Say Rock-A-Bye to Heartburn
These tips from your GERD surgeon in Macon or Atlanta can help put an end to nighttime GERD symptoms
Heartburn can keep you up all night, tossing and turning with the painful distraction of that burning sensation in your chest and throat. Up to a quarter of all Americans suffer from heartburn at night, and the figure is significantly higher among those diagnosed with gastroesophageal reflux disease (GERD). The fatigue of nighttime heartburn can make it hard to function every day as it can cause you to wake up with a sore throat, a bad cough and an unpleasant taste in your mouth.
Though your GERD surgeon in Macon can help you overcome reflux and heartburn to get a better night’s rest, there are many things you can do at home to keep your nights restful. For those who suffer from nightly heartburn, these tips may help you start counting sheep and stop counting every painful minute:
- Skip the midnight snack. Many people succumb to late night hunger pangs, but this is a surefire path to nighttime discomfort for GERD sufferers. You should always aim to eat meals at least three hours before sleep, as this will give your body a chance to properly digest food before your prone position in bed allows excess acid to creep up your esophagus.
- Chew gum. Saliva naturally neutralizes stomach acid, and chewing gum is one of the best ways to increase your saliva production. Try chewing a stick of gum in the evenings before you hit the hay—just be sure to avoid mint-flavored gums, as peppermint is a common trigger of GERD symptoms.
- Wear loose-fitting PJs. Your pajamas may be made from the finest silk, but they won’t keep you comfortable if the waistband is tight. Though wearing tight clothing at any time of day can exacerbate GERD symptoms, it is an especially poor choice to put extra pressure on your waist at night.
- Keep your head up. Changing the position of your head and chest can make it more difficult for acid to travel up your esophagus and cause painful nighttime symptoms. You can try elevating the head of your bed by about six inches with blocks, but this may raise some objections if you share a bed with your spouse. Wedge pillows can be equally effective without disturbing your sleeping partner.
GERD is a pain any time of day, but nightly heartburn makes it all the more difficult to cope with. If you suffer from serious heartburn or reflux, don’t waste another night—though these tips can help, only a GERD surgeon can help you effectively beat GERD for good.
What other tips have helped you beat nighttime heartburn or reflux? Share your advice and experience in the comments below!