People affected by heartburn suffer the most in the night. In addition to keeping away from alcohol, smoking and spicy food, here are some tips to avoid this discomfort.
- Wear Loose Sleepwear
Tight-fitting clothes at night can add pressure to your stomach, increasing the risk of heartburn. Avoid snug waistbands and cords, and opt for loose sleepwear instead.
- Bend With Your Knees
Bending forward at the waist causes heartburn in some people, more so after eating. It is especially important to avoid it in the evening. Bend with your knees when performing after-dinner chores.
- Keep A Food Diary
Learn to recognise the trigger foods that cause your heartburn, by keeping a diary of what you eat for dinner. Then the next
day, record if you had night-time heartburn.
- Do Not Exercise Before Going To Bed
There is always the right time for everything, even for exercise. Exercise such as riding an exercise bike or doing sit-ups, right before you go to bed, can cause heartburn. Taking a leisurely walk after dinner, giving food time to settle, however, may actually help prevent heartburn at night.
- Say No To Nightcaps
Any type of alcohol can trigger heartburn, by relaxing the lower oesophageal sphincter (the junction of oesophagus and stomach). Avoid after-dinner drinks altogether, in case you have night-time heartburn. And soda also, since it bloats the stomach and leads to heartburn.Caffeinated beverages like coffee or hot chocolate too, boost acid levels in the stomach, leading to heartburn. Herbal teas or milk are better nightcap options.
- Watch Your Weight
Being overweight increases your risk of heartburn. One reason is that excess weight adds pressure on the valve at the top of the stomach. Losing weight definitely helps with your acid indigestion.
- Avoid After-Dinner Mints
A peppermint after dinner is supposed to aid digestion – but not in those who suffer from heartburn. Mint is a relaxant and slows down the motility of the intestines, helping the patients of irritable bowel syndrome. But mint relaxes the valve at the top of the stomach as well, making acid more likely to flow back into the oesophagus, causing heartburn.
- Chew Well
Chewing the food well helps in diluting the acid content of the food, as well as starting the digestive process in the mouth itself. Research shows that, for many people with heartburn, chewing non-mint, sugarless gum for 30 minutes after a meal reduces the risk of heartburn. So if you haven’t chewed your food well, have some chewing gum after dinner!