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February 13, 2022

Acid reflux at night, Why and how can I stop the top 1 dangerous?

Acid reflux at night comes from a number of changes in several dietary and lifestyle. For example, because an upright position helps with digestion, doctors recommend :

  • You should eat dinner earlier than bedtime.
  • Elevating the head of the bed so that gravity can help prevent food from backing up from the stomach into the esophagus, or food pipe, which is the tube that connects the mouth to the stomach.
  • If a person experiences the condition frequently, they may need medical treatment.

In this, we discuss the symptoms, causes, treatment and outline some prevention as well as management techniques. according to Research suggests that either the hormone melatonin or medication with a similar action may reduce symptoms of acid reflux at night.

Symptoms of acid reflux at night.

an older adult is lying in bed and struggling to sleep
Rawpixel/Getty Images

Acid reflux at night, also known as heartburn, can feel hot in your stomach, chest, and throat.

a burning sensation in the stomach, chest, and throat of acid reflux at night
A burning sensation in the stomach, chest, and throat of acid reflux at night.

Other possible symptoms includeTrusted Source:

If this happens frequently, it could be indicative of gastroesophageal reflux disease (GERD).

While trying to sleep

Rediscovered that 79% of people with GERD experience symptoms after going to bed. Information from the International Foundation for Gastrointestinal Disorders (IFFGD)notes that

Up to 75% of sufferers say symptoms affect their sleep, and 40% say sleep loss affects their ability to function when they wake up.

While GERD affects sleep, sleep deprivation also has an impact on GERD.

Lack of sleep can increase sensitivity to acid in the esophagus.

A person who experiences acid reflux after bed may have more acute symptoms than someone who experiences it mainly during the day. The combination of sleep disturbances and more severe symptoms means that having acid reflux while trying to sleep can worsen the quality of life for people with this condition.

acid reflux at night
acid reflux at night

Causes of acid reflux at night.

Acid reflux occurs when the contents of the stomach come up into the esophagus. This happens due to a weakening of the esophageal sphincter.

The sphincter is a muscle that acts as a valve. It relaxes to allow swallowed food to enter the stomach. It then closes to keep food from moving in the opposite direction. If the sphincter is weak, it may not function properly.

Why does the sphincter weaken?

Various factors may make the lower esophageal sphincter weaker or cause it to relax at times when it should stay closed.

According to the National Institute of Diabetes and Digestive and Kidney Diseases (NIDDK)Trusted Source, these factors can include:

Risk of acid reflux at night.

The IFFGD state that people who experience acid reflux while trying to sleep have a higher risk of complications, such as:

People with acid reflux can also have:

How to manage the acid reflux.

According to the American Academy of Allergy, Asthma, and Immunology (AAAAI), a person can ease acid reflux they experience when trying to sleep by:

  • elevating the head of the bed 6–8 inches
  • avoiding lying down 2–3 hours after a meal
  • eating smaller meals more frequently and not eating heavy meals before bedtime

The side of the body on which a person sleeps may also make a difference. A 2015 studyTrusted Source found sleeping on the left side alleviates acid reflux.

Sleeping well

The IFFGD recommend measures that promote restful sleep. Getting a good night’s rest can help prevent symptoms and improve the quality of life for people with GERD.

Suggested measures include:

  • going to bed and waking up at the same time every day
  • sleeping in an environment that is quiet, dark, and free of electronic devices
  • avoiding caffeine 8 hours before bedtime, as it may take this long for its effects to wear off

Learn more about good sleep hygiene here.


A person can make some changes to their diet and lifestyle that may prevent symptoms of GERD, such as acid reflux.

Lifestyle changes

The AAAAI note that the following lifestyle adjustments can help prevent acid reflux from occurring:

Dietary changes

Diet may also play a role in preventing acid reflux.

Foods to avoid

The IFFGD advise avoiding potential dietary triggers, such as:

not tomato for acid reflux

Learn more about foods people with GERD should avoid here.

Foods to include

The IFFGD state that incorporating the following foods in the diet may help prevent or reduce acid reflux:

vegetables for acid reflux

A diet with these foods is similar to the Mediterranean diet, which a 2016 studyTrusted Source links to a lower risk of GERD.

Learn more about the Mediterranean diet here.

How for treatment of acid reflux at night.

For GERD in general, doctors can recommendTrusted Source one or more of the following:


Over-the-counter medicines that reduce stomach acid levels may help a person ease symptoms of GERD.

An older studyTrusted Source assessing the effect of the proton pump inhibitor (PPI) esomeprazole found that it alleviated bedtime heartburn and the accompanying sleep disturbances.

Learn more about acid reflux medicines here.


Doctors can recommend a surgery if behavioral changes and medications are not helping improve symptoms.

Surgical options may include fundoplication. During this procedure, a surgeon joins part of the stomach to the lower esophageal sphincter.

The Society of American Gastrointestinal and Endoscopic Surgeons state that surgeons most commonly perform fundoplication using a laparoscopy. This procedure involves making several small cuts instead of one large one.


Melatonin is a hormone that the body produces in the hours before bedtime. It allows a person to sleep and may help prevent or alleviate stock GERD, including acid reflux.

IFFGD states that deep sleep tends to reduce GERD symptoms. This discovery led them to hypothesize that reducing the amount of time a person is aware after going to bed might reduce symptom scores

They then performed a study to test the effects of the sleep-inducing drug ramelteon, which acts similarly to melatonin

In the study, participants who took ramelteon before bed experienced more GERD than at night. The benefit is improved sleep medication

Moreover, a 2019 study reported that melatonin relieves gastric emptying and helps lower regulators to close when needed

Given the findings of the two studies, it seems that melatonin can help improve sleep quality and reduce the impact in the body that causes reflux

Learn more about melatonin and dosage here.


When acid reflux occurs at night, it is more severe than when a person experiences it mainly during the day.

People with acid reflux are at greater risk of developing complications such as inflammation of the esophagus.

Adjusting your diet and making some lifestyle changes can help control the condition.

However, if lifestyle modifications are unsuccessful, your doctor may prescribe medication. Melatonin may also be effective in reducing symptoms


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Originally posted 2021-10-10 15:19:36.

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