2020 Research

Acid Reflux Sleep Guide

Read our complete Acid Reflux Guide Below

Finding the Best Acid Reflux Sleep Solution

Suffering from Acid Reflux is never enjoyable, which is why finding a suitable solution to those problems is absolutely essential. In the vast majority of cases, an adjustable bed for Acid Reflux will be the best answer, providing noticeable relief for an uninterrupted night’s sleep and a generally better lifestyle.

The most advanced adjustable beds are the result of significant research into symptoms, triggers, and the best positions for Acid Reflux relief. They have the ability to help you finally regain control over your body for a significantly more comfortable future.

Here’s all you need to know about Acid Reflux, adjustable beds, and how they can transform your life for the better.

About Acid Reflux

At the entrance to your stomach is a valve, which is a ring of muscle called the lower esophageal sphincter.  Gastroesophageal reflux disease, or GERD, is a digestive disorder that affects the lower esophageal sphincter (LES), the ring of muscle between the esophagus and stomach.

Many people, including pregnant women, suffer from heartburn or acid indigestion caused by GERD. Doctors believe that some people suffer from GERD due to a condition called hiatal hernia. In most cases, GERD can be relieved through diet and lifestyle changes; however, some people may require medication or surgery.

Some common treatments for GERD include antacids, prescription medications (H2 blockers or proton pump inhibitors), and surgery. However, there are also several lifestyle changes that can help you find relief from your symptoms.

How does GERD impact sleep?

Researchers have figured out several ways in which GERD-related acid reflux interferes with sleep:

  1. Most obviously, individuals may be awakened by the pain of heartburn, which occurs when stomach acid refluxes into the esophagus and eats away at the esophageal lining.
  2. If acid reflux reaches the back of the throat or larynx, it may prompt a coughing fit or choking.
  3. People might wake up when they experience regurgitation, in which a small amount of stomach acid comes up through their esophagus and into their mouth.
  4. GERD has been identified as a risk factor for sleep apnea, a disorder in which the person repeatedly stops breathing during the night. Researchers believe that refluxed stomach acid causes the voice box to spasm, which blocks the airways and prevents air from flowing into the lungs.

Unfortunately, many of the mechanisms of sleep make GERD more likely. For example, just the act of lying down increases the risk of acid reflux. When you are in a sitting or standing position, gravity helps keep gastric acid in the stomach. When you lie flat, however, it’s much easier for stomach acid to back flow into your esophagus.

Best and Worst Sleeping Positions with Acid Reflux

If you are a GERD sufferer, you can do a lot to improve your quality of sleep simply by changing your sleeping position. After extensive research into the subject, doctors recommend that you:

  1. Elevate the head of your bed 6 to 8 inches to assist gravity in keeping your stomach acid from refluxing.
  2. Sleep on your left side. This is the position that has been found to best reduce acid reflux.
  3. Don’t sleep on your back, particularly if you are obese, because the pressure on your stomach could help drive acid into your esophagus.
  4. Don’t sleep on your right side. For some reason, this seems to prompt relaxation of the lower esophageal sphincter — the tight ring of muscle connecting the stomach and esophagus that normally defends against reflux.

What a Good Night’s Sleep Looks Like with Acid Reflux

Someone suffering from acid reflux often experiences burning chest pain, nausea after eating, bitter taste, sore throat, trouble swallowing, which can affect daily activities, including the ability to get a good night’s sleep.

Envisioning a good nights sleep with acid reflux includes reducing acid leaving the stomach into the esophagus. A good quality adjustable bed is a fundamental investment to help sooth these conditions.

Some medical professionals also recommend wedge pillows as a solution to keep the body elevated. But, wedge pillows limit sleeping positions, such as sleeping on the side and/or stomach. Therefore, only allowing back sleeping, which increases the incidences of snoring and snoring tends to promote acid reflux. So in most cases, an adjustable mattress is your best choice.

What to look for in an Adjustable Bed if you have Acid Reflux

Acid reflux symptoms not only make sleeping more difficult but can harm concentration, moods, and other areas of life. Getting a good bed for this condition is a step in the right direction for reducing your symptoms or, at least, making them more manageable.

Below are four important factors to consider during an adjustable bed search when you suffer from acid reflux:

Adjustable Base Compatibility

Since elevating your upper-body by at least six inches can help improve acid reflux symptoms, it’s best to invest in a bed that works with an adjustable base. Generally, it’s better to go for a mattress that’s no higher than 13 inches since thicker beds won’t be as flexible.

Firmness levels and options will be key in determining your comfort. “The best advice I could give is the ‘Goldilocks Method’ — not too hard, and not too soft,” says Dr. Tamlyn. Remember to shop for the best quality and value of a mattress rather than for price. A higher quality mattress will be more expensive. So, look out for sales and promotions that will allow you to make good comparisons between brands.

Durability

Adjustable beds can cause more wear and tear due to the constant motion. As a result, mattresses with longer-than-average lifespans — such as air mattress, memory foam, and latex models — tend to be more suitable for these beds than mattresses with typically shorter lifespans.

