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Can Adjustable Beds Help Relieve Acid Reflux?

Oftentimes the way in which we sleep and the types of beds we sleep on help alleviate health problems like back pain and snoring, but the same goes for other ailments. For example, adjustable bases have become a popular purchase for sleepers who suffer from heartburn, acid reflux, and GERD. In this article, we’ll explore how to sleep with heartburn, which side to sleep on for acid reflux, and the best sleeping position for GERD, all through the use of an adjustable bed as opposed to more old-fashioned methods like stacking pillows. To begin, we’ll need to differentiate between terms often used interchangeably to describe different issues.

The Difference Between Heartburn, Acid Reflux, and GERD

According to The National Library of Medicine, acid reflux occurs when food or acid in the stomach moves in the wrong direction and travels down from the stomach and up to the throat, often resulting in the taste of acid and discomfort. Acid reflux is also called GER, not to be confused with GERD, and stands for gastroesophageal reflux. The National Library of Medicine also goes on to explain that heartburn, the burning sensation in your neck or throat that may be worsened after eating, is a symptom of acid reflux. Lastly, they clarify that GERD, which stands for gastroesophageal reflux disease, note disease, is a more serious version of acid reflux. People who have heartburn more than twice a week are likely to have GERD. GERD occurs when the closure in the lower esophagus weakens and relaxes when it shouldn’t. All of these maladies can cause severe discomfort, especially when they occur right before bed.

adjustable bed for acid reflux

How to Sleep with Heartburn

Sleeping can become difficult when encountering heartburn. WebMD specifies that nighttime heartburn affects four out of five heartburn and acid reflux sufferers. WebMD also states that when laying flat, such as on your back or stomach, the throat and stomach are leveled, allowing acid to more easily flow up the esophagus, exacerbating the symptoms. Many people inflicted will ask what side to sleep on with heartburn. The Sleep Foundation recommends sleeping on the left side. However, when standing, heartburn has a harder time fighting against gravity, which is why sleeping on a bed that inclines may help resolve the problem; therefore, owners of an adjustable or tilting bed frame have an advantage. The Kingsley Clinic notes that creating an incline helps prevent acid reflux from flowing back into the esophagus and reduces heartburn discomfort.

When it comes to choosing a bed for heartburn, you can consider what side to lie on for heartburn, but also tackle the problem by tilting it in a new direction. The Ergo-Pedic iTilt Incline Therapy Adjustable Bed allows sleepers to sleep on their side while elevating their whole body at a tilted angle. Through the use of gravity, the Ergo-Pedic iTilt helps alleviate heartburn through a tilt function that adjusts from zero to twelve degrees. Standing while sleeping may not be the most comfortable, but inclining while sleeping solves this problem.

adjustable bed for acid reflux

Which Side to Sleep on for Acid Reflux

Similarly to heartburn, a symptom of acid reflux, it is recommended to sleep on the left side for acid reflux as well. The reason being, simplified by the Canadian Society of Intestinal Research, is due to the shape of the upper gastrointestinal tract. The stomach is curved with most of its volume on the left, so sleeping on the left side will reduce acid reflux, whereas sleeping on the right side or back may worsen it. Another option for acid reflux is head elevation.

Acid Reflux: Elevate Head of Bed

Many nighttime GER sufferers use an acid reflux bed wedge, which is a triangularly inclined pillow that allows you to elevate your head when you sleep. Having the head inclined assists gravity with preventing acid from coming back up through the throat from the esophagus. However, you can do the same, if not more, with an adjustable bed. As mentioned earlier, The Ergo-Pedic iTilt Incline Therapy Adjustable Bed is a great choice for those who want to relieve acid reflux and heartburn. Those in need of bed elevation can use this adjustable base tilted, or in the chaise function, which elevates the head and allows you to rest your feet in a lowered or elevated position from zero to twelve degrees. You can also use the backrest adjustable range, which keeps the back and head elevated from zero to sixty-five degrees. You can find the best sleep position for acid reflux with the Ergo-Pedic iTilt.

adjustable bed for gerd

Best Sleeping Position for GERD

Since GERD is the more severe version of acid reflux, the best GERD sleeping position will remain the same as the sleeping positions for acid reflux and heartburn: sleeping on your left side, elevating your head, or sleeping on a bed that inclines. The Sleep Foundation suggests sleeping on your left side while propping your head up by at least six inches. They also suggest using an adjustable bed instead of pillows. Another innovative lift bed to assist with GERD is the Reverie R650 Dual-Title Adjustable Power base. This whisper-quiet lift system has a dual tilt function and a multitude of other programmable positions that can be accessed via your smartphone. When it comes to a bed for GERD, you can’t go wrong with either the Ergo-Pedic iTilt or Reverie R650.

For those in need of relief from heartburn, acid reflux, or GERD, adjustable bases, especially ones that tilt or incline, can help reduce symptoms and provide a better night’s sleep. Sleeping on the left may help, but tilting to prevent acid from moving in the opposite direction is even more advantageous. Through the use of an adjustable bed that also offers a tilt mechanism for GERD, acid reflux, or heartburn, you can sleep better.

*The information in this blogpost is intended for education purposes only and does not substitute for professional medical advice.

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