Did you overdo it at July 4th barbecues over the weekend? Struggling with acid reflux while you sleep? Learn about the best sleep solutions for acid reflux problems, including which mattresses and sleep setups can help ameliorate acid reflux and indigestion problems from the Sleep Specialists at Mattress World Northwest in Portland, Oregon.
Gastro-Esophageal Reflux Disorder (GERD) affects 5-7 percent of the world population, according to the National Sleep Foundation. It is the third-most common gastrointestinal disorder in the US and one of the leading causes of disturbed sleep for people between 45 and 64 years of age. “Most patients with GERD also experience nighttime heartburn,” they add.
This bothersome problem also leads to sleep disorders like insomnia, sleep apnea, restless leg syndrome and daytime sleepiness. Long-term health complications include inflammation of the esophagus, bleeding, ulcers and even cancer. Asthma, chronic cough and pulmonary fibrosis are also exacerbated or caused by nighttime GERD.
The reasons why some people develop acid reflux and others don’t is poorly understood, but it’s believed to be a combination of factors that include age, diet and alcohol consumption. Pregnant women, the obese and smokers are more likely to suffer GERD and related sleep disturbances.
Foods associated with reflux events include:
In addition to monitoring your diet, you should also consider making a few lifestyle modifications. Avoid consuming larger meals and nighttime snacking. People who are prone to GERD should avoid lying flat within three hours of going to sleep. Furthermore, the use of aspirin, pain-killers, calcium channel blockers and potassium supplements have been known to worsen reflux, so discuss alternatives with your doctor if you have been prescribed one of these medications.
Sleep position may also have something to do with nighttime GERD. According to the NY Times, several studies show that sleeping on the left side calms heartburn, while sleeping on the right side exacerbates it. “The reason is not entirely clear,” they report. “One hypothesis holds that right-side sleeping relaxes the lower esophageal sphincter, between the stomach and the esophagus. Another holds that left-side sleeping keeps the junction between stomach and esophagus above the level of gastric acid.”
Our mattress store in Portland, Oregon offers a wide variety of ideal sleeping surfaces for acid reflux sufferers. A 2012 study published in the Journal of Gastroenterology and Hepatology concluded that “Bed head elevation could be effective in rapidly clearing both acid and non-acid reflux.”
Adjustable foundation beds allow individuals to elevate the head slightly to prevent stomach acids from leaking into the esophagus, allowing for better digestion and comfort at night. Each side of the bed can be independently adjusted, as to not disturb one’s sleep partner. WebMD recommends an increased height of 4-6 inches as the optimal incline. Added benefits of adjustable foundation beds include: improved circulation, enhanced respiration and diminished back pain.
We can show you mattresses of varying support levels from ultra-firm to ultra-plush, from innerspring to foam latex, offerings from multiple brands, for budgets big and small. Stop by one of our 11 Oregon mattress stores to find solutions to your acid reflux and sleep problems.