Acid reflux, also known as gastroesophageal reflux disease, affects approximately twenty percent of adult patients in the United States. When the esophageal sphincter, a circular muscle that normally prevents stomach contents from escaping, becomes weak, a condition known as acid reflux can occur. It’s possible for stomach acid to leak out, which would be harmful to the esophagus. Because of the similarities in their underlying causes, acid reflex and other medical conditions, such as sleep apnea, can frequently coexist.
Because stomach acids are more likely to creep back up and cause heartburn when the gut is level with the esophagus, the symptoms of acid reflux may feel worse after you lie down. This is because stomach acids are more likely to creep back up when the gut is level with the esophagus. You may experience a burning sensation in your chest or a sour taste in your throat when you wind down for sleep if you go to sleep immediately after eating or if you suffer from certain digestive disorders. This is because stomach acid causes irritation in the esophagus. If you go to sleep immediately after eating, you are more likely to experience these symptoms.
According to Dr. Nayantara Santhi, “Sleep is just as important for our health as diet.” It should not come as a surprise that they all have a relationship that goes in both directions. Good diet is important for good sleep.”
Because sleeping in an upright position positions the esophagus over the stomach, making it more difficult for stomach acid to escape, elevating the head can help reduce acid reflux symptoms. However, what exactly does it mean to elevate the head of your bed in order to prevent acid reflux?
In this article, we will discuss a variety of methods for propping up your head while you sleep, as well as the advantages of sleeping on an incline position to help reduce the symptoms of acid reflux. In addition, we will provide helpful advice on how to enhance the quality of your sleep.
How exactly does having your head elevated help?
When you lie down, there is a greater chance that food will travel backward through the esophagus and into your mouth. However, when you sleep with your head raised, gravity helps keep stomach acid down, which prevents stomach acid from entering the esophagus while you sleep.
Different Options to elevate your bed
You can raise the height of your bed in a number of different ways, including by lying on a wedge pillow, sleeping on an adjustable bed, or putting bed risers under your mattress. Each technique will elevate your upper body and bring your acid reflux under control.
- Adjustable Bed
One of the best ways to alleviate the symptoms of acid reflux is to upgrade your sleeping setup to include an adjustable bed. With a simple push of a button, an adjustable bed gives you the ability to electronically lift both your upper and lower body to a more comfortable position. If you can get a good night’s sleep on an adjustable base, the additional cost of an adjustable bed might be worth it for you. This is especially true if the adjustable bed costs more than a bed frame.
- Bed Risers
Bed risers, typically made of plastic or wood, are another option for elevating your mattress. By elevating the upper body with bed risers placed under the two bedposts at the head of the bed, the stomach can be positioned below the esophagus. This increases the likelihood that stomach acid will remain contained within the stomach rather than being expelled into the esophagus. Although bed risers are a cost-effective alternative, there is a possibility that your mattress will fall off the bed if it is not properly secured in place.
- Wedge-shaped Cushion
The majority of wedge pillows are constructed out of foam and have a shallow angle of elevation. Elevating your upper body with a wedge pillow is an easy and cost-effective way to alleviate acid reflux symptoms. Depending on the brand, the typical price range for wedge pillows is between $30 and $80.
Additional Methods for the Management of Acid Reflux
Modifications to your lifestyle, such as modifying the foods you eat and increasing the amount of physical activity you do, can further control acid reflux. These behaviors can lessen the severity of acid reflux symptoms and make it easier for you to get a good night’s rest.
- Avoid Consuming Hefty Meals Right Before Going to Bed.
Consuming a large meal shortly before going to bed can not only make acid reflux symptoms worse, but it can also make it more difficult for you to get to sleep. The digestive process needs time to work properly, but if you go to bed right after eating, you will throw off your body’s natural rhythms and prevent it from working properly.
Eating at least two to three hours prior to going to bed will allow food to be properly digested, reducing the likelihood that you will experience acid reflux during the night. On the other hand, if you find that you need a late-night snack to stave off hunger, we recommend that you keep it light and focus on eating fruits and vegetables.
- Avoid Eating Citrus Fruits in the Evening If You Can.
Ascorbic acid, which is abundant in citrus fruits, is a chemical that stimulates the production of acid in the stomach and may make acid reflux symptoms worse. At night, it’s best to steer clear of anything, including orange juice, that contains citrus fruits.
- Take part in some sort of active pursuits.
It is possible to lessen the amount of pressure that is placed on the stomach when lying down by engaging in physical activity for at least thirty minutes on a daily basis. This will result in weight loss and a reduction in the amount of pressure that is placed on the stomach when lying down. If there is less pressure on the stomach, there is a lower risk that stomach acid will leak into the esophagus.
- When you go to bed, dress in baggy clothes.
When you wear tight clothing to bed, you place additional pressure on your stomach, which can result in stomach acid leaking out of the stomach and acid reflux being triggered. Looser clothing allows for less restriction all around the body, which results in decreased pressure and an increase in blood circulation.
- Steer clear of fatty and spicy foods.
There is typically more fat in fatty foods, such as the meals served at fast food restaurants and fried foods. It takes the body longer to digest foods that contain more fat, which can lead to the stomach producing more acid in order to break down the fat in the food. Additionally, the capsaicin found in spicy foods can slow digestion, which can make acid reflux symptoms worse for some people.
If you are going to consume foods of this nature, it is best to do so earlier in the day. This will ensure that the fatty or spicy foods you consume have a lower chance of causing acid reflux while you are attempting to get some shut-eye.