When anyone refers to heartburn, they mean the burning sensation that you feel when the lower esophageal sphincter opens backwards and allows acid and food to return in the esophagus, sometimes up to the mouth, causing along with it an acute burning sensation in the chest. This is called heartburn, maybe because it seems like your heart is on fire!
Why Does Nighttime Heartburn Plague So Many of Us?
It has been shown through a number of medical reports and studies that lying down or sleeping immediately after a heavy meal, usually causes heavy indigestion and heartburn. This is because sleep reduces the capacity of the body to digest, and hence the food stays half digested in the stomach, for which extra acid will be produced. It has been observed that when one changes the sleeping position to a slightly elevated upper part of the body, the nighttime heartburn, if it occurs, will not be as severe.
The best way to prevent nighttime heartburn however is to finish your meals at least two to three hours before you retire for bed. In case you cannot avoid late eating or immediately retiring to bed, try to sleep on the left side with your left leg straight, and the right leg bent at the knee at right angle. This position can give almost instant relief from nighttime heartburn and can be used as an SOS when you have nothing better to do against it.
In case, after all the precautions you still get acute nighttime heartburn, it is better to consult with a doctor for better treatment. Ensure that he or she explains to you the problem and what exactly needs to be done, and so on. The doctor will be able to prescribe for you the right treatment, diet and other precautionary measures to prevent the occurrence of the nighttime heartburn.
When the treatment is prescribed, ensure that the advice is followed closely so it can work. Do not stop the course of medicines in the middle, after you “feel a bit better” because this will cause the body to grow resistant to the drugs and thence, create a receptive foundation for the next attack.
There are several medicines that can be consumed to give you instant relief. A doctor can prescribe these medicines, but keep in mind that some are to be used as preventive methods while others are to be taken post discomfort.