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.
Not sleeping? Tossing and turning at night? Waking up in the middle of the night and can’t fall back asleep? Or even having trouble falling asleep because you are in bed worrying about life? It’s no fun when you wake up feeling more tired, not refreshed, in the morning and are excessively tired during the day. You’re not alone. More than 25 percent of Americans report not getting enough sleep occasionally, and 10%, according to the CDC, experience insomnia almost every night. There are a lot of things that can help you have a chance to get some sleep. Consider exercise, turning off your screens far before going to bed, and do not drink alcohol to make you sleep, it just doesn’t work. Exercise. Did you know, regular exercise can be a great way to help stimulate better sleep? If you have trouble sleeping, avoid working out too late. Strenuous exercise can make you more alert. It also increases your body temperature, which may stay elevated for as many as six hours. Steer clear of workouts too close to bedtime. Aim to complete a workout two or three hours before you plan on going to sleep. Turn off your screens. It's tempting to try to wind down by reading on the computer or watching TV before bed, but both can actually stimulate you. The light and noise of TVs and computers can be engaging and can reduce brain melatonin levels. You want your melatonin levels to increase around bedtime to help you fall asleep. Need just a little noise to help you drift off? Try listening to relaxing music or download a relaxing, sleep app. Do not drink Alcohol - it doesn’t work. Think a cocktail before bed will offer relief? Think again. This myth probably persists because alcohol can help you fall asleep. But as it moves through your body it may lead to disturbed, restless sleep, or it may make you wake earlier. The sleep that you lose is hard to catch up on. It's unlikely that you can fully catch up, especially with our busy schedules. . Sleeping in one or two days a week or over the weekend may actually upset your natural body clock. The disruption may make it harder to get to sleep the next time. The only way to catch up on lost sleep is to get back into a regular sleep schedule. Make sure to talk to your doctor if you are having problems sleeping. We can help!