It happens to the best of us. You have a late night snack, or even just a rich dinner and you end up paying the price laying awake on your botanical mattress with acid reflux for the majority of the night. Reflux–also called acid reflux or gastroesophageal reflux disease or GERD–is a painful and bothersome condition that develops when stomach contents are able to flow back up into the esophagus. It can strike at any time, but many people are awoken at night because of the heartburn and chest pain that accompany reflux. If you experience this, you may need to make some changes to your eating habits and bedtime routine to help prevent reflux and ensure a better night’s sleep. Let’s learn how to stop acid reflux before it ruins your night of sleep.
If acid reflux wakes you from your sleep, try taking a fast-acting medicine designed to stop reflux, such as an antacid, an H2 blocker, or a foaming agent. Being overweight and smoking can contribute to reflux, so losing excess weight and quitting smoking can help reduce symptoms and better control the condition.
Skip the Late Night Snacking
Stop eating at least three hours before going to bed at night, the National Digestive Diseases Information Clearinghouse recommends. This will give your food time to settle in. It’s also a good rule to follow if you’re trying to lose weight.
Eat Smaller Meals
Change your eating daily habits to eat smaller meals more frequently throughout the day instead of eating three large meals. Many experts suggest eating five small meals will not only help with acid reflux, but also can help you to lose weight and live a much healthier lifestyle.
Pass on the Junk Food
Avoid trigger foods that you know cause acid reflux. Common trigger foods include fried foods, fatty foods, spicy foods, acidic foods, peppermint, chocolate and caffeinated sodas. Potassium supplements can also lead to acid reflux at night, so try your best to avoid them at all costs.
Manage with Medicine
Take any medications you use to treat reflux–either prescription or over the counter–as directed to help control the condition at night.
Wear Loose PJ’s
It might sound silly but wearing loose-fitting pajamas or wicking pajamas to bed can help the problem, the McKinley Health Center at the University of Illinois advises. Clothes that fit tightly around the abdomen can worsen reflux symptoms.
Tilt the Bed
Prop the head of your bed up by 6 inches to 8 inches by placing wooden blocks or cinder blocks under the bed frame.
Lay to the Left
Sleep while laying on your left side to help control reflux symptoms. It may sound strange, but it’s been proven to work.
Have any other helpful tips for dealing with acid reflux? Let us know!