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Sleep Better with Your Heartburn

By Sara Butler

Chronic heartburn or GERD (Gastroesophageal Reflux Disease) can impact a lot of areas of your life -- and sleep is one of them. You probably already know how important proper sleep is to your overall health and wellness. When you wake up with a burning sensation in your throat that makes you feel as if you’re going to choke, a good night’s sleep can feel impossible. Even if you modify your diet or take prescription drugs to help, sleeping comfortably can still be a challenge. Here are a few tips to help you get a good night’s rest even with heartburn.

Elevate Your Head

Put physics to work for you. If you can comfortably elevate your head up a few inches, then it may help you find relief. You don’t have to rely on pillows to make this work. You can get creative by placing a couple of cinder blocks horizontally under the bed frame. You can also use bricks or blocks of wood.

If that won’t work with your bed frame, then you can buy bed risers made from plastic or wood. These can easily be found online and can help to put your feet lower than your head, using gravity to keep your stomach acid from creeping up into your throat and causing discomfort.

Get an Adjustable Bed

There are some beds that offer adjustable versions, which may work out better in the long run for you than using risers or cinder blocks. Automatically adjustable beds help to elevate your shoulders, head, and upper back. There are even specialty beds marketed for those who suffer from heartburn at night called “reflux” beds.

Wear Loose Clothing

If you wear sleep pants or shorts to bed, you may want to consider switching to a T-shirt or nightshirt. Pants, no matter how loose, can put pressure on your abdomen. Sometimes, even just a little pressure can be the difference between a comfortable night’s sleep or not.

Don’t Eat Before Bed

You’ve probably learned this the hard way, but just in case you haven’t, snacks before bed when you have heartburn are not recommended. You need at least two hours to digest before going to sleep, so skip anything too close to bedtime to help you feel more comfortable.

Don’t forget that the chiropractors at The Joint may be able to help you find relief from GERD or heartburn at night. Aside from these techniques, it never hurts to see a chiropractor and see if they can offer you some relief!

To learn more about your health, wellness, and fitness, see your local chiropractor at The Joint Chiropractic in Shreveport, La.

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