Rest easy: 5 tips to reduce GERD symptoms at night

The pain and discomfort of gastroesophageal reflux disease, or GERD, often occurs at night, and can even wake you up from a sound sleep, coughing and feeling uncomfortable. This can create a vicious cycle — as poor sleep has been linked to an increase in GI symptoms. Fortunately, there are several things you can do to sleep better when living with GERD:

1. Calm your gut through diet 

Manage GERD symptoms through the types of food you eat. You may want to avoid acidic foods (tomatoes, citrus, vinegars), very hot foods, spicy foods, fatty foods, carbonation, coffee, and chocolate. 

2. Adjust meal timing and sizes 

Try to eat smaller, more frequent meals and avoid eating in the two hours prior to going to bed. Additionally, staying upright for at least 30 minutes after eating can aid in digestion. 

3. Consider your sleeping position 

Some research indicates that sleeping on your left side helps ease GERD symptoms, and propping your head and upper body up by 6 inches can make sleeping more comfortable. 

4. Manage your weight

Being overweight is considered a risk factor for nighttime GERD. If significant weight loss would benefit your health, your care team can help you access resources to achieve your weight loss goals, including medical and surgical options.

5. Ask about medication

Medication, such as proton pump inhibitors (Omeprozale, Esomeprazole) or H2 receptor blockers (Cimetidine or Famotidine), can often help ease the symptoms of chronic acid reflux over time. Talk to your GI provider about whether medication might play a role in your comprehensive care plan.

Your Oshi Health team can help make recommendations to improve your symptoms and work with you over time to effectively treat chronic acid reflux for more restful nights.

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