Coping with acid reflux at night can feel like wrestling with a tiny fiery dragon in your chest. It’s that unwanted guest who shows up uninvited just as you are on the verge of going to sleep. But fear not! There is an abundance of smart hacks and household cures that can soothe the burning sensations and chase away the heartburn dragon, ensuring you get a peaceful night’s sleep without the burn.

What is acid reflux?

Acid reflux, medically known as gastroesophageal reflux disease (GERD) is the backflow of stomach acid into the oesophagus. This backward flow is usually due to a weakened lower oesophageal sphincter (LES), the muscular ring that generally blocks stomach contents from moving upward. The result is heartburn or a burning sensation in the chest and sometimes sour or bitter acid regurgitation into the throat or mouth.  The global incident cases of GERD were 309.38 million in 2019. Occasional acid reflux is common and mostly manageable with natural home remedies, lifestyle changes, or over-the-counter medications, but severe cases may require medical intervention to prevent complications.

10 natural home remedies for acid reflux at night

Acid reflux at night can cause discomfort and impair sleep. Here are some natural home treatments that may assist with acid reflux symptoms:
  1. Elevate your head: Use cushions or a wedge pillow to elevate your head and upper body when you sleep. This can help keep stomach acid from refluxing into the oesophagus.
  2. Avoid big meals before bed: Eat smaller, more frequent meals throughout the day, and avoid heavy or spicy foods near bedtime.
  3. Stay upright after eating: Allow at least 2-3 hours before lying down or going to bed. Gravity can help keep gastric acid under control.
  4. Chew gum: Chewing sugar-free gum for around 30 minutes after a meal will increase saliva production, which helps to neutralise stomach acid.
  5. Baking soda: To balance stomach acid, mix a teaspoon of baking soda into a glass of water and drink gently.
  6. Ginger: Ginger contains natural anti-inflammatory qualities that can help alleviate acid reflux symptoms. Ginger root can be chewed or brewed into tea.
  7. Licorice: Deglycyrrhizinated licorice (DGL) supplements may aid in relaxing inflamed tissues in the oesophagus and stomach.
  8. Apple cider vinegar: Despite its acidic nature, some people find that diluting apple cider vinegar in water helps regulate stomach acid levels.
  9. Avoid trigger foods: Determine which foods cause your acid reflux symptoms, such as coffee, chocolate, citrus fruits, tomatoes, and fatty or fried meals.
  10. Lifestyle modifications: Lifestyle changes include maintaining a healthy weight, avoiding tight clothes that put pressure on your belly, and using relaxation techniques to minimise stress, which can aggravate acid reflux.

When should I consult a doctor?

Consult a doctor if you have acid reflux more than twice a week, have trouble swallowing, have chest discomfort, or if your symptoms do not improve with home treatments. Seek medical attention if you have unintentional weight loss, a persistent cough, hoarseness, or reflux that interferes with your sleep regularly. 

If you've experienced oesophageal problems before or have a family history of gastrointestinal problems, you should get medical attention as soon as possible. It is critical to ensure accurate diagnosis and care to avoid complications and enhance symptom control.

Is telehealth a good option?

Yes, telehealth may be an excellent solution for treating acid reflux and a variety of other health issues. It enables you to consult with a healthcare practitioner remotely, often via video calls or phone conversations, which is handy and accessible, particularly for routine follow-ups or first consultations. Telehealth is especially useful for discussing symptoms, receiving medical advice, and getting prescriptions for medications that can assist with acid reflux.

However, if your symptoms are severe or if a physical examination or other diagnostic tests are required, your healthcare practitioner may suggest an in-person appointment. Overall, telehealth provides flexibility and convenience while allowing you to get personalised treatment and advice from a certified healthcare provider.

So, while occasional acid reflux typically can be effectively controlled with natural home remedies and lifestyle tweaks, persistent or acute symptoms require prompt consultation with a healthcare professional. They can offer tailored advice and suggest medical treatment options to manage nighttime acid reflux and improve your overall digestive health.

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This content is created for informational purposes only. It is not intended to be a substitute for professional medical advice. Always seek the guidance of your doctor or other qualified health professional with any questions you may have regarding your health or a medical condition. For emergencies please immediately contact 000.