Heartburn at Night – Causes and Remedies of Nighttime Acid Reflux
One of the most common times people experience heartburn is at nighttime, and for good reason. There are several contributors to nighttime acid reflux, some of which are quite surprising.
Fortunately for you, in this article, you will find what causes heartburn at night, what you can do to avoid it, and some heartburn remedies you can use if you are already experiencing it.
Causes of Heartburn At Night
In addition to normal heartburn causes, such as eating irritating foods and overeating in general, there are a few specific causes of heartburn at night which may increase your symptoms:
Body Position: Body position is the number one to most cases of heartburn at night. The reason is simple: when you are lying flat, fluid no longer has to go against gravity to leave the stomach and enter the esophagus (heartburn is caused by the stomach’s contents moving into the esophagus).
There are a few simple remedies for this. If you experience heartburn at night several times per week or more, you should elevate the head of your bed by placing wooden blocks (or another sturdy object) to raise the head of your bed by about 6 inches.
This will put your bed on a slight incline, so that gravity can work in your favor even while sleeping. This slight incline is just as effective as sitting up, and after a few days, sleeping on a slight incline will feel natural.
If you experience heartburn at night only occasionally or if you travel a lot, consider buying a bed wedge pillow. This pillow is for your entire torso and puts your body on an incline.
Toothpaste: One of the most unusual culprits of nighttime heartburn is toothpaste. There are certain chemicals in commercial toothpastes which are known to trigger acid reflux. Additionally, mint flavors are also well known to trigger heartburn.
If you get heartburn at night, try switching to a “natural” toothpaste and using a non-mint flavor. The difference can be quite staggering!
Night-time Eating Habits: Another reason why people frequently get heartburn at night is due to their eating habits.
People are more likely to eat a lot of food late at night, as well as eat sweets or more spicy food, at least in the United States. In many countries, dinner is the most elaborate meal of the day, and dessert often follows suit.
You definitely want to avoid overeating at night. You already have body position working against you, the last thing you want to do is guarantee heartburn at night by overeating. The best thing you can do to stop heartburn at night aside from raising your bed is to not eat for 2 hours before sleeping.
Avoiding food 2-3 hours before laying down for the night can do wonders for acid reflux at night. Better yet, avoiding food late at night can help you lose weight and sleep better, too!
Heartburn At Night Conclusion
By raising your bed, changing your toothpaste, and avoiding eating too much at night, you can significantly reduce nighttime heartburn.
If you are still experiencing heartburn, try chewing a piece of non-mint gum for 10 minutes after eating your final meal of the day, and then once again briefly before getting into bed. Also, if you have heartburn twice per week or more, you will want to talk to your doctor as this can lead to some serious health problems over time if left untreated.