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Curing All Night Heartburn and Enjoying a Full Night of Sleep
For many people, heartburn is an occasional condition that occurs after eating a heavy meal or drinking too much coffee or alcohol. It will rear its ugly head in the hours immediately following the meal, and can often be treated quickly and effectively with over the counter antacids that will neutralize the stomach acid and relieve the pain. For some heartburn sufferers however, the painful symptoms do not begin until it is bedtime, and this can be a difficult time to treat heartburn. Your primary goal at this point in the day is to get much needed rest, and that can be a challenge if you have a persistent pain and burning in your chest. The good news is that there are a number of steps that you can take to relieve heartburn that goes on all night, so that you can get the sleep that your body needs.
Why does All Night Heartburn Occur?
When you lie down to go to sleep at night, gravity is no longer working to keep those stomach acids down where they belong. It is much easier in this position for those harmful acids to creep back up into the esophagus, causing the painful burning sensation when the acids reach the unprotected wall of the esophageal area. While you are sleeping, you also tend to swallow less, which keeps your saliva away from those acids as well. Our saliva is a natural neutralizer for these stomach acids during the day when you are swallowing more frequently. These two factors can add up to painful heartburn that can last all night if it is not properly prevented and treated.
How can you Treat All Night Heartburn?
There are a number of habits that you can adopt to prevent all night heartburn symptoms. First, make sure that you have at least two hours between when you eat your last meal of the day and when you go to bed. The sooner that you lie down after eating, the more likely it is that your symptoms will start up. You can also avoid certain foods and beverages in the evening that you know will cause your all night heartburn symptoms to flare up. Some of the common culprits of all night heartburn are alcohol, coffee, chocolate and fatty foods. If you still find yourself suffering from symptoms after going to bed, you can also try raising the head of your bed to elevate your head and chest area. If this is not convenient for you or your partner, there are also foam wedges that you can buy that will serve the same purpose.
Taking a medication like an H2 blocker before bed can bring you relief that will last through the night in some cases. If you are having trouble falling asleep because your all night heartburn symptoms have already begun, you can try an antacid for quick relief, and the H2 blocker to make that relief last for a number of hours. Do not take these medications every night as a preventative measure however, since taking them too frequently will make your body immune to the effects of the medicine.
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