How Far to Incline a Bed for Reflux

How to Use a Bed Wedge for Sleeping

Some 60 percent of American adults experience acid reflux each year, with 20-30% suffering from weekly symptoms, making it an issue that deserves more than a tube of TUMS thrown at it. A total of 235 patients were included and reflux was detected in 113 (48%) of patients. Most patients (55%) exhibited reflux only when lying flat, while 42% had reflux regardless of position, and a minority (4%) had reflux only when upright. Among 13 of those with reflux only when lying flat, repeat pH monitoring after head-of-bed elevation showed resolution of reflux in 8 (62%) of the individuals. Although most people think acid reflux only causes heartburn, there is a growing interest in another form of reflux, which causes mostly respiratory symptoms.

Among patients who only experienced acid reflux while lying flat, the authors repeated the pH monitoring after elevating the head-of-bed by 6 inches. The repeat pH readings were then analyzed to determine if this simple lifestyle intervention could prevent acid from reaching the throat. The side of the body you sleep on may also be important.

As several studies have already found, elevation is the key to battling nighttime GERD. The point is to prevent the stomach from sending its contents to the throat through the esophagus. When you keep your torso elevated, the stomach acids are unable to come up towards the throat. This is where the MedSlant Wedge Pillow is a winner. Not only is this pillow longer than usual but is also 28 inches wide which is half the size of a queen bed.

Paired with open-cell foams, this design allows air to continuously escape, preventing heat buildup. A wedge pillow didn’t work for me either because I’m a side sleeper too. My wife and I recently bought a mechanized platform bed with independent twin mattresses. The head and knees can be elevated as desired. It’s the most comfortable thing I’ve ever slept on.

What makes matters worse is the mechanisms of sleep. Just the act of being flat on your back or side increases the risk or acid reflux. When you are in an upright position, sitting or standing, the force of gravity keeps the stomach acids from rising. When you are lying flat, it’s a lot easier for the stomach acid to flow back into the esophagus.

  • The pillow can also be used in other positions, such a when it is placed upright for back support, as well as under the knees for lower back and leg support.
  • The pillow can be used by people who prefer to sleep on their side or on their back.
  • Elevate your upper body to change this angle with a wedge pillow that lifts your head up, or by using an adjustable bed.
  • Alternatively, you can use wedge pillows — available at medical supply stores and elsewhere — to raise your upper body.
  • Research on elevating the head of one’s bed for acid reflux is overwhelmingly positive, and the simple tactic is a frequent recommendation of specialists to their reflux patients.

You do, however, need to consider sleep comfort when choosing the height of your sleep therapy device. Sitting straight up would provide great results but what a super uncomfortable sleep position! I sure can’t do it. Your left side is the best flat sleeping position for avoiding acid reflux at night. The absolute worst position for acid reflux is to sleep flat on your stomach.

Best Sleep Position

This prevents the LES from closing completely, allowing stomach contents to come back up into the throat. There is no single food that stands out as a trigger for acid reflux. A food diary is suggested for patients as they see for themselves which foods will aggravate the disorder. In my experience, my

So the Reflux Guard was out. I prefer the Tempur-Pedic adjustable bed, my wife likes this idea too, for her back, but the cost… Yep, it’s expensive.

A common complaint about wedge pillows is that they are too small or too narrow and do not offer enough room the spread or move about without sliding off. Most wedge pillows are the same size as a regular pillow designed only for the head and neck. However, wedge pillows are also meant to support and incline the torso, which isn’t possible if the size of the pillow is small. Even if a small wedge pillow is capable of providing the sleeper with enough inclination and support, it’s easy to slide off during the night because there is not enough room to move about.

bed blocks for acid reflux

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