Information about GERD Symptoms, Diagnosis, Treatment options, and GERD Medication
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Irritable Bowel Syndrome (IBS)


Sleep and Gastroesophageal Reflux Disease (GERD)


Sleep is an important element in patientís quality of life. Sleep related gastroesophageal reflux (GER) is important in the pathogenesis of Esophagitis. During sleep, acid contact time with esophageal mucosa is increased and acid clearance is reduced due to a number of physiological reasons. Acid contact and heartburn produces arousal from sleep. The arousal produces disruption and fragmentation of sleep, which may manifest as day time fatigue and sleepiness.

Occurrence of heartburn at least twice a week is an independent risk factor for sleep complaints and disturbances.

It has been found that nighttime gastroesophageal reflux can cause major sleep disturbance. Acid reflux mostly occurs during non-rapid eye movement and is associated with prolonged acid clearance. Appropriate treatment of GERD with PPIs improves work performance and productivity and quality of life in patients suffering from nighttime heartburn by improving the time and quality of sleep. In addition, sleep apnea and pulmonary manifestations of GERD are more common in patients suffering from nighttime GER. Night time GER may be reduced by elevating head of bed at least 6 inches or using wedge shaped pillows specifically designed to prevent reflux, avoiding eating or drinking at least 2 hours before retiring at night, avoiding large meals at night and finally using acid reducing medications.







         This is an educational site created by M. Farivar, M.D. The information provided is the author's opinion based on years of clinical experience and research.  You are advised to consult your own physician about the applicability of this information to your particular needs.  Also, keep in mind that symptom response to therapy does not preclude the presence of more serious conditions. 

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