7 TIPS TO KEEP ACID REFLUX FROM RUINING YOUR SLEEP
More than 60 million Americans have heartburn at least once a month. I’m one of them. In fact, I was found to have gastroesophageal reflux disorder—aka GERD, more commonly known as acid reflux—back in college because of just how frequently I was getting heartburn.
If you have acid reflux, or even occasional heartburn after a spicy meal, you know that it can keep you awake tossing and turning. Here’s what I’ve learned about coping with acid reflux so it doesn’t get in the way of a good night’s sleep.
What causes acid reflux
Acid reflux is the name for what happens when stomach acid makes its way up into the esophagus. Most often it’s because the lower esophageal sphincter, a muscle valve that is supposed to keep stomach acid where it belongs—in your stomach— isn’t working properly.
There are a few things that can loosen the muscle, making it easier for acid to shoot back up. Eating certain foods, like citrus fruits, tomatoes, chocolate, peppermint, garlic, onions, and anything spicy, fatty, or fried, is one of the biggest causes. So is drinking coffee, soda, or alcohol. Obesity and pregnancy can also lead to acid reflux because they put pressure on your abdomen, which can weaken your lower esophageal sphincter.