You’ve changed into your PJs, turned off the lights, and are all set for bed—but your stomach has other ideas. After a large meal or late-night snack, general discomfort, acid reflux, and heartburn can be a frustrating obstacle. Don’t be concerned! You can improve your chances of catching some zzzs by following a few simple tips, tricks, and precautions.
1. Sleep on your left side.
If you sleep on your left side, you are less likely to experience gastroesophageal reflux (GER). Participants in one study reclined on both their right and left sides. Individuals noticed that when they were on their left side after reclining, they had fewer GER issues.
According to research, sleeping on your right side aggravates heartburn.
2. Lift up the head of your bed.
Heartburn can be avoided by raising your bed by 6 inches (15 cm). Place foam blocks securely under your back bedposts to raise the head of your bed, or slip a foam wedge directly under your pillow to accomplish this.
3. Treat an upset stomach with ginger.
Ginger soothes an upset stomach. Chew some freshly grated ginger or drink some ginger tea. Ginger root has been shown in studies to relieve nausea and vomiting, as well as having anti-inflammatory and antiulcer properties.
Ginger chews, ginger candy, and ginger ale are also excellent choices.
4. Go for a walk before bed.
Light exercise can make you feel a little more at ease. You don’t have to do a full workout; a short, slow walk around your house may help alleviate some of the discomfort caused by digestion. A light stretching session may also help you feel better.
To do a basic shoulder stretch, cross your arm across your chest.
Tilt your head forward and to the right. Then, with your right hand, gently lower your head. Hold this position for 30 seconds to stretch your neck, then switch sides.
5. Slip into loose, comfortable pajamas.
Wear loose-fitting shirts or tops to bed. Tight clothing can put pressure on your stomach, causing heartburn. Choose a loose pair of nightgowns that will not constrict you in any way.
6. Optimize your sleeping area.
Make your bedroom as dark and relaxing as possible. Close all of your curtains or blinds so that no light can enter your home through the windows. Then, set the thermostat to somewhere between 54 and 74 degrees Fahrenheit (12 and 23 degrees Celsius) so you can sleep comfortably.
Making your bed every day, according to expert research, can improve your sleep.
7. Take antacids.
Antacids provide a quick fix for heartburn. If you’re having trouble falling asleep, take this over-the-counter medication as needed. However, don’t take it every night—too much magnesium-based antacid can cause diarrhoea, while too much aluminum- or calcium-based antacid can cause constipation.
Check the label to see which type of antacid you have.
8. Don’t drink alcohol or caffeinated drinks close to bedtime.
Caffeine and alcohol make it difficult to fall and stay asleep. Caffeine is a stimulant that can leave you wired and awake. Alcohol may make you feel drowsy, but it will keep you from falling asleep deeply.
9. Space out your meals and bedtime by 3 hours.
After a meal or snack, your body requires time to digest. When you go to bed, your body automatically slows digestion, which can cause discomfort if you have just eaten a large meal or snack. Instead, try to wait at least 3 hours before going to bed—it will be much easier to fall asleep this way.
It can be tempting to take a nap immediately following a large meal or snack. Try to resist this urge—your digestive tract will thank you!
10. Quit smoking.
Heartburn can be caused by nicotine. Nicotine, a major component of tobacco, relaxes the valve between your stomach and oesophagus, resulting in severe heartburn. If you use tobacco products frequently, consider cutting back or quitting entirely.
If you’re trying to quit smoking, support groups and counselling are excellent resources.
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