppermint, onions, and spicy, greasy, fried, acidic, fatty foods.


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