7 Easy Remedies to Soothe Nighttime Heartburn and Indigestion
By Charles Hopkins
Published 04/21/2006 | Food & Drink
Who hasnt bolted upright in the night, awakened by a sudden and terrible burning sensation in the pit of their stomach? Whether you indulged in some overly spicy chili, or overdid it on those late-night leftovers, these quick heartburn remedies will soothe your fiery stomach and help you get back to sleep!
1. The first thing youll want to do when youre awakened by heartburn pain, is to stand up. This helps keep the acid at bay while you go and get a full glass of cool water.
2. Drink the whole glass of water, and follow it with a mixture of 1 tablespoon of baking soda, and half a glass of water. Be careful though, if you have high blood pressure or are pregnant, this can cause water retention or increase your blood pressure.
3. DONT drink milk or suck on mints to relieve heartburn. Milk might feel nice and cool going down, but it actually contains fats and proteins that cause your stomach to secrete MORE acid and make your heartburn worse! Mints, while they may feel soothing, actually relax the small valve between your esophagus and stomach, whose purpose it is to actually KEEP acid at bay! When this valve is relaxed, more acid can seep up and aggravate heartburn symptoms!
4. This is going to sound strange, but downing a teaspoon of vinegar can help soothe heartburn immediately! Why give your stomach MORE acid when it already seems to have enough, you ask? Sometimes, heartburn is caused as a result of too little acid, and vinegar helps quell indigestion by giving your stomach a little extra juice (no pun intended!) to do its job!
5. Certain foods can cause nighttime heartburn, including: soda pop or beverages with caffeine (which you shouldnt be drinking before bed anyway!), alcohol, garlic, chocolate (sorry!), citrus fruits, tomatoes and tomato-based products. Avoiding these types of food can help ease your indigestion if you frequently find yourself awakened with that intolerable burning!
6. Eating a banana each day works like an antacid to soothe heartburn. If youre already stricken with indigestion, eating pineapple or papaya (or drinking the juice) can help settle your stomach naturally. Some people also claim that eating a teaspoon of mustard (yuck!) can work immediately.
7. Avoid eating at least two hours before you go to sleep. Those late night snacks can keep your stomach busy all night and prevent you from easing into a deep, restful sleep. You may also find that sleeping on your left side or sleeping at a somewhat upright angle can keep acid down where it belongs.
If you are awakened by heartburn on a regular basis, or the pain is severe, or if you have heartburn with vomiting, youll want to consult your doctor immediately as it may be a sign of a more serious condition such as an ulcer. Above all, avoid spicy, fatty and caffeine-containing foods before bed, and you should be able to drift off to sleep easily.