Acid reflux is a condition that affects millions of people. The pain can be so excruciating that it wakes them up during the night, leading to disrupted sleep, which can have serious consequences on their health and well-being. This article will discuss why the right side is not the best position to sleep with acid reflux, which is the best position and more.
What is acid reflux, and what causes it?
Acid reflux (gastroesophageal reflux disease, GERD) occurs when the contents of the stomach splash back up into the esophagus, a tube-like structure attached to your mouth that leads to your stomach. This can irritate and damage the lining of your esophagus.
Learn more: What is GERD?
Why sleeping on your right side is the wrong side?
This is because of the LES or lower esophageal sphincter formation, a valve-like structure that opens to allow food and liquid to enter the stomach and closes to prevent it from coming back up. When you lie on your right side, you put pressure on your abdomen, which may cause the LES to relax and the stomach contents to flow back up, causing acid reflux.
Another position to avoid is sleeping on your back. When you are sleeping flat on your back, acid escapes from your stomach, and it is able to flow freely into your esophagus and stay there. This way, the acid has nowhere to go and may increase reflux.
The best way to sleep with acid reflux
Lying on your left side is the best position for those who suffer from GERD and other upper gastrointestinal issues. If you tend to be night-time refluxed, consider sleeping propped up with several pillows or sleeping in a recliner. For GERD sufferers, water is the best beverage to have before bedtime so as not to disturb sleep with frequent trips to the bathroom. Also, it’s best to get treated for acid reflux in New Mexico so that you don’t have to suffer for long.
Tips for getting a good night’s rest if you have acid reflux
- Sleep on your left side as it is the best sleeping position for digestion.
- Raise the head of your bed using six to eight pillows at the headboard
- Avoid having a heavy meal late at night, but if you must eat, have small frequent meals instead of three large ones.
- Cut out acidic or spicy foods from your diet that may irritate the condition
- Reducing stress and anxiety is also crucial for eliminating acid reflux.
- Try sleeping with a pillow between your knees; this takes the tension off of the stomach, allowing it to settle down
- Do not lie down right after eating
- Avoid eating late in bed
- Keep a glass of water by you while you sleep so that if you do start to feel symptoms, you can take a sip of water rather than having to get up.
- What also helps with acid reflux is elevating your head when sleeping; this helps keep the acid down
If you are at the point where your acid reflux or GERD is keeping you from a good night’s rest, then you need to see a physician.