Tips and Techniques
Acid reflux, also known as gastroesophageal reflux disease (GERD), is a condition where stomach acid flows back into the esophagus, causing irritation and discomfort. One of the most common symptoms of GERD is heartburn, which can be aggravated by certain sleeping positions. If you suffer from GERD, finding the right sleeping position can help reduce your symptoms and improve your quality of sleep. In this blog, we'll explore the best sleeping positions for acid reflux, and how they can help alleviate your symptoms.
Sleeping on Your Left Side
One of the most effective sleeping positions for GERD is sleeping on your left side. When you sleep on your left side, your stomach is positioned below your esophagus, which helps prevent stomach acid from flowing back up. Sleeping on your left side also helps reduce the pressure on your LES (lower esophageal sphincter), which can help prevent acid reflux.
Sleeping on Your Back with an Elevated Head
If you prefer to sleep on your back, it's important to elevate your head and upper body to prevent acid reflux. Sleeping on your back can cause stomach acid to flow back into your esophagus, especially if you have a weak LES. Elevating your head and upper body with a wedge pillow or an adjustable bed can help keep stomach acid down and improve your breathing.
Sleeping on Your Stomach
Sleeping on your stomach is generally not recommended for people with GERD, as it can put pressure on your LES and cause stomach acid to flow back up into your esophagus. However, if you prefer to sleep on your stomach, try placing a pillow under your hips to elevate your lower body. This can help reduce the pressure on your LES and prevent acid reflux.
Other Tips for Better Sleep with GERD
In addition to finding the right sleeping position, there are other steps you can take to improve your sleep quality with GERD:
Avoid eating large meals before bedtime
Avoid foods and drinks that trigger your acid reflux, such as spicy or acidic foods, alcohol, and caffeine
Wait at least two hours after eating before lying down
Raise the head of your bed 6-8 inches with blocks or bed risers
Use a wedge pillow to elevate your upper body while you sleep
Wear loose-fitting clothing to bed to reduce pressure on your abdomen
GERD can be a challenging condition to manage, but finding the right sleeping position can make a significant difference in your symptoms and quality of life. Sleeping on your left side, elevating your head and upper body, and avoiding sleeping on your stomach are all effective ways to reduce acid reflux while you sleep. By making a few simple adjustments to your sleeping habits, you can improve your sleep quality and wake up feeling refreshed and rejuvenated.