5. Don’t sleep flat on your back
Elevate your head in bed. Keeping your head up is ideal if you experience acid reflux at night, says Huber. Piling up the pillows isn’t the best way to go about this, though, as pillows are liable to shift. An adjustable base might be a better option for you if you have acid reflux, says Huber. Adjustable bases make it easy to get into a sleeping position that will help mitigate symptoms.
A PPI blocks the secretion of acid into the stomach by the acid-secreting cells. The advantage of a PPI over an H2 antagonist is that the PPI shuts off acid production more completely and for a longer period of time.
This slows the regular esophageal contractions that normally keep food moving down the esophagus and prevent acid from moving back up. Sleepers also produce less saliva, which plays a role in returning esophageal pH levels to normal after an incident of acid reflux.
Instead, they stimulate yet other nerves that provoke coughing. In this way, refluxed liquid can cause coughing without ever reaching the throat! In a similar manner, reflux into the lower esophagus can stimulate esophageal nerves that connect to and can stimulate nerves going to the lungs. These nerves to the lungs then can cause the smaller breathing tubes to narrow, resulting in an attack of asthma. GERD or acid reflux symptoms are caused by the regurgitation of acidic liquid stomach contents back up into the esophagus.
No content on this site, regardless of date, should ever be used as a substitute for direct medical advice from your doctor or other qualified clinician. If these steps aren’t effective or if you have severe pain or difficulty swallowing, see your doctor to rule out other causes. You may also need medication to control reflux even as you pursue lifestyle changes.
For Medical Professionals
For example, maybe you eat breaded chicken, broccoli, and pasta in tomato sauce for dinner. Within an hour, you develop acid reflux. The trigger could be the chicken, the breading on the chicken, the broccoli, the pasta, or the tomato sauce. Start by eliminating tomato sauce from you next meal. If you do not develop acid reflux after eating the tomato sauce, the tomato sauce is likely the trigger.
- In the last decade, the Neuroenteric Clinical Research Group has been working in the area of GERD and sleep in order to decipher the exact relationship between the two disorders.
- Some of these nerves are stimulated by the refluxed acid, and this stimulation results in pain (usually heartburn).
- When these measures fail an antacid preparation may temporarily relieve the symptom by neutralizing stomach acid.
- Often your child will just have a bad taste in his or her mouth.
- However, patients with the symptoms or complications of GERD have reflux of more acid than individuals without the symptoms or complications of GERD.
PPIs are used when H2 antagonists do not relieve symptoms adequately or when complications of GERD such as erosions or ulcers, strictures, or Barrett’s esophagus exist. Five different PPIs are approved for the treatment of GERD, including omeprazole (Prilosec, Dexilant), lansoprazole (Prevacid), rabeprazole (Aciphex), pantoprazole (Protonix), and esomeprazole (Nexium), and dexlansoprazole (Dexilant). A sixth PPI product consists of a combination of omeprazole and sodium bicarbonate (Zegerid). PPIs (except for Zegarid) are best taken an hour before meals.
Incline + Left-Side Sleeping for Acid Reflux
Therefore, it is not necessary to have a hiatal hernia in order to have GERD. Moreover, many people have hiatal hernias but do not have GERD. It is not known for certain how or why hiatal hernias develop. The most recently-described abnormality in patients with GERD is laxity of the LES. Specifically, similar distending pressures open the LES more in patients with GERD than in individuals without GERD.
Then, to prevent food from sticking, the narrowing must be stretched (widened). Moreover, to prevent a recurrence of the stricture, reflux also must be prevented. Most reflux during the day occurs after meals.
Heartburn, or acid indigestion, is the most common symptom of GERD. Heartburn is described as a burning chest pain. It begins behind the breastbone and moves up to the neck and throat. It can last as long as 2 hours.
It may require a more proactive treatment strategy than those who experience heartburn less frequently. THE FACTS For people with chronic heartburn, restful sleep is no easy feat. Fall asleep in the wrong position, and acid slips into the esophagus, a recipe for agita and insomnia. In addition to GERD causing one to wake from the pain of heartburn, it has also been determined to be a factor of risk for sleep apnea. Sleep apnea causes one to stop breathing normally throughout sleep.
In addition, the lack of an effect of gravity allows the refluxed liquid to travel further up the esophagus and remain in the esophagus longer. These problems can be overcome partially by elevating the upper body in bed. The elevation is accomplished either by putting blocks under the bed’s feet at the head of the bed or, more conveniently, by sleeping with the upper body on a foam rubber wedge.