Many people suffer from symptoms of heartburn especially at night. Research has shown that 4 out of 5 people who suffer from heartburn get nighttime heartburn. Nighttime heartburn can impair sleep. It is important to understand how to prevent and treat symptoms of heartburn at nighttime. There are steps that you can take to change your diet and lifestyle to prevent nighttime heartburn. If these changes do not prevent nighttime heartburn, there are over-the-counter and prescription medications that may be able to help.
Many lifestyle changes can help to stop, or lessen, symptoms of heartburn.
1. Avoid tight fitting clothing. Tight waistbands, belts and pantyhose can press on your stomach, causing heartburn.
2. Lose any excess weight. The pressure of excess weight chances of stomach acid backing up into the esophagus.
3. Chew gum at night. Chewing gum boosts the production of saliva, which neutralizes stomach acid.
4. Stop smoking. Nicotine can cause your esophageal sphincter to relax.
5. Raise the head of your bedpost 6 inches. This way you will sleep with your head and chest elevated making it harder for acid to spill into your esophagus from your stomach.
6. Don’t work out so soon after eating. Wait at least 2 hours after a meal to exercise.
7. Bend with your knees. Bending over at the waist puts pressure on the stomach, increasing reflux symptoms.
There are many changes that you can make in your diet that may prevent you from experiencing heartburn at nighttime.
1. Make sure that you are eating an early dinner. If you eat too close to bedtime you are more likely to experience heartburn when you go to lay down to go to sleep. Make sure that you eat early enough to give food time to digest before lying down to go to bed.
2. Do not overeat at dinner.
3. Eating citrus, fruits, onions, carbonated drinks, fatty or spicy food in the evening may trigger symptoms of heartburn at nighttime.
4. If you are following these tips already try keeping a food diary to see what foods you are eating that trigger the heartburn.
5. Don’t eat too quickly. Put your fork down between bites.
6. Avoid drinks that can trigger heartburn such as alcohol, caffeinated drinks and carbonated drinks.
Making these diet and lifestyle changes will most likely improve your symptoms of nighttime heartburn. If you make the suggested changes in your life and continue to have symptoms, it is a good idea to schedule an appointment with your gastroenterologist to rule out a more serious problem. You physician can also recommend over-the-counter antacids or a prescription medication.