How To Sleep With Heartburn

6 min read

Are you suffering from heartburn or GERD? Heartburn is a burning pain or discomfort in the chest radiating to the neck and throat. It is usually caused by eating spicy foods.

You can sleep with heartburn if you sleep on your left side to remove the pressure from your stomach. This helps keep the acid in your stomach. You can also sleep in an elevated position, refrain from eating spicy food, and drink alcohol before sleeping.

Heartburn can be a painful and disruptive condition that can interfere with sleep. Here are a few strategies that may help you get a better night’s sleep with heartburn:

  1. Avoid trigger foods and drinks: Certain foods and drinks, such as spicy foods, fatty foods, caffeine, and alcohol, can trigger heartburn. Try to avoid these foods and drinks close to bedtime.
  2. Eat a light dinner: Eating a large meal close to bedtime can increase the risk of heartburn. Instead, try to eat a light dinner a few hours before bed.
  3. Elevate the head of your bed: Elevating the head of your bed by 4-6 inches can help reduce the risk of heartburn by keeping stomach acid in the stomach.
  4. Wear loose clothing: Tight clothing can put pressure on the abdomen and worsen heartburn. Wear loose-fitting clothing to bed to help reduce discomfort.
  5. Take over-the-counter medications: Over-the-counter antacids, such as calcium carbonate or aluminum hydroxide, can help neutralize stomach acid and reduce heartburn.
  6. Talk to a healthcare provider: If you are experiencing persistent or severe heartburn that is disrupting your sleep, it is important to speak with a healthcare provider for further evaluation and treatment.

How to sleep with GERD?

GERD, also known as acid reflux, is a gastroesophageal reflux digestive disease in which the backflow of stomach acid or bile irritates the food pipelining. 

A combination of several factors can facilitate the flow of stomach acid into the esophagus and can immensely affect sleep. Lying down makes acid reflux occur because gravity no longer helps keep the stomach acid down. 

Decreased swallowing while asleep will reduce the downward push of stomach acid. Though saliva helps neutralize stomach acid, its production is reduced during the deeper stages of sleep

Often gold is one of the many causes of sleeping problems. People with GERD have lower sleep quality because they wake up frequently at night. 

Lack of sleep may make the esophagus more susceptible to reflux. Gerd affects the airway, and breathing normally and lying down can make it hard to fall asleep due to heartburn, chest pains, and coughing. 

To avoid flare-ups at night, a tip for people with GERD problems is to eat at least three hours before bedtime.

This will enable the stomach to digest and reduce the production of acid reflux. Sleeping on the left side is proven to be an effective way of sleeping for people with GERD. 

It reduces acid reflux episodes and prevents the esophagus from stomach acid. Other sleeping positions, especially sleeping on your back, will likely cause reflux. 

Propping up the top of the bed by at least six inches or more can cut down reflux when sleeping. Elevating the pillows under your head won’t help. A more convenient adjustable bed frame with a good mattress is highly recommended.

How to sleep with heartburn?

Heartburn creates a mild or moderate painful sensation in the chest, impacting your ability to get a good night’s sleep. 

Changes in your diet, exercise, and sleeping position impact bedtime rest. 

Although there is no single solution that works for everyone, there are necessary steps to relieve people suffering from heartburn and get longer, more restorative sleep. 

Eating fried foods, high-fat foods, soft drinks, and the like can negatively impact sleep as a result. So avoid these food triggers. Opt for low-impact workouts a few hours before eating to prevent heartburn. 

Like gold, sleeping on the left side is also beneficial for people with heartburn because it relieves the pressure of the stomach and allows the food to move to the lower part of the stomach while sleeping on the right side aggravates heartburn with GERD. 

Raising the head and upper body keeps the stomach contents at bay. Elevating the head part of the bed is also favorable for people with heartburn to sail away into a heavenly slumber. Wedge pillows are also helpful if bed raisers are not available.

Does heartburn keep you awake at night? Why is acid reflux worse at night? Is it because i’m not digesting my food properly?

Heartburn becomes worse at night because you lose the effects of gravity. Lying down allows digestive juices to enter your GI tract, namely your throat, which causes the burning sensation and possibly the urge to vomit.

How can I sleep with acid reflux at night?

You can try several things, from not eating late at night to quitting smoking. It’s important to note what triggers your heartburn to enable you to provide a satisfactory solution for heartburn prevention.

