How to Sleep Well When You Have Acid Reflux

What’s the Difference Between Acid Reflux and GERD?

Put baby to sleep on his or her back. Most babies should be placed on their backs to sleep, even if they have reflux.

are many ways that you can improve your sleep. Lifestyle and behavior modifications can go a long way toward helping you get the quality sleep you need – even with GERD. It is common for people with sleep apnea to also have GERD. Sleep apnea is when you experience either shallow breathing or one or more pauses in breathing during sleep.

However, some people are simply more prone to acid reflux, and for them, some more sustainable interventions are needed to help secure them a good night’s sleep. Caused by what’s called a hiatal hernia, acid reflux occurs when the stomach and lower esophageal sphincter (LES) move above the diaphragm, the muscle that normally helps keep acid in our stomach. Some 60 percent of American adults experience acid reflux each year, with 20-30% suffering from weekly symptoms, making it an issue that deserves more than a tube of TUMS thrown at it. THE FACTS For people with chronic heartburn, restful sleep is no easy feat.

When you lie flat, however, it’s much easier for stomach acid to backflow into your esophagus. making the return of acid to your stomach more difficult. And, depending on how you are sleeping, your esophagus can actually be below your stomach allowing acid to freely flow out and then just sit in your esophagus, lungs, throat, and sinuses.

Obesity and pregnancy can also lead to acid reflux because they put pressure on your abdomen, which can weaken your lower esophageal sphincter. Reflux in babies can be very frustrating, and there is rarely one step alone which helps. In addition, every baby is different, and some of these tips may work better than others. Fortunately, reflux often improves as a baby gets older, and for those in which it persists, there are a variety of treatment options. Please remember that if you have any questions about your baby’s health-no matter how seemingly small-it’s always a good idea to consult with your pediatrician.

In fact, a study found that reflux patients under stress reported more painful symptoms related to acid reflux, but none of the patients showed an increase in gastric acid. So it’s not that you’re producing more gastric acids when you’re stressed….you’re only more sensitive to acid exposure in periods of stress. To top that, stress coupled with exhaustion will also make it harder for you to fall asleep. Stress causes hyperarousal, which disrupts the balance between sleep and wakefulness. Insomnia is a broad term used to describe a variety of sleeping problems.

  • Try a wedge pillow which slightly elevates the head, shoulders, and torso to prevent stomach contents to come back up into the esophagus.
  • In 2019, the U.S.
  • GERD, also known as acid reflux, is an acronym that stands for gastroesophageal reflux disease.
  • Fortunately, sometimes all it takes to prevent nighttime heartburn is a few lifestyle changes.

If the acid only backs up as far as the esophagus the symptom is usually experienced as heartburn. 6. Steer clear of late-night meals or big meals. Avoid eating meals two to three hours before bedtime to reduce stomach acid and allow the stomach to partially empty its contents before you sleep, suggests the American Gastroenterological Association.

H2 blockers are usually used for short-term or on-demand relief and PPIs are often used for long-term GERD treatment. Laying a baby tummy-side down or left side down while awake and after feedings is linked with fewer episodes of infant reflux. However, while asleep, infants are recommended to sleep on their back to reduce the risk of sudden infant death syndrome.

Sleep experts have noted that people who sleep flat on their backs with minimal head support are most susceptible to acid reflux during the night. One potential solution to this issue is an adjustable bed base that allows the sleeper to elevate their head. However, it’s important to note that some mattresses are better suited for adjustable beds than others. Although preferences vary by weight, most side sleepers prefer mattresses that are ‘Medium Firm.’ This setting offers a balance of pressure-relieving softness and bodily support needed for this sleep position. The Nectar mattress offers a ‘Medium Firm’ (6) surface that is suitable for the majority of side sleepers, including those with conditions like acid reflux that often require exclusive side sleeping.

Likewise, because nighttime GERD is a more aggressive form of the disease, a clinician may be more likely to perform an endoscopy on a patient in whom significant nighttime heartburn is suspected. Otherwise, as in a typical GERD case, endoscopy would not be normally involved if the patient is responsive to treatment.

This procedure (fundoplication) is usually done only when reflux is severe enough to prevent growth or to interfere with your baby’s breathing. Do not smoke two hours before bedtime or quit smoking. Smoking can increase the acid in your stomach and increase your risk of acid reflux.

A special tube equipped with a camera lens and light (endoscope) is passed through your baby’s mouth and into the esophagus, stomach and first part of the small intestine. Tissue samples may be taken for analysis. For infants and children, endoscopy is usually done under general anesthesia.

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December 24, 2014

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