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Does Acid Reflux Get Worse If You Don’t Sleep?

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I’ve spent countless nights trying to find the perfect sleep position. And if you’re reading this, I bet you’ve had your fair share of sleepless nights too. So, let’s dive into the burning question: Does lack of sleep make acid reflux worse?

Understanding Acid Reflux: A Quick Primer

Acid reflux, or that burning sensation in your chest, happens when stomach acid flows back into the esophagus. It’s like a dragon breathing fire up your throat. Not fun. And when you’re trying to catch some Z’s, it can be downright torturous.

The Vicious Cycle: Sleep Deprivation and Acid Reflux

1. The Domino Effect of Sleep Deprivation

When you’re running on fumes, everything feels off-kilter. Your body’s internal clock, or circadian rhythm, gets thrown out of whack. This can lead to:

  • Increased Stress Hormones: Lack of sleep can cause a spike in cortisol, the stress hormone. And guess what? Stress is a known trigger for acid reflux.
  • Sluggish Digestion: When you’re tired, your body isn’t as efficient at digesting food. This means food sits in your stomach longer, increasing the risk of acid reflux.
  • Weakened Esophageal Muscle: The muscle that keeps stomach acid from flowing back into the esophagus can become weaker with lack of sleep, making it easier for acid to creep up.

2. The Culprits Behind Nighttime Acid Reflux

It’s not just about what you eat, but when you eat. Late-night snacking, especially on spicy or acidic foods, can be a recipe for disaster. Here’s why:

  • Gravity’s Role: When you’re upright, gravity helps keep stomach acid down. But lying down after eating? That’s like rolling out the red carpet for acid reflux.
  • Reduced Saliva Production: At night, saliva production decreases. Saliva helps neutralize acid, so less of it means more acid can wreak havoc.

3. The Impact of Acid Reflux on Sleep

Now, let’s flip the script. How does acid reflux mess with your sleep?

  • Disrupted REM Sleep: That’s the deep, restorative sleep we all crave. Acid reflux can jolt you awake, preventing you from reaching this sleep stage.
  • Breathing Difficulties: Ever tried sleeping with a fiery sensation in your throat? It’s not just uncomfortable; it can make breathing a challenge.
  • The Need for Elevation: This is where tools like the acid reflux bed riser or the wedge acid reflux come into play. Elevating your head can help keep acid down, but it can also be a challenge to find a comfortable position.

4. Breaking the Cycle

So, how do we break free from this vicious cycle?

  • Prioritize Sleep: Aim for 7-9 hours a night. Your esophagus will thank you.
  • Mind Your Diet: Avoid trigger foods, especially before bedtime.
  • Consider Bed Adjustments: Products like bed wedges can be game-changers.

In conclusion, sleep and acid reflux are intertwined in a dance that neither wants to lead. But with awareness and a few lifestyle tweaks, you can find a rhythm that works for you. Sleep tight, and may your nights be reflux-free!

The Role of Bed Position in Managing Acid Reflux

Now, here’s where things get interesting. I’ve tried all sorts of sleeping positions, but it turns out the angle and height of your bed can make a world of difference.

Bed Acid Reflux & Mattress Choices

I stumbled upon Reflux Guard one day and learned about the importance of the bed’s angle and height. They’ve got some great options for a mattress for acid reflux. It’s all about keeping that pesky acid where it belongs – in the stomach.

Elevating the Bed

Using a GERD bed riser or an acid reflux bed riser can help elevate the head of your bed. This simple tweak can prevent that dragon from breathing fire up your throat.

The Magic of Wedges: A Deep Dive

Now, if you’re not keen on changing your entire bed setup, wedges might be your best friend. I’ve got a couple of these bad boys, and they’ve been game-changers.

The Benefits of Bed Wedges

These bed wedges and wedges for reflux are specially designed to elevate your upper body. It’s like giving acid reflux the slip!

Choosing the Right Wedge

When selecting a wedge for acid reflux, consider the height and the angle. I’ve found the acid reflux sleep wedge from Reflux Guard to be particularly helpful.

The Elevated Sleep: Why It Works

So, why does sleeping elevated help? It’s all about gravity, my friend. By elevating your upper body, you’re making it harder for stomach acid to flow back into the esophagus. It’s like building a fortress against that fiery dragon.

Tips for a Restful Night Despite Acid Reflux

Over the years, I’ve gathered a few tricks up my sleeve:

  • Stick to a Sleep Schedule: Your body loves routine. Go to bed and wake up at the same time every day.
  • Watch Your Diet: Avoid spicy, acidic, and fatty foods before bedtime.
  • Relax: Try deep breathing or meditation to reduce stress.


From one old man with acid reflux to all of you out there, here’s to peaceful and reflux-free nights. And if you ever need a buddy to chat about acid reflux woes, you know where to find me. Sleep tight and keep that dragon in check!

About the Company

Reflux Guard has been a lifesaver for many like me. They specialize in products designed to help folks with acid reflux sleep better. From mattresses to wedges, they’ve got everything you need to keep that dragon at bay.

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