Many of us suffer from heartburn or what is clinically referred to as gastroesophageal reflux disease (GERD). The symptoms may be chronic or they may be caused by certain foods in our diet. Night time heartburn is not only uncomfortable and painful, but it may also cost us valuable sleep and ruin an otherwise great day following a night of discomfort.
Following several simple rules may help prevent gastroesophageal reflux disease (GERD) or at the very least lessen the bouts of heartburn that would otherwise keep us up all night long.
The most important tip to remember is to avoid the foods that may trigger episodes of heartburn. The most common culprits are foods with a higher acid content such as citrus fruits, tomatoes and vinegar. Along with those, it may be smart to avoid spicy foods as well if they trigger your gastroesophageal reflux disease (GERD). Drinks that contain caffeine such as soda, tea and coffee can cause bouts of heartburn along with alcohol drinks.
While some of the foods we have gone over can cause heartburn by stimulating gastric acid, others may cause gastroesophageal reflux disease (GERD) in a different fashion. Greasy foods such as fast food and high fat dressings like mayonnaise may cause heartburn symptoms by weakening the muscle between the stomach and the esophagus called the lower esophageal sphincter (LES). Caffeinated drinks can actually weaken the lower esophageal sphincter as well as stimulate gastric acid production.
Along with avoiding certain foods that may cause heartburn it is recommended that you adjust your eating schedule to keep your gastroesophageal reflux disease (GERD) at bay. Avoiding late night meals allows your body time to digest a meal before bedtime and can help avoid the night time discomfort. It is also a good idea to reduce the size of your meals so that bouts of heartburn are avoided. Eating slower can allow your stomach time to inform your brain that it is full. Eating slower can reduce the amount of food you eat and help you to avoid heartburn.
Following these easy tips can help you get a restful night sleep and avoid the discomfort of heartburn.