Do you suffer from Nocturnal Heartburn?
Nocturnal heartburn is also known as gastro-esophogeal reflux disorder, or GERD. If you awaken from sleep during the night—or in the morning—suffering from a bad case of heartburn, your body may be trying to tell you something: You may be having a hard time breathing during sleep.
If the airway narrows or collapses during sleep—usually accompanied by snoring—it can cause breathing during sleep to become labored. Narrowing of the airway is a common result of the relaxed muscle tone that accompanies sleep. This difficulty breathing causes us to suck our stomach acids up into our esophogus, which, in turn, gives us the heartburn.
What is the solution? Elevating the head of your bed may help temporarily (you can place the flat side of a 2 X 4 under each of the front bed posts—careful your back!) and you can also begin to sleep with your upper chest and neck area elevated—use regular or sit-up pillows. But don’t ignore the message your body is sending! GERD is one of the common symptoms of obstructive sleep apnea syndrome—a condition which places you at increased risk for hypertension, heart attack and stroke. So don’t fool around, and don’t miss the message. Schedule an appointment with a sleep disorder specialist in your area—today!
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