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Sleep Habits for Acid Reflux

Sleep Habits for Acid Reflux

If you have acid reflux disease, you know that getting a good night’s rest can sometimes be difficult. In fact, if you experience heartburn, you’re likely to have sleep-related difficulties including insomnia, daytime fatigue, restless leg syndrome and sleep apnea. As well, symptoms of acid reflux like coughing and heartburn may worsen at night when you’re lying down and trying to sleep.

Tips for Sleeping Better with Reflux

Here are some precautions you can take to try to eliminate symptoms of reflux from disrupting your sleep:

  • Elevate the head of your bed 4 to 6 inches. The goal of this is to raise your upper body to prevent acid from coming up into the esophagus. You can achieve the 4 to 6 inches by sleeping with a wedge-shaped pillow or placing blocks under the head of your bed.
  • Don’t sleep in tight-fitting clothes, especially clothes that put pressure on your stomach.
  • Losing weight, even as few as two and a half pounds, has been known to reduce nighttime heartburn symptoms.
  • In the evening, avoid foods that trigger heartburn for you, especially alcohol and acidic foods.
  • As well, try to eat at least three hours before going to bed so that your food can digest completely.
  • Exercise may induce symptoms of reflux, so avoid exercising a few hours before bed.
  • Taking antacids or medication before bed may be useful in reducing reflux symptoms while you sleep.

Getting a healthy, refreshing night’s sleep when you’re suffering from symptoms of reflux isn’t always possible. The symptoms may continue disturbing your sleep despite efforts you make to stop them. If that’s the case or if you find that you’re experiencing heartburn or symptoms of reflux on a regular basis, you may have GERD and should see a reflux doctor for proper diagnosis and treatment.


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