Patients suffering from GERD & Acid Reflux can alleviate pain by elevating their upper body by 6 to 8 inches. This helps the stomach to retain the acids. When sleeping on a flatbed, the acid moves to the esophagus leading to episodes of acid reflux or heartburn. As the body sleeps it is also working to digest and process foods – causing digestion difficulties. Using adjustable beds, persons with GERD sufferers can easily lift their head to the recommended 6 inches to achieve the healthiest digestion for the stomach. This will allow for a better sleep and healthier waking in the morning.
What is GERD?
Many of us eat right before going to bed or we wake up and eat something we shouldn’t probably eat. Many studies have tied eating before sleep to weight gain. Lying in a horizontal position hinder our digestive system. Having our upper body elevated improves the ability of our body to digest food properly. By having the adjustable bed slightly elevated will improve digestion and reduce weight gain.
GERD is a result of a weak esophageal sphincter. That weakness allows the contents of your stomach to flow back up into your esophagus. There are a variety of things that can weaken your esophageal sphincter, including overeating and being overweight. Furthermore, pregnancy, wearing tight clothing around your middle, smoking or regular exposure to secondhand smoke, hiatal hernia. A hiatal hernia is where a part of the stomach protrudes into the diaphragm muscle.
This can lead to uncomfortable irritation often described as a burning or heartburn. It can also result in coughing, choking, chest discomfort and throat discomfort. The cause of GERD can be any number of things – the food in your diet, the amount of food in your diet, medical conditions such as a hiatal hernia are just a few causes. Other things that can have an impact are smoking, laying down directly following a meal, excessive alcohol consumption and being overweight. While making changes in your lifestyle can help and is recommended, adjustable beds for GERD sufferers can further reduce symptoms.
Why does GERD seem worse at night?
GERD & Acid Reflux not only affects your ability to sleep at night but has lasting effects on you the next day too. There are a few reasons why GERD (heartburn) worsens at night, this includes:
- You swallow less: The normal contractions that keep your stomach acid at bay reduce at night meaning you are more likely to experience heartburn.
- Your working against gravity: As you are lying horizontally it’s easier for acid to leak out the top of your stomach and irritate the lining of your esophagus.
- Saliva production reduces: Saliva has a very clever purpose- it neutralizes stomach acid. When you’re asleep your body produces less saliva hence why you are likely to experience acid reflux at night.
Adjustable Beds for GERD Sufferers
As you sleep, GERD can occur more often as gravity works against the disease. Typically, the sleeping position is a problem. As a person lays flat, the gravity that assists in keeping acid down during the day is redirected. This can actually increase the probability of acid reflux during the night. Sleep is then interrupted by the resulting GERD symptoms. Adjustable beds may help GERD & Acid Reflux in multiple ways. The primary goal is to fight the acid reflux. As such, we want to raise the head.
The first way that beds for GERD sufferers help is by offering an adjustable head position. This helps for a couple of reasons. The elevation of your head creates an angle that allows gravity to work similarly to how it does during the day. The acid is pushed downward in beds for GERD sufferers by the natural weight of gravity. The angle also prevents the symptoms of GERD like coughing, choking and the burning feeling. Fewer symptoms equate to more sound sleep and less interruption of the sleep cycle. GERD symptoms can worsen if not managed properly. The more the lining of the esophagus is exposed to stomach acid, the more it is damaged. The symptoms then just get worse.
By using adjustable beds, you can reduce the exposure and therefore limit the GERD & Acid Reflux symptoms and causes.