The Best Sleep Position If You Struggle With Acid Reflux

Dealing with acid reflux is tough enough during the day, but when it begins to disrupt your sleep, you might find yourself struggling to come up with a solution to make it through the night. Fortunately, you can lessen symptoms of the condition by changing how you sleep.

The most common sign of acid reflux is heartburn, but some people also experience pain in their upper abdomen and chest. When that discomfort strikes, one of the first things you'll want to try is lying down to relieve it. However, lying flat on your back is actually one of the worst things you can do because lying flat causes acids to stay in the esophagus. Simply put, your body needs gravity to move the acid from your esophagus down to your digestive system (via Healthline).

You can rest easy knowing that there are things you can do to help the process, and it all begins with how you position yourself in bed.

Try sleeping with your head elevated or on your side

Sleeping with your head elevated is one of the first things you can try. The idea is to prevent the acid from making its way up your esophagus in the first place. You don't need much of an incline — as little as four inches might make a difference. You may need to experiment with different heights to find what works for you. Some people need as much as eight inches, but the main idea is to have your head six inches higher than your feet (via Harvard Health Publishing).

You can achieve this by elevating the head of your bed using bricks or wooden blocks. Another option is to use a foam wedge pillow made specifically for sleeping. The University of California at San Diego advises against using standard pillows to elevate your head because they do not provide enough support.

If sleeping at an incline doesn't help, or simply isn't comfortable, you might need to give sleeping on your left side a try. Sleeping on your left side positions the esophagus in a way that makes it difficult for acids to rise up from the stomach (via Healthline). In trying these methods, you can work towards getting a full night's rest.