How to stop acid reflux at night – the 5 steps to short and long-term relief

Dr Zoe explains the causes and symptoms of acid reflux

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Acid reflux, otherwise known as heartburn or GERD, is a deeply uncomfortable condition. While most cases won’t require medical attention, chronic or singular cases can still produce significant discomfort and can last for hours. Reflux has a nasty habit of appearing at night, and can disrupt what would otherwise have been pleasant rest. 

How to stop acid reflux at night

Acid reflux causes an unpleasant surge of pain in the throat, caused by backed up stomach acid.

Most people will experience it only briefly, but some will have chronic GERD caused by medicine or an illness.

Thankfully, there are several potential solutions to relieving it, and they can help in a pinch.

Avoid eating late

Acid reflux develops when stomach acids flow into the tube connecting the organ to the mouth.

Eating later requires the stomach to continue digesting closer to bedtime, which can aggravate GERD.

Finishing at least three hours before lying down should provide enough time for digestion.

Avoid triggers

When you eat matters with GERD, but so does what you eat.

Stomach acid triggers will vary for most people, but doctors have identified several serial offending foods or drinks.

These include, but are not limited to, the following:

  • Alcohol
  • Caffeine
  • Spicy or citrus-heavy foods
  • Peppermint
  • High-fat fried foods

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Over the counter medication

Those dealing with stubborn reflux can pursue over the counter treatment.

People can find several at their local pharmacy, including traditional antacids, which neutralise stomach acids.

H2 receptor blockers (or sci-fi sounding proton pump inhibitors) block or reduce stomach acid production.

Change your clothes

Aggravated stomachs often produce more acid, and there are several ways to provoke the organ.

One is by squashing it with tighter form-fitting clothes, which may squeeze acid out of the stomachs main entry point.

Looser-fitting pyjamas or nightclothes will help reduce pressure and prevent GERD flare-ups.

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