It is also thought that an episode of apnea could alter digestive processes in a way that disrupts the function of the LES. A muscle known as the lower esophageal sphincter (LES) attaches at the lower end of the esophagus where it drains into the stomach. Heartburn happens when the contents of your stomach rise up into your esophagus, where stomach acids can burn the tissue. 10. Chew gum.
Elevate the head at least 6 inches to keep the acids in the stomach and the body resting comfortably. Healthy digestion occurs with the (LES) opening to let food through to the stomach and then closing after.
The mattress is considered ‘Soft’ (3.5), making it ideal for people with acid reflux who weigh less than 130 pounds, along with other side sleepers in this weight group. Melatonin has long been used as a sleep aid, but is also effective in inhibiting gastric acid secretion and seems to control the lower esophageal sphincter. Melatonin is naturally produced by pineal gland to regulate the wake/sleep cycle and other daily biorhythms. Low levels of melatonin can lead to insomnia as well as worsen GERD. Start with 500 mcg to 5 mg at night.
The study involved 79 veterans with obstructive sleep apnea. About 78 percent of them had symptoms of acid reflux at the start of the study. Each veteran was treated for sleep apnea with CPAP therapy. The impact of nocturnal symptoms associated with gastroesophageal reflux disease on health-related quality of life.
How reflux influences sleep quality
And according to the 2001 NSF Sleep in America poll, adults in America who experience nighttime heartburn are more likely to report having symptoms of sleep problems/disorders such as insomnia, sleep apnea, daytime sleepiness and restless legs syndrome than those who don’t have nighttime heartburn. 9,10 .
This combined technique allows us to determine the relationship between gastroesophageal reflux events, symptoms, and sleep and awake periods. The importance of nighttime reflux is related to the fact that this type of reflux is associated with more aggressive symptoms of GERD (erosive esophagitis or inflammation of the esophagus, complications of GERD, Barrett’s esophagus, and cancer of the esophagus). In addition, people with nighttime reflux have a higher prevalence of symptoms in the oral cavities and airways (oropharyngeal, laryngeal and pulmonary manifestations).
H2 blockers are usually used for short-term or on-demand relief and PPIs are often used for long-term GERD treatment. Laying a baby tummy-side down or left side down while awake and after feedings is linked with fewer episodes of infant reflux. However, while asleep, infants are recommended to sleep on their back to reduce the risk of sudden infant death syndrome.
For them, acid reflux may not result in the usual burning sensations it causes in the stomach, chest, or throat, or the sour or acidic taste in the mouth after a meal. For them, the only indication they have acid reflux may be a problem with swallowing, a dry nagging cough, the development of asthma, or the repeated loss of one’s voice (laryngitis). GERD is considered a chronic form of acid reflux.
People with GERD received only ramelteon prior to going to sleep during a period of 6 weeks; a comparative group was treated with placebo. The study demonstrated that those who received ramelteon at bedtime for 6 weeks reported significantly less GERD related symptoms during nighttime.
Sleep Considerations and Strategies for People with Acid Reflux
Along with elevating your upper body, maximize your comfort by implementing the best practices we mentioned above-don’t eat too close to bed, avoid rich or spicy foods or alcohol and caffeine, try to relax before bedtime-all of which happen to be pretty good rules regardless of whether or not you’re dealing with acid reflux. Visit our Acid Reflux / GERD category page for the latest news on this subject, or sign up to our newsletter to receive the latest updates on Acid Reflux / GERD. If feeding and positional changes do not improve GERD, and the infant still has problems with feeding, sleeping, and growth, a doctor may recommend medications to decrease the amount of acid in the infant’s stomach. If an infant presents symptoms of GERD, it is important to get advice from a doctor or pediatrician as other, more severe, conditions share some of the symptoms of reflux in infants.
Sleeping with Acid Reflux
WO In a patient with a suspected nighttime heartburn component, a clinician may choose to follow up with the patient more frequently to ensure that the nighttime symptoms are being relieved because, as previously mentioned, the continued presence of nighttime reflux is a significant factor in an individual who may be refractory to treatment. If the patient has any remaining residual nighttime symptoms, then it may be a good idea to perform 24-hour pH monitoring to more thoroughly assess the extent to which the treatment is resolving the nighttime reflux.