GERD Symptoms and Head Elevation While Sleeping
Reflux, sometimes known as Gastroesophageal reflux disease (GERD), is a disease involving the stomach and esophagus. Unlike occasional heartburn we all get from time-to-time, GERD is painful burning in the chest and can even reach your throat and mouth. Often, it will disrupt your daily activities. Though not life threatening, you may find that some foods triggers an acid reflux attack. Some people with GERD have trouble sleeping, because lying down can allow the stomach acid to more easily enter the esophagus. People with GERD often complain of not sleeping well, or frequently waking throughout the night. Solving this nighttime problem can bring much needed relief. One customer of Charron Medical purchased an electric hospital bed to improve her sleep.
Understanding GERD is the first step on a treatment path. After your doctor has diagnosed your condition, you will develop a treatment plan together. It is extremely important that you pay attention to your own individual triggers. Healthline recommends keeping a journal to record your symptoms and the triggers that might worsen or bring on a reflux event. Some of the triggers people notice are:
- Eating meals close to bedtime
- Spicy foods
- Wearing tight fitting clothes
Relieving the symptoms of GERD can bring peace and joy back to simple pleasures like enjoying a good night’s sleep. If nighttime reflux is a problem for you, consider some of these activities to help relieve your GERD symptoms:
- Don’t lie down after meals. Stay upright or take a walk.
- Finish your last meal 2-hours before bedtime
- Elevate your head while sleeping. Use a bed wedge or consider buying a hospital bed, to adjust the head up.
Elevating your head while sleeping may reduce esophageal acid exposure and regurgitation, which can happen if you are a nocturnal (nighttime) refluxer.
There is a lot of information on the internet about reflux and GERD. The American Gastroenterological Association is a good resource. And some hospitals, like Massachusetts General Hospital, are working every day to develop new and more effective treatments for GERD.
Charron Medical Services carries a variety of bed wedge sizes, to help keep your head elevated after eating and during sleep. Hospital beds can also be purchased or rented monthly; electric controls allow you to select the right head height for you. Please call 603-889-7220, if you have questions about our products.