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Nighttime acid reflux is not a pleasant feeling. Chronic acid reflux symptoms result in gastroesophageal reflux disease or GERD, leading to sleep disorders like insomnia, daytime sleepiness, sleep apnea, and restless leg syndrome. In GERD, stomach acids flow up into your esophagus, which can get worse at night. The backflow of stomach acid can reach your throat and larynx, making you choke and cough during sleep. Thus, choking on acid reflux while sleeping can disturb your rest and make you sleepy the next day.

Why Am I Choking on Acid Reflux While Sleeping?

If you experience a burning or choking sensation while lying down, it is most probably acid reflux. It is common for GERD or chronic acid reflux to get worse at night, as gravity no longer aids in keeping the stomach acid down, resulting in acid reflux while sleeping. Moreover, decreased swallowing during sleep also becomes a reason for the stomach acid to flow into your throat. Since we produce less saliva during sleep, the stomach acids are not neutralized. Consequently, you suffer from disturbed sleep as the corrosive stomach acids escape into your esophagus and throat.

How to Improve Sleep with Acid Reflux?

Choking on acid reflux while sleeping is something you might want to avoid. Fortunately, some steps can help you get better sleep in you suffer from GERD. Although there is no one magical cure, the following steps can help alleviate the symptoms of GERD during sleep:

  1. Cut Down on Dietary Triggers for GERD
    Some foods and drinks can lead to acid reflux. You can decrease GERD symptoms by limiting your consumption of spicy and acidic food. Some foods that can trigger GERD include salted foods, caffeinated drinks, mint, carbonated beverages, alcoholic drinks, and greasy foods. Discuss your condition with your doctor, as they can guide you better on what to avoid based on your condition.
  2. Avoid Eating Right Before Bed
    The best time to eat your nighttime meal is three hours before dinner. If your food has more time to digest before sleep, it can lower the chances of acid reflux at night.
  3. Wear Clothes That Are Loose-Fitting
    Obesity or pregnancy can also be the reason you are choking on acid reflux before sleeping. Tight clothing can put pressure on your abdominal area, pushing the stomach acid up your esophagus. As a result, you might wake up choking on stomach acid. Moreover, it can result in heartburn too. Thus, wear clothes that are loose and comfortable around your waist.
  4. Try Sleeping on Your Left Side
    Acid reflux while sleeping can cause significant discomfort and irritation. To avoid choking on acid reflux while sleeping, try napping on your left side. Lie down on your left side, elevating your head on a wedge pillow. The correct sleeping position can remarkably reduce the symptoms of GERD.
  5. Talk to Your Doctor GERD and sleep disorders can negatively impact your daily routine and, in turn, your health. Talk to your doctor if you wake up choking or with a burning sensation at night. They can assess your situation better, offering medications and treatments suited to your needs.

What Should I Do?

Choking on acid reflux while sleeping is not an ideal way to spend your night. Some lifestyle changes and medications can be helpful in reducing the symptoms of GERD. Our specialists at Sleep & Headache Solutions can help you with your sleep or headache related queries; dial 832-688-8886 for consultations and appointments.