We’ve talked a lot recently about the importance of sleeping with the head of your bed elevated to control your GERD symptoms – whether your symptoms bother you at night or not. So in a recent poll, we asked whether you tried it and if it helped. Here’s what you told us.
One of the oldest methods to combat acid reflux while sleeping is elevating the head of your bed. By sleeping in a way where your head is raised, your stomach acids are less likely to seep upwards. Though there have been considerable scientific studies that support the effectiveness of this sleeping method, we decided to run
a poll on this to see how it has worked for our members and visitors.
The harmful effects of acid reflux while sleeping
There are a number of names for nighttime GERD symptoms, including nighttime GERD, nocturnal GERD, supine GERD, acid reflux while sleeping and many others. Of all the ways
GERD manifests itself, nighttime GERD is arguably the most destructive and harmful. That’s because lying in a horizontal position makes it easier for the contents of the stomach to flow up into the esophagus. Then, because gravity isn’t helping draw them back into the stomach, stomach acid tends to linger longer in the esophagus. For some people, nighttime symptoms can make it difficult to sleep. For others, they’re not even aware nighttime reflux is occurring, so this is an important lifestyle change for anyone with GERD.
Nighttime GERD and LPR
Nighttime GERD is a key culprit in LPR symptoms. LPR is a condition where stomach acids have reached high enough to impact areas in and around your sinuses, oral cavity, and lungs. This can lead to a variety of respiratory, sinuses, and dental complications. If you experience symptoms like chronic cough, hoarseness, and chronic throat clearing, then controlling nighttime reflux is especially important.
This was our question:
Has sleeping with the head of your bed raised reduce your GERD symptoms?
- I haven’t tried it yet.
- Yes. I’ve been very successful in reducing my symptoms by sleeping on an incline.
- A little. I’ve had some success in reducing my symptoms when I sleep on an incline.
- No. I didn’t notice a change in my symptoms when I tried it.
Of those that have tried elevating the heads of their beds, 70% have had at least “some success” in reducing symptoms with 30% claiming that “yes” this method has been successful. That’s impressive for a lifestyle change that anyone can do, so if you haven’t done it yet, you might what to give it a try!
How to elevate your bed
Elevating your bed can be done in a number of ways. One way is by propping up the head of your bed with cinder blocks or large books. There are also a variety of commercial products available, including bed wedges and inflatable bed mattresses. Both these options come in a wide price range. The most expensive option is the remote control beds that can electronically elevate different parts of your bed to fit your comfort level. The most important thing to remember is that whatever method you choose, be sure to elevate your entire torso – not just your neck.
All in all, our poll has further cemented our confidence that raising the head of your bed to keep your stomach acids down is an effective method to combat nighttime GERD. And because this kind of GERD can be the most harmful, we encourage our members to give this method a try!