Heartburn at night – what can be done about it?

Heartburn is a common phenomenon. You lie down and it starts to burn in your throat . The reflux of stomach acid and other fluids creates the uncomfortable feeling. A limitation of the sphincter muscle is responsible for heartburn This normally ensures that the acidic fluid does not flow back into the esophagus.

If the sphincter muscle is limited in its function, for example because the muscle is too slack , the fluid cannot be completely stopped. This can be the case if the muscles are weakened as a result of taking medication or another illness.

An unhealthy diet can also lead to heartburn. If you consume foods that promote the production of stomach acid, such as coffee, the risk of heartburn is increased.

Heartburn is already uncomfortable during the day and limits the quality of life. You can find out why heartburn occurs more frequently at night and how you can get the problems under control in this guide.

During the day, gravity keeps the fluid out of the esophagus. You will likely spend most of your time standing or sitting. The esophagus is therefore higher than the stomach. The liquid is already held in the stomach due to gravity alone.

You have put the evening in the bed , there are the esophagus and stomach to about the same level. Gravity is no longer there as a protective factor. If the sphincter does not work properly, the acidic fluid can now travel unhindered into the esophagus.

Another factor is that while heartburn is uncomfortable, it is not always perceived as particularly dangerous. During the day, you do other activities and may not even notice how the fluid is attacking your esophagus.

But when you fall asleep, you want to calm down, and that’s where you are more likely to notice when heartburn occurs. The distraction that is still there during the day disappears when you fall asleep.


If you notice heartburn in the course of the day, you can take countermeasures by changing your position and straightening up. This keeps the fluid in the stomach and stops it from entering the esophagus.

However, this is not possible during sleep. If only small amounts get into the esophagus, you will hardly notice this and you will continue to sleep as normal. The danger, however, is that the acid increases the risk of esophageal cancer . The harmful fluid remains in the esophagus for a long time and causes a lot of damage there without being noticed.

If the impairment caused by heartburn is so great that you cannot fall asleep, your sleep will be disturbed . The same symptoms occur as a result of heartburn as with sleep disorders. You will feel more tired and restricted in your quality of life. The problem here is that the psychological stress increases the heartburn – a vicious circle is created.

In addition, heartburn is more dangerous at night than during the day. Less saliva is produced at night and the acid is hardly neutralized. As a result, the esophagus is attacked even more and pain occurs.

Therefore, you cannot ignore heartburn during the night and it is best to see a doctor . This can clarify exactly the causes and explain how you can get your heartburn under control again.


If it takes a while until the doctor’s appointment and you want to try to contain your heartburn yourself at night, you should follow the advice below . Perhaps this will improve the symptoms so much that a doctor’s visit is no longer necessary.


You should already have recognized that the body position has a significant influence on heartburn. The supine position favors reflux and increases the discomfort. The stomach is higher than the esophagus and the fluid can flow freely.

We therefore recommend lying on the side . But here, too, there is something to consider. If you sleep on the right side, the stomach is still higher than the esophagus. As a result, the problem remains and the liquid can flow back unhindered.

The best sleeping position for heartburn is on the left side. Since the stomach is on the left side of the body, it is now lower than the esophagus. If you want to protect yourself a little more, put your upper body a little higher. But make sure that your spine doesn’t bend. Otherwise there would be tension and pain in the neck in addition to heartburn. To sleep stable on your side, you can use the Acamar side sleeper pillow , for example .


Avoid a high-fat diet in the evening and sleep on your left side – then the heartburn will decrease significantly at night.

Diet obviously has an impact on how much stomach acid is produced. You should therefore avoid high-fat meals in the evening These stimulate the production of gastric acid and make the symptoms worse. It is best not to eat anything about two hours before going to bed. Chocolate, which is also suspected of worsening heartburn, is also dangerous.

In the evening it is better to opt for light fare . Take your last meal around three to four hours before bed and prefer to eat easily digestible foods. Bananas counteract heartburn and low-fat meat or low-fat dairy products are allowed.


To counteract heartburn, a generally healthier lifestyle is advisable. This includes quitting smoking and giving up alcohol altogether. Eat more consciously and, above all, more slowly. Hasty swallowing also promotes heartburn. Coffee should also no longer be part of your diet.

If you move a little more after the last meal and pay more attention to your health in general, the heartburn will also decrease noticeably in most cases. Do not take night heartburn lightly and see a doctor to determine the cause and alleviate the symptoms. Then you will not only sleep better, but also improve your quality of life holistically.

Jamie Clark

Hello, I’m Jamie Clark, 32 years old, and I have been living in the USA for a few years.
Since I was a child, I have suffered from a house dust allergy, severely affecting me. I felt the effects both while exercising and while sleeping. Constant sneezing after getting up and difficult breathing were the consequences. The allergy has also developed into asthma, which is still a sporting restriction today.

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