Heart burn is a pain at any time of the day, but it can feel much worse when it’s stopping you getting to sleep at night. If you have persistent heart burn, it’s a good idea to ask a doctor about treatments to control it, but there are also a few changes you can make to prevent it from affecting you at night.
Changing Your Mealtimes
One of the best ways to stop heart burn at night is to avoid eating before you go to bed. It is particularly important to avoid greasy, spicy or acidic foods that are more likely to trigger indigestion, but it is best not to eat anything at all for at least three hours before you go to bed. Lying down while your stomach is still digesting the last meal will make it easier for acid to escape into your throat. Try to stay in an upright position so that gravity is working for you.
Finding the Right Sleeping Position
When you are ready for bed, you can continue to use gravity to your advantage. Although it may feel strange at first, adding an extra pillow to raise your head a little higher could help to keep down your stomach acid. A wedge pillow that raises both your head and chest can be particularly effective.
Changing your eating habits and raising your head at night should help to prevent heart burn from disturbing your sleep. However, there are a few other tips that you can try too:
- Make sure that your pyjamas are loose and comfortable as a tight waist band could press on your stomach.
- Try chewing gum before bed as the saliva you produce can help neutralise stomach acid. Having a small drink of water could have a similar effect.
Tackle any sources of stress in your life, as these could be exacerbating both your indigestion and your sleep problems.