Boots WebMD Partners in Health
Return To Boots

Heartburn/GORD health centre

Select a topic to explore more.
Select An Article

27 tips for night-time heartburn relief

WebMD Medical Reference
Medically Reviewed by Dr Rob Hicks

Symptoms of heartburn during the night include waking up with a bitter taste in the mouth, a chronic cough, sore throat or fatigue.

Here are 27 tips for night-time heartburn relief:

12 food and drink tips for night-time heartburn relief

  1. Reduce heartburn risk by limiting acidic foods such as grapefruit, oranges, tomatoes or vinegar.
  2. Spicy foods giving you heartburn? Cut back on pepper or chillies.
  3. Don't lie down for at least three hours after you eat. When you are sitting up, gravity helps prevent food and stomach acid from going up into the gullet (oesophagus) and causing heartburn.
  4. Enjoy lean meats and non-fatty foods. Greasy foods (such as chips and burgers) can trigger heartburn.
  5. Want to avoid heartburn symptom triggers? You may want to cut back on chocolate, mint, citrus, tomatoes, pepper, vinegar, ketchup and mustard.
  6. Avoid or reduce drinks that can trigger reflux such as alcohol, drinks with caffeine and fizzy drinks.
  7. Size matters: eat smaller meals and you may avoid triggering heartburn symptoms.
  8. Enjoy an after-work drink? You may want to turn teetotal: alcohol can relax the oesophageal sphincter, worsening heartburn.
  9. Crazy about colas? It may be time to cut back. Colas can be related to reflux and to heartburn symptoms.
  10. Keep heartburn at bay: don't eat too quickly! Try putting your fork down between bites.
  11. Avoid snacking at bedtime. Eating close to bedtime can trigger heartburn symptoms.
  12. Reduce your night-time heartburn risk: eat meals at least three hours before sleep.

15 lifestyle tips for night-time heartburn relief

  1. Steer clear of tight clothes. Tight belts, waistbands and underwear can press on your stomach, triggering heartburn.
  2. Strive for a less stressful life. Stress may increase stomach acids, increasing heartburn symptoms.
  3. Heavy? Try losing weight. The pressure of excess weight increases the chance stomach acid will reflux back up into the oesophagus causing heartburn.
  4. Popping antacids more than once a week? You may have GORD and need specific treatment.
  5. Try chewing gum at night. This can boost the production of saliva, which helps neutralise stomach acid.
  6. Not all "trigger" foods cause heartburn symptoms in everyone. Keep track of your symptoms to find your personal triggers.
  7. Pregnant? You may experience heartburn or GORD. Seek medical advice about finding relief.
  8. Heartburn worse after exercise? Drink plenty of water. It helps with hydration and digestion.
  9. Untreated GORD can increase your risk of oesophageal cancer, but reflux and heartburn can be managed. Seek medical advice.
  10. Try keeping a diary or heartburn log to keep track of activities that might trigger attacks.
  11. Wait for your work-out if you don't want to trigger heartburn. Wait at least two hours after a meal before exercising.
  12. Nicotine can cause your oesophageal sphincter to relax. If you smoke, stop smoking.
  13. Some medicines can worsen reflux and heartburn. Seek medical advice about alternatives.
  14. Use blocks or bricks under the bedpost to raise the head of your bed 15cm (6in) so you can sleep with head and chest elevated. You can also try a wedge pillow.
  15. Bend with your knees. Bending over at the waist tends to increase reflux and heartburn symptoms.
Next Article:
Reviewed on February 28, 2014

Mind, body & soul newsletter

Looking after your
health and wellbeing.
Sign Up Now!

Popular slideshows & tools on BootsWebMD

woman looking at pregnancy test
Early pregnancy symptoms
donut on plate
The truth about sugar addiction
Put your best face forward
couple watching sunset
How much do you know?
woman in bikini
Get ready for swimsuit season
How to help tension headaches
assorted spices
Pump up the flavour with spices
bag of crisps
Food cravings that wreck your diet
woman with cucumbers on eyes
How to banish dark circles and bags
probiotic shakes
Help digestion
polka dot dress on hangar
Lose weight without dieting