Nighttime heartburn can really affect your sleep.
Nighttime heartburn, also called as chronic heartburn which is severe and sows no mercy.
Heartburn often occurs on the premises of physiological abnormalities at the level of the gastro-esophageal tract.
Heartburn is the burning or irritation in the chest and it is often misconceived as heart disease, since the pain is felt in the chest.
Nighttime heartburn causes:
Nighttime heartburn occurs mostly after a heavy, spicy meal and happens when the lower esophageal sphincter does not close properly, allowing the acids from your stomach to come back up. Heartburn is aggravated when you lie down flatly.
It is caused because of the movement of the gastric juices to the lower portion of the esophagus. The gastric juices are acidic and as it contacts with the lining of esophagus, it induces irritation and inflammation.
The unusual movement of the gastric juice is caused because of relaxation in the muscle between abdomen and esophagus.
So, nighttime heartburn occurs following heavy evening meal and during the early hours of sleep. Late meals can also cause nighttime heartburn by stimulating the stomach’s production of digestive fluids.
Nighttime heartburn symptoms:
- Burning pain in the chest
- Shortness of breath
- Waking up to a bitter and acidic taste in your mouth
- Sharp, burning pain in your chest
- Fatigue during the day
- Sore throat
Nighttime heartburn can cause more esophageal damage than daytime because acid tends to sit in the esophagus for longer periods of time. Frequent nighttime heartburn can be associated with GERD.
Nighttime heartburn treatment:
With simple lifestyle modifications, symptoms can be alleviated. Eat meals two to three hours before bedtime to lessen the chance of heartburn. Raising the upper portion of the body higher lowers the nighttime heartburn. Elevate the head of the bed four to six inches by keeping wooden planks under bedding or using thick cushions.
Avoid spicy and acidic foods at nighttime. Avoid coffee, soda and alcohol which can worsen the problem.
Tips for nighttime heartburn:
- When you are awakened with heartburn, stand up. This helps keep the acid at bay.
- Drink a glass of water followed with a mixture of one tablespoon of baking soda and half a glass of water.
- You should not drink milk to relieve heartburn. Milk contains fats and proteins that cause your stomach to secrete more acid and make your heartburn worse.
- A teaspoon of vinegar can help soothe heartburn immediately. Sometimes, heartburn is caused as a result of too little acid and vinegar helps quell indigestion by giving extra juice to your stomach.
- Garlic, citrus fruits, tomatoes, and tomato-based products cause nighttime heartburn. Avoiding these types of foods can help ease your digestion.
- Banana works like an antacid to soothe heartburn. If you are already suffering with heartburn, eat pineapple or papaya to help your stomach settle naturally.
- If you are awakened by nighttime heartburn on regular basis, if the pain is severe, or if you have heartburn with vomiting, you have to consult your doctor immediately as it may be a more serious condition such as ulcer.