Does Relentless Acid Reflux Stop You From Sleeping?

16 Jul Does Relentless Acid Reflux Stop You From Sleeping?

It’s hard to get ready for bed when a burning sensation is shooting beneath your breastbone and you are overcome with nausea. When you try to ignore it and lie flat on your pillow, you realize that the sensation only grows stronger. If this happens to you on a regular basis, you are one of the many people with sleep apnea who also deal with a relentless problem called GERD.

Gastroesophageal reflux disease (GERD) is a digestive disorder that sends the stomach’s contents back up into the esophagus. The condition is essentially chronic acid reflux that occurs when the lower esophageal sphincter does not close properly. Common symptoms of gastroesophageal reflex disease are nausea, vomiting, bad breath, trouble swallowing and heartburn. When the disorder goes untreated, it can worsen respiratory problems by making the patient breathe stomach acid into the lungs, causing congestion, asthma or pneumonia.

The reflux sensation gets stronger when the body is lying down, which is why GERD is often disruptive to people’s sleep patterns — this is especially problematic for anyone who already suffers from conditions like sleep apnea. The Canadian Society of Intestinal Research states that approximately 76% of people living with obstructive sleep apnea deal with GERD symptoms at night, making it more difficult to get a proper night of rest. Research on GERD and sleep apnea disorder shows that they are possibly connected because the respiratory effort changes the pressure of the esophagus so that it’s easier for reflux to occur. Another popular connection between the two conditions is that they are more likely to affect people who are obese.

Luckily, many people with sleep apnea find that their GERD symptoms improve when they try nasal continuous positive airway pressure therapy. You can find a variety of CPAP masks in Barrie and other Ontario locations that are designed for sleep apnea sufferers who want to breathe through their nose when they sleep. Lightweight nasal mask options that you could try are the Airfit N20 Nasal Mask, Swift FX Nano and the Mirage FX Standard. Discuss your needs with representatives before you buy the products so that they can help you get the right sleep apnea treatments in Toronto and elsewhere. They have the best CPAP supplies in Canada available for you to browse through but guessing the wrong mask fit or type could undermine your therapy and take away some of the health benefits. To avoid this mistake, let the representatives know about your nighttime GERD symptoms right away.

Other than continuous positive airway pressure therapy, you can improve your sleep when you have GERD by making some of these changes to your nightly bedtime routine and your lifestyle:

  • Reflux can happen when you eat large amounts, so practice limiting your portion sizes and eating slowly. Avoid eating two to three hours before bedtime to give yourself plenty of time to digest.
  • Resist eating or drinking ingredients that are known to worsen symptoms like alcohol, coffee, chocolate, garlic, tomatoes, peppermint and fried foods.
  • You can start sleeping on an incline to prevent the reflux from getting into your throat. Either get a remote-control mattress or use a bed riser to help keep your head higher up than your feet.
  • Quitting smoking and losing weight through healthy diet and exercise are known to help with sleep apnea and GERD.

It seems to be that many of the solutions for gastroesophageal reflux disease are effective for treating sleep apnea as well. If you make healthy lifestyle changes for the sake of your sleep apnea, your relentless reflux is bound to get better. This way you can get ready for bed without any worry because your body will feel just fine when your head hits the pillow.

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