Would you believe that acid reflux may be affected by what you eat, supplements you take, and even a couple of evening habits? Let me show you how I improved my situation with very little effort. This article is going to show you how to deal with acid reflux at night, and by “deal with” I mean how to be “in charge” of having acid reflux… or not.
First of all, what is acid reflux and why does it mostly rear its ugly head at night?
- In my researched opinion, acid reflux is one of the first symptoms of too much acid in our system.
- When we eat like “Americans, Britons, Australians, or Canadians” we will be prone to acid reflux. You’ll see why in a minute.
- Acid reflux occurs when we: A) produce too much stomach acid (avoidable as you will see), and B) go to bed with excess acid pooling in our stomach (also avoidable as you will see).
- Nighttime reflux is usually due to late eating, and then being horizontal as we prepare to sleep.
Ok well, people in the four westernized countries above tend to eat an acid producing diet, and eat dinner or late snacks in a time frame that leads to “acid stomach” during the time we are trying to go to sleep.
First, I have to tell you that the long-term solution is to eat in a way that promotes enzyme digestion but since “diet” is an ugly word to most people, I will focus on a couple of simple habits that helped me reverse nighttime reflux for myself and many that I have successfully advised over more than two decades.
- Never eat within 2 to 2.5 hours of going to bed.
- Use two or three pillows, configured to keep your chest and head slightly inclined compared to your legs. This elevation does not have to be severe. Elevating the head as little as six inches is usually sufficient.
For people with digestive concerns such as reflux, eating at night (within 2 hours or so of retiring) causes a new batch of digestive acid to enter the stomach. This acid will become your evening nightmare if you are prone to reflux.
Let’s say you go to bed at 10 pm. Stop all eating by 7:30 or so, and your food (and acid) will be long gone before you “hit the sack.” If this simple new habit does not correct your reflux 100%, use technique #2 and slightly elevate your torso for at least the first two hours of sleep.
The simple fact of physics is that fluid (in this case acid) rarely travels up to the throat or mouth from the stomach when we are vertical (awake). The solution is almost that easy.
By slightly elevating the torso when retiring, we use gravity to keep any residual stomach acid in its place because liquids want to go to the lowest point. If however we become horizontal (lying down in bed) while we still have ounces of acid in our stomach, gravity is no longer our “friend” and the acid can reach the throat or mouth effortlessly. This can be “bad” for throat, stomach valves, and even our teeth.
Of course, the best solution is to reduce acid production through an enzyme encouraging diet such as the Pain Free Foods Catalyst Food Avoidance diet, but until you decide to do that, please follow these two simple techniques and get back in control of your life.
Disclaimer: Of course we are not doctors and the proceeding is not medical advice. In some cases, acid reflux is a symptom or precursor of more serious issues that only a qualified doctor can evaluate. We suggest that everyone with any medical symptoms consult with their doctor. These techniques may or may not work for you and we cannot and do not try to be aware of each reader’s medical circumstances or concerns.