Do sleep disorders cause heartburn? Ever tried to going to sleep when you have heartburn? Or visa versa? Sometimes discomfort within the gut is what hurts our ability to get deep, restful sleep. Researchers are also learning that the process can occur in reverse and sleep disorders are believed to trigger the stomach, too.
It’s hard to sleep when your heartburn is acting up. But, researchers have discovered that poor sleep quality also heightens the likelihood of gut issues.
The discovery’s potential impact is significant. Sleep disorders affect an estimated 50 million to 70 million Americans, according to a 2006 federal report. And gastroesophageal reflux disease, or GERD, impacts about 20 percent of the country’s population. Which is why researchers are studying these impacts.
Neither sleep disorders nor GERD should be ignored. GERD, creates chronic acid injury to the esophagus. That may cause a change in the esophageal tissue, a condition known as Barrett’s esophagus. A Barrett’s diagnosis means you could have a higher risk of developing esophageal cancer.
Poor or insufficient sleep can negatively affect a person’s weight, heart health, mood and memory, among other things.
For GERD, a combination of diet and lifestyle changes is typically the first order of business, followed by medication. Changing your routine also can help prompt better sleep.
By studying this correlation, researchers are hoping to improve the lives of many and improve both their gut health and sleep habits.