Suffering throughout the night when you have heartburn and indigestion can not only be painful but an annoyance as well - you should be getting a good sleep for the day ahead but the pain itself is hindering it.
Heartburn is common during in the night, lying down flat, as gravity isn’t pulling the stomach acid back down into your stomach where it should be. For this reason, the acid will sit for longer in your throat causing more pain.
These symptoms can be very painful so it’s important to try to reduce them as much as you can. This is easily done with some simple changes to your lifestyle. Read ahead to find out our top tips to relieve the pain.
Eating before Bed
It’s important to give your body some time to empty and properly digest your food before you lay down and go to sleep. Be sure to eat your last meal of the day two to four hours before you go to bed to allow it to pass through your digestive system.
Find something to put underneath your mattress, or add an extra pillow, so that you can go to sleep with your upper body elevated slightly. Lying down flat will make it easy for excess stomach acid to escape up your oesophagus causing you to feel the pain of heartburn but having your head and back slightly slanted will mean that gravity will work against any excess acid to stop it from moving up into your throat.
You should also try to sleep on your left side and not your back. When sleeping on your back you put pressure on your stomach which could cause indigestion and drive stomach acid back up to your throat. Sleeping on your right side is also not recommended as it has been known to relax your sphincter muscle which, again, will allow acid to escape. Sleeping on your left side, however, has been found to reduce the effects of acid reflux.
Cut Out Stress and Anxiety
Stress and anxiety can be a major contributor to heartburn and indigestion and can have a real impact on our digestive system so it is imperative to try to keep our stress levels as low as we can. Make sure you get enough sleep each night and do things that make you happy. You could take up yoga or meditation to help you relax even more!
Wear the Right Pyjamas
Wear loose fitting clothes to bed as tight clothes, especially around your waist, can put pressure on your stomach and this could also lead to heartburn and indigestion.
Consider over-the-counter (OTC) medication
If some of these lifestyle changes still aren’t helping, you could try an over the counter option by reaching out to healthcare providers. If symptoms are severe or prolonged you should consult a doctor or pharmacist.
*This article is meant for educational purposes. All information presented is not meant to diagnose or prescribe.
Article published 25 March 2021