Waking Up With Reflux

Tracy Davenport, Ph.D. Health Guide
  • Just recently, CNN reported on a new study that offers yet another reason to get more sleep; sleep deprivation can have some of the same hazardous effects as being drunk. The Australian and British researchers who authored the study found that people who drive after being awake for 17 to 19 hours performed worse than those with a blood alcohol level of .05 percent. That’s the legal limit for drunk driving in most western European countries! The study also said 16 to 60 percent of road accidents involve sleep deprivation.

    What does that have to do with gastroesophageal reflux? A lot.

    Reflux can cause frequent nighttime awakenings and disrupted sleep for you and your child. The reflux of acid from the stomach can occur as a result of a relaxation of the muscles in the esophagus during sleep. Sometimes just the simple act of being horizontal can make things worse for an entire family.

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    When your child is having a bad night, you probably are, too. And the research affirms what most of us know. When you don’t get enough sleep, we are not ourselves. So here are two things to keep in mind. One, bad bouts of reflux that affect sleep can not only affect your child during the night, but can contribute to issues for the child during the day, such as their overall behavior and their performance in school. Two, as an adult, when your sleep is disrupted, the effect can be dramatic AND dangerous. Be careful. Parents who get too little sleep may be facing potentially serious consequences.

    In next week’s blog, I’ll talk about a few things to try to help you get more sleep when your child has reflux.

    Learn more about Tracy's second edition of her book, Making Life Better for a Child With Acid Reflux. This edition brings in the voices of six medical experts who provide up-to-date knowledge about acid reflux in babies and children.

Published On: May 19, 2006