Night-time heartburn can affect 80% of the people who regularly suffer from heartburn and acid reflux. The discomfort and bitter taste at night after an acidity attack makes sleep uncomfortable, and often even elusive.
While an acid reflux cure or any treatment involving home remedies for acid reflux can be tried out, preventing the condition altogether might be a better option to achieve uninterrupted sleep.
Here are some expert tips to avoid acid reflux at night.
- Posture: Posture is an important factor in heartburn since it directly impacts the position of your stomach in relation to the oesophagus. Stand up straight to elongate your oesophagus and give your stomach more room.
- Weight management: Heartburn can often become worse as you gain weight. Even small amounts of weight loss can help reduce heartburn symptoms.
- Your diet/Food choices: Some foods can trigger heartburn and lead to hyperacidity, and this can be different for every individual. Certain common drinks or foods can be the causes of acidity or heartburn. Some of these foods are alcohol, caffeinated drinks, cocoa, chocolate, peppermint, onions, garlic, and milk, along with spicy, greasy, fatty, or fried foods, and acidic foods like tomato or citrus products.
- Eating habits: Eat several small meals throughout the day instead of two or three large meals. Avoid eating high-fat, high-calorie meals in the evening.
- Eating methods: Chewing food slowly and thoroughly helps make food smaller and can make digestion easier. Consuming large morsels of food and not chewing thoroughly will only lead to the food taking more time to digest in your stomach, increasing the probability of the stomach contents rising back up into the oesophagus.
- Medication: Certain medications can cause or worsen heartburn, such as osteoporosis drugs, some blood pressure and heart drugs, some asthma medications, some hormone medications, or depression medications. Like food triggers, medication triggers for heartburn can also be different, for different people.
- Smoking habits: Smoking can be an aggravating factor when it comes to heartburn. Cigarette smoke can irritate your GI tract, while the activity of smoking can also relax the oesophageal muscles, affecting its ability to keep the stomach acid where it belongs.
- Walking: After you eat dinner, try taking a leisurely walk to help accelerate digestion and lower the risk of stomach acid seeping up into your oesophagus.
- Sleep position: Sleep on your left side. This position can help reduce night-time heartburn symptoms. Other sleeping positions can aid gravity or increase the rate at which the stomach acid and contents flow back up into the oesophagus.
- Midnight snacks: Avoid eating meals two-three hours before bedtime to reduce stomach acid and allow the stomach to partially empty its contents before you go to bed. Large meals put pressure on the stomach. Eat a smaller meal in the evening to prevent night-time heartburn symptoms.
- Relaxation: Feeling stressed out when you eat in a hurry can cause the stomach to produce more of the acids. Try relaxing after your meal (without lying down). If you can, try relaxation techniques like meditation or deep breathing.
The above tips will help you avoid acid reflux at night. Preventing it or managing your symptoms well before bedtime will make it easier to sleep and prevent ongoing irritation of the oesophagus at night.
Acid reflux medications and acidity remedies that provide you quick relief from acidity, can be taken well in advance of bedtime. You could also take Gaviscon, World’s No. 1 heartburn specialist^ that starts working in just 3 minutes and lasts upto 2X longer vs. Ordinary antacids*. It is also suitable for use during pregnancy+.
*Comparing Gaviscon with select ordinary antacid
- Chevrel B. A comparative crossover study on the treatment of heartburn and epigastric pain: Liquid Gaviscon and a magnesium--aluminium antacid gel. J Int Med Res. 1980;8(4):300-2.
- Mandel KG etal. Aliment Pharmacol Ther. 2000 Jun;14(6):669-90
^Claim based on information aggregated and reported in part from data supplied by Nielsen through its Retail Measurement Services for the defined category (RB defined) for the 12 month period ending June 2020, for the defined RB geographic focus.
+It is not a medical advice. Please consult your doctor if clinically needed”.
Strugala V etal. Assessment of the Safety and Efficacy of a Raft-Forming Alginate Reflux Suppressant (Liquid Gaviscon) for the Treatment of Heartburn during Pregnancy. ISRN Obstet Gynecol. 2012;2012:481870
Meteerattanapipat P, Phupong V. Sci Rep. 2017 Mar 20;7:44830
Article published July 1, 2021