At some time, most of us experience heartburn when we lay in bed. It’s mainly caused by spicy food or greasy food. However, there are more triggers, such as alcohol and smoking.

It is not easy to find a way to sleep with heartburn, so you may have to try a few different remedies that will allow you to sleep.

The best way for you to combat heartburn is prevention. Try not to eat late at night. Eat your evening meal around 6 pm and make it light. Avoid eating spicy foods loaded with chillies. This is a definite trigger for lots of folks.

Eat the final meal of the day slowly. No need to scoff your food down unless it’s a race, so take your time and enjoy what you eat.

Try chewing gum. Chewing gum is said to get the gastric juices flowing, so you will digest your food faster.

Assuming you are lying in bed with the unpleasant sensation of heartburn and regurgitating stomach acid into your mouth you will need to find an immediate solution to sleep.

Try antacid tablets, there are lots on the market, and many are very effective. In parallel with your antacids, elevate your torso on pillows. The higher the elevation, the better as gravity should keep the acid in your stomach where it belongs.

When sleeping elevated, it’s always easier to elevate the mattress for the best sleeping position, so try piano pillows or cushions under your mattress. You can also use rolled towels or blankets.

If your heartburn is a frequent event, you should invest in sleeping wedges. They are sold by orthopaedic companies or online, and they provide a solution for comfortable sleeping.

What is the best sleep position for acid reflux?


On your left-hand side. Sleeping on your back can make acid reflux worse. It may seem counterintuitive but sleeping on your left-hand side eases the symptoms of acid reflux.

Still sleep in an elevated position for the best results.

How can I stay asleep with GERD?

Finding a way of how to sleep with GERD can be difficult. The best way is to sleep in an elevated position on your left-hand side. Sleeping on your left-hand side helps to prevent acid from entering your oesophagus.

Gerd is a severe or chronic condition and can affect your sleep dramatically; you should refer to a doctor if you are experiencing frequent bouts of heartburn you may have progressed to the much more serious GERD.

The difference with GERD is the muscle that closes the stomach aperture becomes weak and lets stomach acid flow back into the GI tract.

Does drinking water help with GERD? It can do, but you need to be drinking water when you eat your meal and after. Often the acid at the base of the oesophagus is high, and water can dilute the acid relieving your symptoms.

If you suspect you have GERD, you should seek medical attention; unchecked GERD can become severe and even a precursor to cancer if not treated. GERD does not get by itself, so see a doctor and prevent something serious.

Who gets heartburn and GERD?

Anyone can get heartburn and then develop GERD. Some folks are predisposed and suffer more than others. For instance, if you carry a lot of belly weight and could be considered obese, you will be more likely to get frequent bouts of heartburn.

Astonishingly the weight of a big belly when sleeping on your back is sufficient to force stomach acid into the GI tract.

By sleeping elevated and slightly to your left-hand side, you can reduce some of the pressure being created by the effects of a large belly.

The propensity for heartburn among obese folks is much higher and if not addressed, can cause very serious issues further down the line.

If this is you, clearly, there is a remedy you can undertake to change your symptoms.

How long does GERD last?

2 hours or more. It’s not a great experience. GERD gives the sensation that your food is coming back into your mouth and may give you the sensation of nausea that leads to vomiting.

If you do throw up with GERD, it will relieve the symptoms, and hopefully, you can sleep again, but in some cases, the symptoms persist.

Can you control GERD?

Yes. Understand what foods trigger GERD. Spicy, greasy foods will definitely trigger GERD, so avoid them at all cost. But, less obvious foods like chocolate can be a trigger, so you need to know what your triggers are. 

Alcohol is a trigger for most folks, and alcohol makes you hungry, so you are more likely to snack late at night, and the vicious circle begins.

Eat less at mealtimes and eat slowly, chewing your food to aid digestion. If you are overweight, simple lifestyle changes and smaller food portions will set you on your way to preventing GERD and acid reflux.

What relieves GERD fast?

Mix a teaspoon of baking soda with water, this sometimes works and culminates in an enormous burp, and then the symptoms will subside. You can repeat if required.

Drink ginger tea. Ginger tea is well known for its therapeutic effects and is often used to calm an upset tummy.

Stand up straight, go for a walk if you can.

Wearing loose clothing and tight clothes pushes the stomach acid the wrong way.

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