Adjustable Bed Warranty

Reputable adjustable bed manufacturers should offer warranties ranging from 10 to 20 years on the bed base. If the model you want says it has a lifetime warranty, make the company explains in detail what that includes.

Additional Sleeping Tips for Acid Reflux sufferers

While improved sleeping habits are the central focus of fighting Acid Reflux and GERD symptoms, scientific studies have shown that altering your habits during the waking hours can have a positive impact to support the nighttime improvements.

Don't eat late in the evening

In a study published in The American Journal of Gastroenterology, a team of researchers found that eating dinner within three hours of going to bed was associated with a sevenfold increase in the risk of reflux symptoms.

As for why three to four hours is the threshold, researchers say that is the amount of time it takes for food to clear the stomach. In chronic heartburn, stomach acid slips into the esophagus, and that’s more likely when lying in bed shortly after a meal, when gravity is not helping to keep digestive juices in the stomach.

The bottom line is that eating more than three to four hours before bed reduces the risk of nighttime acid reflux and heartburn symptoms.

Make Subtle Lifestyle Adjustments

Research shows that the following lifestyle tips can help prevent and manage symptoms too:

  1. Avoid tight clothes as they press on your stomach.
  2. Don’t exercise too close to eating as it’ll trigger heartburn and GERD.
  3. Chew gum to increase saliva production.
  4. Quit smoking as nicotine relaxes the esophageal sphincter.
  5. Bend from the knees rather than the waist.

Incorporate those ideas to support your new bedtime routines, and noticeable improvements should show.

Health Friendly

Adjustable Beds

Do you have medical condition that requires you to sleep in an elevated position?

Do you struggle from Acid Reflux or Sleep Apnea?  If you answered yes to any of these questions, then an adjustable bed base could be a perfect addition to go with your orthopedic mattress.  Adjustable bed bases were at first designed for hospitals to help accomadate short and long term patients in their recovery process.  By creating an angled sleep surface, adjustable bed bases allowed for better circulation, swelling relief & more.  Applying that to acute sleep conditions, an adjustable bed could be beneficial along with your orthopedic mattress.

Benefits

The flexibility adjustable bed bases offer work great with orthopedic mattresses.  By allowing the user to raise or lower their upper body or legs, it helps aid in additional support and pressure relief.  The flexibility is also know for offering relief from symptoms related to conditions like:

  1. Sleep Apnea
  2. Acid Reflux
  3. Fibromyalgia
  4. Arthritis
  5. Spinal Stenosis
  6. Hip Burstis
  7. Herniated Disc
  8. Sciatica

Natural Form®

Therapeutic Mattresses

Trying to find the right mattress for Acid Reflux? Take a look at our Orthopedic Mattress collection below.

Natural Form®

Therapeutic Mattresses

Trying to find the right mattress for acid reflux? Read our complete guide on tips and common questions below

Frequently asked questions

How high should you raise your bed for acid reflux?

Elevate the head of your bed 6 to 8 inches to assist gravity in keeping your stomach acid from refluxing.

What are the best & worst sleeping position for acid reflux?

After extensive research into the subject, doctors recommend that you:

  1. Elevate the head of your bed 6 to 8 inches to assist gravity in keeping your stomach acid from refluxing.
  2. Sleep on your left side. This is the position that has been found to best reduce acid reflux.
  3. Don't sleep on your back, particularly if you are obese, because the pressure on your stomach could help drive acid into your esophagus.
  4. Don't sleep on your right side. For some reason, this seems to prompt relaxation of the lower esophageal sphincter — the tight ring of muscle connecting the stomach and esophagus that normally defends against reflux.
Sleeping tips for acid reflux

Don't eat late in the evening

In a study published in The American Journal of Gastroenterology, a team of researchers found that eating dinner within three hours of going to bed was associated with a sevenfold increase in the risk of reflux symptoms.

As for why three to four hours is the threshold, researchers say that is the amount of time it takes for food to clear the stomach. In chronic heartburn, stomach acid slips into the esophagus, and that’s more likely when lying in bed shortly after a meal, when gravity is not helping to keep digestive juices in the stomach.

The bottom line is that eating more than three to four hours before bed reduces the risk of nighttime acid reflux and heartburn symptoms.

Make Subtle Lifestyle Adjustments

Research shows that the following lifestyle tips can help prevent and manage symptoms too:

  1. Avoid tight clothes as they press on your stomach.
  2. Don’t exercise too close to eating as it’ll trigger heartburn and GERD.
  3. Chew gum to increase saliva production.
  4. Quit smoking as nicotine relaxes the esophageal sphincter.
  5. Bend from the knees rather than the waist.

Incorporate those ideas to support your new bedtime routines, and noticeable improvements should show.

What side should you sleep on with acid reflux?

Sleep on your left side. This is the position that has been found to best reduce acid reflux.