Stop Sleepless Nights Repeating On You
4 min reading time
4 min reading time
Acid reflux robs you of valuable sleep. This unpalatable condition occurs when the contents of your stomach splash backwards into your oesophagus. A trademark burning sensation in the chest usually accompanies reflux. Unfortunately, this common digestive complaint affects a large portion of the adult population. Seven in ten Australians suffer from acid reflux or heartburn at some stage. The most commonly experienced symptoms include:
Chronic reflux may lead to difficulty in swallowing. At times it can even trigger respiratory issues such as asthma.
Within the acid reflux family, there are several different types;
It suffices to say that acid reflux and heartburn in whatever form it strikes is heartily unwelcome yet an all too common occurrence. Not surprisingly, most sufferers of acid reflux experience sleep disturbance as an offshoot of the attack. But sleep can actually be a time of relief and recovery from acid reflux.
Recent studies have found a definite link between bed elevation and the improvement of all forms of acid reflux.
Head-of-bed elevation has been found to be effective because lying flat tends to cause stomach acid to reflux into the oesophagus. By contrast, sleeping with your head and upper body raised brings gravity into the equation. So those who practice elevated sleeping tend to have:
One such study included 235 patients, 113 of whom experienced reflux. The majority of patients (55%) only demonstrated reflux when lying flat. The study repeatedly monitored pH levels in those patients who experienced reflux when lying down. The pH of these patients were then monitored with their head-of-bed elevated by six inches. Cross-analysis of the pH levels showed that head-of-bed elevated resolved reflux symptoms in 62% of the patients.
As a result, the study drew two chief conclusions:
Acid reflux and heartburn can be a painful and troublesome condition. Yet simple lifestyle interventions often hold the key to relief of symptoms. One of the most highly endorsed and scientifically-backed lifestyle measures is elevated sleeping. If sleepless or restless nights are repeating on you courtesy of acid reflux, quell the burn and sleep deprivation. Try elevating your head and upper body while you sleep. There are many innovative adjustable bed solutions that do all the hard work for you. Automated remote-controlled adjustable beds mean you experience all the benefits of elevated sleeping minus the hassle of fussing with pillows or attempting to create your own home-spun elevation.
The Digestive Health Foundation. Clinical update: Gastro-oesophageal reflux disease in adults. Gastroenterological Society of Australia, 2011.
Therapeutic Guidelines Limited. Therapeutic Guidelines: Gastrointestinal. Therapeutic Guidelines Limited, 2014.
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Knox SA, Harrison CM, Britt HC, et al. Estimating prevalence of common chronic morbidities in Australia. Med J Aust 2008;189:66-70.
American Academy of Allergy, Asthma and Immunology. “Silent Reflux” Symptoms Reduced By Raising The Head-Of-Bed. Published Online: January 16, 2015
Joel E. Richter, MD, Section Editor. Advances in GERD: Current Developments in the Management of Acid-Related GI Disorders. Gastroenterol Hepatol (N Y). 2009 Sep; 5(9): 613–615.