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How to Prevent Acid Reflux at Night

Thursday, 28 March 2019

When you sleep it is possible for stomach acid to leave your stomach and enter your oesophagus, which can cause discomfort, a sharp burning feeling in the centre of your chest, and sickness and nausea. The movement of stomach acid travelling upwards towards your throat is called acid reflux, and the sharp burning feeling that accompanies it is more commonly known as heartburn.

Reoccurring acid reflux can cause insomnia, stress and sickness
Reoccurring acid reflux can cause insomnia, stress and sickness

If this happens repeatedly it gets given a different name: gastro-oesophagael reflux disease, or GERD for short. GERD can cause great discomfort and can lead to insomnia, long-term sickness, stress and depression. Luckily there are ways at preventing acid reflux and GERD through the night, which you can discover in this short guide.

What Actually Is GERD?

Gastro-oesophagael disease will impact between 10 and 20% of the UK population, so if you do suffer from it then you're not alone. Usually it is harmless, but we do recommend that if it doesn't go away or if it is getting worse that you contact your doctor as soon as possible. GERD occurs when the contents of your stomach rise up into the oesophagus, which then result in a range of symptoms that are generally discomforting for the sufferer.

Otherwise called acid reflux, it occurs when the lower oesphagael sphincter doesn't close properly. There are other contributing factors and a doctor should be able to diagnose you correctly with a gastrocopy or a monitoring oesphagael manometry.

How Do I Know If I Have GERD?

As said above, a doctor should be able to identify if you do suffer from GERD. However, there are a range of different symptoms that make the condition difficult to miss. These include:

  • Taste of acid
  • Heartburn
  • Halitosis (bad breath)
  • Chest pain
  • Vomiting
  • Breathing problems
  • Wearing away of the teeth
  • Difficulty swallowing
  • Sensation of a lump in your throat
  • Chronic cough

Alternatively, there are different factors that could make you a higher risk member of the population. These include:

  • Obesity
  • Pregnancy
  • Smoking
  • Pregnancy

How Can I Prevent Acid Reflux?

Acid reflux and GERD can make sleeping a difficult and unpleasant task, but there's no reason to suffer in silence. Many factors can lead to a reduced level of GERD and make sleeping a far more pleasant experience. The following techniques are proven to reduce the level of acid that enters your oesophagus at night.

Your Sleeping Habit

One way of reducing acid reflux is to change how you sleep. By sleeping with your head elevated above your feet, this prevents acid from moving upwards along your body towards your throat. You can achieve this by using special anti-GERD pillows such as the Putnams Bed Wedge for Acid Reflux and GERD.

Putnams Bed Wedge for Acid Reflux and GERD
Putnams Bed Wedge for Acid Reflux and GERD

The Putnams Bed Wedge is proven to reduce the level of acid that enters your oesophagus, with Health and Care Reviewers reporting that it has helped reduce acid reflux despite suffering for years. By placing it at the top of your bed as pictured, you can sleep in comfort without the worries of acid reflux bothering you through the night.

A Lifestyle Change

Another way is to change your lifestyle. You can do this in a few ways, but one main way is to ensure that you eat healthy foods, get enough exercise and don't do things that are unfriendly to your health such as smoking and drinking. A list of steps that you can take includes:

  • Not wearing tight clothes before you sleep
  • Avoid smoking
  • Avoid drinking alcohol
  • Retain a healthy weight
  • Try to relax rather than be stressed

Change Your Diet

The other way that you can reduce acid reflux through the night is to make a diet change. This includes avoiding unhealthy, fatty and sugary foods while increasing the amount of fruit and vegetables that you eat. Different people have different trigger foods, so we recommend that you take the time to discover which foods you eat that lead to an increased level of acid reflux in the evening.

Other things that you can do include not drinking caffeine, not drinking alcohol and not eating within three to four hours of going to sleep. When you do eat we would recommend smaller, more frequent meals as these are easier for your stomach to process. Lastly, drinking caffeine-free herbal teas before bed is a great way to relax your stomach, which is exactly what a stomach prone to acid reflux needs.

Tackle Acid Reflux Through the Night Now!

You can tackle acid reflux through the night by making a few small changes to your lifestyle. This includes changing your diet, reducing unhealthy food, and not eating or drinking foods such as caffeine. If you'd like to find more pillows that are suitable for GERD then you can check out our Bed Cushions, Supports and Rolls category, and if you'd like to improve your sleep generally then head on over to our Sleep Better range.

Tabs: Acid Reflux, GERD, Learn About Conditions, Sleep Better.

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