What Side to Lay On For Heartburn
Heartburn can be a very unpleasant feeling. It is caused by elevated stomach acid, and we feel it in the chest area where it causes a burning sensation.
Although heartburn is not a serious condition on its own, it can be pretty bad for our health in the long run if left untreated. Heartburn can last for just a few moments, for a day or for several days in a row.
Some people are more prone to this unpleasant condition than others. For example, pregnant women and people with GERD usually have heartburn more often, and sometimes it becomes a part of their everyday life.
No matter what the cause is, if you have constant heartburn, you might have already wondered what you can do to get rid of it. Various factors increase the chance of heartburn such as what side we lie on when lying down.
In this article, we'll look at what side to lay on for heartburn. If you are looking for an ideal solution to completely get rid of your heartburn, you should check out the Heartburn No More website. They will provide you with some great tips.
How Heartburn Occurs
Before diving into the details, let’s first look at how heartburn occurs.
When you eat, the food travels through a specific 'tube' from your mouth to your stomach. This tube is called the esophagus. When it reaches the stomach area, it goes through a valve known as the lower esophageal sphincter (LES). When food arrives the valve opens, allowing the food to enter the stomach.
As soon as the food enters, the valve closes to prevent stomach acids from exiting. However, when the LES gets too relaxed, it doesn’t work properly, and the acids from your stomach will be able to get out and rise up through the esophagus. When acids reach that area, this is when heartburn occurs.
Basically, heartburn is caused by acids that are very strong and burn our esophagus. As mentioned, heartburn is usually not a dangerous condition on its own, but over the long term, it could cause some serious damage to our health and even lead to cancer.
Sleeping on Your Back
If you have heartburn, you should avoid sleeping on your back at all costs. Basically, when acid escapes your stomach and you are sleeping on your back, it will be free to flow through the esophagus and not just flow, but even stay there.
Numerous studies have shown that this is definitely the worst sleeping position if you have heartburn. Not only will the symptoms be more severe, but they will also last longer.
Also, if you have stomach fat, it will push down on the acids inside your stomach, forcing them to escape.
If you are used to sleeping on your back, you should try to avoid that at least for a few days until the heartburn passes away. You should also check out the Heartburn No More website if you want to get rid of heartburn quickly.
Sleeping on Your Right Side
As already mentioned, the worst sleeping position when experiencing heartburn is on your back. However, the second-worst position is sleeping on your right side. You might be wondering why there’s a difference between sleeping on your left and right, and we will discuss that now.
When you sleep on your right side, the stomach is a little bit above the esophagus, which creates something like a leaking faucet.
Since the stomach is above the esophagus, any possible acid flux, even in a very small quantity, can easily fall down to the smooth and sensitive surface of the esophagus. Since the stomach is higher, it won’t be able to return back up, leaving you with the acid in your esophagus for a long time.
Sleeping on Your Left Side
If you suffer from constant heartburn, the best position to sleep is on your left side. This is because the stomach will be positioned below the esophagus, so gravity will work for you and won’t allow any acid to escape. Numerous studies have shown that heartburn symptoms are less frequent and less severe if you sleep on your left side.
Propping Up Your Body
If you have heartburn, many doctors will recommend you to sleep at an incline, using more pillows or bigger pillows to prop yourself up. This technique is completely backed by science.
When you sleep in an inclined position, your heartburn symptoms will be much less frequent and severe, since the acid that escapes from the stomach can quickly get back in. Again, gravity will work in your favor.
Incline AND Left Side
When you combine all this info, it seems that sleeping on your left side while at the same time being propped up on an incline is the best possible position.
This is the best possible sleeping position if you suffer from heartburn. Your stomach acid will be almost unable to reach the esophagus since the stomach is below it, but even if it does, it will quickly go back down because you are on an incline.
What if you are used to sleeping on your back in a flat position? In this case, you have two choices—either continue to suffer from heartburn or change your sleeping position. Note that you can apply this change for just a couple of days until the heartburn passes, and then you can return to your normal sleeping position.
To answer the question about what side to lay on for heartburn, we can conclude that sleeping on an incline and on your left side is definitely the best sleeping position. It’s not only the best position, it’s actually the only one that helps. All the other positions will have a negative impact on your heartburn.
So, take a few pillows to make a good angle before sleeping, turn to your left side, and that’s it. You will notice that your symptoms will be much less frequent and severe.