12 Tips For Nighttime Heartburn Relief
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1. Sleep on your left side.
This position seems to help reduce nighttime heartburn symptoms.
2. Lose weight, even a little.
Heartburn often just gets worse as you gain weight, but losing as little as two and a half pounds can help reduce heartburn symptoms.
3. Sleep with your upper body elevated.
When you lay flat in bed, your throat and stomach are basically at the same level, making it easy for stomach acids to flow up your esophagus, causing heartburn.
Put the head of your bed on 4- to 6-inch blocks. You can elevate your body in two ways:
Sleep on a wedge-shaped pillow that’s at least 6 to 10 inches thick on one end.
4. Wear loose-fitting clothes.
Tight clothes, especially near your waist, can put pressure on your stomach, leading to heartburn symptoms.
5. Avoid foods that trigger your heartburn.
Common foods and drinks that can cause heartburn and interrupt sleep include alcohol; caffeinated drinks like colas, coffee, and tea; chocolate and cocoa; peppermint; garlic; onions; milk; fatty, spicy, greasy, or fried foods; and acidic foods like citrus or tomato products.
6. Steer clear of late-night meals or big meals.
Because large meals put pressure on your stomach, try eating a smaller meal in the evening to help prevent nighttime heartburn symptoms.
7. Relax when you eat.
Feeling stressed when you eat in a rush can cause the stomach to produce more stomach acids. Relax after your meal as well — but don’t lay down. Some pros recommend trying relaxation techniques like deep breathing or meditation.
8. Stay upright after eating.
This reduces the risk of acid creeping up your esophagus. You’ll also want to avoid bending over or straining to lift heavy objects.
9. Wait to exercise.
Allow a couple of hours after a meal before rigorous exercise. This gives your stomach time to empty itself.
10. Chew gum.
Chewing gum encourages the production of saliva, which can soothe your esophagus and wash acid down into your stomach.
11. Quit smoking.
Smoking is a double threat when it comes to heartburn. Not only can cigarette smoke irritate your GI tract, but smoking can also relax the esophageal muscles that keep stomach acid where it belongs.
12. Talk to your doctor about the medications you take.
Just as everyone’s food triggers for heartburn can be different, so can medication triggers.
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