Many people in America suffer from acid reflux at night, and a few lifestyle changes can help them prevent the problem. For example, raising your bed at night and finishing your dinner earlier than close to bedtime. Such small changes in your routine can help to control the problem of acid reflux at night. Also, it’s best to avoid sleeping on your stomach unless you have a mattress that supports such a sleeping position.
Sleep Science suggests that elevating the head of your bed will prevent food from backing up due to gravity. However, if acid reflux is a regular occurrence, you may want to visit a doctor.
What are the Symptoms of Acid Reflux?
Acid reflux is also known as heartburn. Those who suffer from acid reflux feel a burning sensation in the throat, stomach, and chest. Other symptoms of heartburn may include nausea, difficulty swallowing, and chest pain.
The International Foundation for Gastrointestinal Disorders (IFFGD) says that more than 70% of US citizens experience GERD symptoms after bedtime. Out of these people, 75% say that symptoms of this condition also affect their sleep, which is evident and understandable. 40% among all those who experience acid reflex past bedtime cannot function naturally during the following day.
It is a known fact that GERD influences sleep, but deprivation of sleep is also an impact of GERD. Lack of sleep can increase the acid sensitivity in the esophagus. During the day, people who experience acid reflux will experience more symptoms than those who fall prey to acid reflux after bedtime. It disturbs sleeping time and can cause a lot of other problems in your day-to-day life.
What Causes Acid Reflux?
The most common cause of acid reflux observed is a stomach abnormality known as a hiatal hernia. It happens when the LES and upper part of your stomach mover over the diaphragm. The diaphragm is a muscle that keeps your stomach and chest separate. The responsibility of a diaphragm is to keep acid in our stomach. However, when you suffer from a hiatal hernia, the acid will move into your esophagus and cause acid reflux symptoms.
- Other factors involved that cause acid reflux is:
- Having large meals before bed or lying on the bed right after a meal.
- Obesity or overweight.
- Lying on your back or bending over your waist right after a meal.
- Eating right before bedtime.
- Eating food items in large quantities like tomato, garlic, onions, mint, spicy or fatty items, chocolate, or citrus.
- Drinking carbonated beverages, coffee, tea, or alcohol.
- Intake of blood pressure medicines, muscle relaxers, aspirin, or ibuprofen.
How to Treat Acid Reflux
There are many ways you can treat acid reflux, from simple medications to surgery. While treating acid reflux, doctors aim to relieve patients from pain, heal the esophagus, and prevent acid reflux from happening in the future.
Read below to know how you can treat acid reflux.
Medicines available in the market near you that can decrease stomach acid levels can help. You can also use an inhibitor, but an older study found that the use of PPI also caused sleep disturbance and bedtime heartburn in some. Read about other medicines which can help you to treat acid reflux with medications here.
If medicines, behavior, and lifestyle aren’t working, doctors recommend going for the last option- Surgery. One of the most common surgical alternatives to treat acid reflux is called Fundoplication. In the surgery, a surgeon will join a part of the stomach to the lower esophageal sphincter. This procedure is performed using laparoscopy, and instead of one large cut, several minor cuts are made.
Prevention Tips for Acid Reflux
One of the most helpful ways to counter acid reflux is to avoid things that cause symptoms. For example, don’t take large meals and go for small but more frequent meals. Other ways to prevent acid reflux are as follows,
- Eat small and meals frequently but modify the types of foods.
- Quit smoking as it causes acid reflux.
- Use a wedge pillow and elevate your head.
- Eat at least a few hours before your bedtime.
- Sleep in chairs for daytime naps and not in bed.
- Don’t force your body to fit in tight clothes or belts.
- Try to lose weight if you are over the average weight scale.
- Exercise regularly and make some diet changes.
- Check for medications you regularly take, as they can also cause heartburns.
How Elevating Your Mattress Can Help Against Acid Reflux
Elevating the head of your mattress using an adjustable bed or wedge pillows can help a lot. Sleeping in an upright position will set your esophagus over the stomach and make it harder for acid in your stomach to escape. This will also help you to have a better good night’s sleep without any disturbance. Also, there are many other benefits of sleeping in an inclined position.
Lying down straight may cause food to come up through the esophagus and into your mouth, causing acid reflux. Elevating your head while sleeping will keep your stomach acid down due to gravity, and it will not enter the esophagus. There are different ways you can elevate your bed and sleep better, like using wedge pillows, adjustable beds, and bed risers. Every method mentioned elevates the upper body and helps you to control acid reflux.
An adjustable bed will help you to elevate your body easily with just a click of a button. Adjustable beds cost more than the standard bed frames, but they sometimes come with mattresses. This will help you to save a lot of money when you look at the big picture.
Wedge pillows are made of form and gently inclined. They are the most inexpensive products to help you elevate your body while you sleep and can help a lot to reduce acid reflux.
These are made of wood or plastic, and you can place them under your bedposts to elevate your height. Bed risers are a very secure and affordable option, but the risk of mattress sliding down is also there if not adequately handled.
However, if you are not sure how to help yourself against acid reflux most affordably and naturally, visit Mancini’s Sleepworld. Sleep experts at our mattress store will ensure that you spend the minimum and go home with the perfect sleeping companion without acid reflux. We are available in 34 locations across California, and you also visit our website to book an appointment with your requirements.