How to Sleep Better with Acid Reflux

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Over 60 million individuals in the United States suffer from Acid Reflux Disease, and a staggering over one third of those who have acid reflux experience symptoms on a daily basis. Acid reflux is a disease where food, drink, or stomach acid leaks into the esophagus, causing the feeling of heartburn and potential damage to the esophagus. Other symptoms include nausea, vomiting, weight loss, burping, and bloating. Symptoms often worsen when individuals bend over, eat, or lay flat. For this reason, individuals who suffer from acid reflux often experience difficulty getting to and staying asleep throughout the night. While symptoms can be managed with over the counter medication and prescriptions, there is no cure for acid reflux. There are a few products on the market that can help alleviate symptoms and discomfort during sleep for those suffering from acid reflux.

Laying flat exacerbates acid reflux symptoms because stomach acid, food, and drink are able to make their way up towards the esophagus. Additionally, laying flat can cause the acid to pool in the esophagus, vocal cords, and sinuses, increasing one’s potential for more extreme long-term damage. If the matter travels as far as the throat, coughing fits can occur, waking a sleeper or preventing them from getting to sleep. Acid reflux and gastroesophageal reflux disease (GERD), a related more serious condition, are associated with heartburn causing waking during the night and increased risk for sleep apnea.

It makes sense that elevating one’s head and/or torso slightly decreases the likelihood and degree to which matter leaks into the esophagus, therefore impacting one’s ability to get to and stay asleep. The head should be elevated at least six inches for minimal support. Those with acid reflux as well as GERD could benefit greatly from using a wedge pillow and an adjustable bed base that allows for upper body elevation.

Wedge pillows are an ideal way to prop the upper body up because the incline is not steep in comparison to piling multiple pillows on top of one another to prop up the head. It is not ideal to pile pillows up because this position can put pressure on the esophagus, causing additional pain in the long term. Memory foam wedge pillows are a comfortable option, as memory foam conforms to one’s body and offers pressure relief. The SensorPEDIC wedge pillow is a great option for those suffering from acid reflux, and the cooling gel memory foam helps provide a cool, comfortable night’s sleep.

Though more expensive than a wedge pillow, the best option for those suffering from heart burn, indigestion, acid reflux, and GERD is an adjustable bed base. These adjustable foundations sit below mattresses and use motors to allow the upper and/or lower body to be elevated, often using wireless remotes. These adjustable bases last longer than pillows, provide higher degrees of elevation, and offer customized support. Because the foundation is adjustable, the amount of incline can be customized for each sleeper’s unique need. The MacyBed Adjustable Bed Base is a great option for individuals suffering from acid reflux and can raise the head of the bed elevation up to 65 degrees.

Though acid reflux and GERD are uncomfortable conditions that often inhibit sleep, utilizing a wedge pillow or an adjustable bed base allows individuals to elevate their upper bodies and get relief to help them get to sleep and sleep through the night.