Gerd and Sleep
An estimated 15 percent of Americans suffer from GERD, according to CNN Health. Gastroesophageal Reflux Disease (GERD) is a chronic digestive disease. It occurs when stomach acid flows back (refluxes) into your food pipe (esophagus). The backwash of acid irritates the lining of your esophagus resulting in symptoms of heartburn and acid reflux. While GERD sufferers experience symptoms throughout the day, the disease makes it difficult for many to get quality sleep.
Sleep Position can Alleviate Gerd Symptoms
As anyone suffering from nighttime GERD knows, your sleep position can make a difference in the severity and frequency of GERD symptoms like acid reflux, heartburn and even apnea. Positional therapy—using sleep posture to manage symptoms—is key to improving nighttime disturbances due to this disease. The following sleep positions can aggravate symptoms:
- Back sleeping: Flattens out the digestive tract, allowing stomach acid to reflux easily.
- Right-side sleeping: Places the stomach above the esophagus, causing liquid to drain into the esophagus.
Avoiding these two sleep positions can be an important part of finding more comfort. The goal is to let gravity work for you. Left-side sleeping helps lessen GERD-related symptoms by placing the stomach below the esophagus. In this position, gastric juices must work against gravity to rise up through the esophagus. Many sleepers suffering from GERDS also know that elevating the torso by sleeping on a gentle incline provides significant relief. Elevating the upper body ensures gastric juices stay where they belong–in the stomach. According to the American College of Gastroenterology, the upper body must be elevated at least 6 inches off the bed to be effective.
SC41 Positional Therapy Products
SC41 offers sensible, effective products to help GERD sufferers sleep comfortably in the most beneficial sleep positions. Sometimes adjusting to a new sleep position feels uncomfortable or unnatural. We believe that any improvement to sleep quality—big or small—is important and contributes to overall better health. Using products that aid positional therapy can be part of a lifestyle dedicated to improving sleep and well-being. Our all-natural latex sleeping wedge permits comfortable side sleeping while providing the benefits of sleeping elevated. Our wedge is 36" long, covered in stretch-knit organic knit cotton and sits on top of your mattress. It's both convenient and easy to use. The sleep wedge can also help improve symptoms of sleep apnea. For individuals with severe GERD-related symptoms, SC41 also sells German-engineered motorized adjustable beds. Our adjustable beds give individuals the ultimate ability to adjust for incline and sleep position. And they are designed to work with the SC41 Mattress.
Incorporating products like our sleep wedge and our motorized adjustable beds into your sleep habits can pay off in fewer GERD or apnea-related sleep disturbances. Fewer disturbances means better sleep—which translates into a major improvement in quality of life.