5 Tips to keep acid reflux at bay and ruining your sleep
More than a million people around the world get heartburn at least once a month. In fact, when you have gastro-oesophageal reflux disorder aka GERD, more commonly known as Acid reflux, you might be wondering how frequently you are getting heartburn. If you have or even occasional heartburn after a spicy meal, you keep awake tossing and turning. Here is what you can learn about coping with acid reflux so it does not get in the way of a good night’s sleep.
What causes acid reflux?
Acid reflux is the name that happens when stomach acid makes its way up into the oesophagus. Most often it is because the lower oesophageal sphincter, a muscle valve that is supposed to keep stomach acid where it belongs in your stomach is not working properly. There are a few things that can loosen the muscle, making it easier for acid to shoot back up.When you eat certain foods such as chocolate, citrus fruits, tomatoes, garlic, onions, coffee, soda, alcohol and anything spicy, fatty, or fried it may lead to acid reflux which is one of the biggest causes. Obesity and pregnancy can also lead to acid reflux because it can put pressure on your abdomen which can weaken you lower oesophageal sphincter.
How it affects sleep
What is the connection between acid reflux and sleep? As I can attest, heartburn is usually worse at night and that can make falling asleep more difficult. Most of them are prone to acid reflux when they lie down. Since you are lying down, you do not have the gravity to pull acid back into your stomach the way you do when you are sitting or standing up. Here are a few simple lifestyle changes you can make to deal with acid reflux at night that does not cost you a good night’s sleep.
1) Stop eating and drinking 3 hours before bed:
Cut out the late snacking and food plus drinks 3 hours before hitting the bed. The less acid you have in your stomach, the less likely you are to experience heartburn at night.
2) Make lunch your biggest meal of the day:
When you eat a big meal it may put undue pressure on your stomach thus allowing acid to travel back into your oesophagus and this can only be compounded if you lie down soon afterwards. Opt for a heavier lunch and a lighter dinner.
3) Wear loose-fitting clothes:
Clothing that is too tight will put pressure on your stomach leading to backflow of acid into your oesophagus. Wearing Spanx to bed won’t help since they will not be comfortable anyway so loose pyjamas are the best option.
4) Elevate your head in bed:
Keeping your head up is ideal if you experience acid reflux at night. Piling up pillows may not help but an adjustable base can be a better option for you if you have acid reflux. An adjustable base can make it easy to get into a sleeping position that can help mitigate symptoms.
5) Choosing a GERD specialist:
When symptoms recur and you do not find the relief you can consult a specialist for GERD treatment in Chennai. Treatment is aimed at decreasing the amount of reflux and reducing the damage caused to the lining of the oesophagus from refluxed materials. A very small number of people with GERD may need surgery because of severe reflux and poor response to medical treatment
This Content Originally Published by Mint Hospital In Chennai