If you or someone you love is living with acid reflux disease, it may be wise to power through naptime. Scientists recently reported that naps are associated more commonly with gastroesophageal reflux as compared to nighttime sleep (Nasrollah, 2015).
Researchers looked at 15 patients with frequent heartburn who took daytime naps. They measured the frequency and severity of the subjects’ acid reflux during their naps and then compared it to their sleep during the night. Nasrollah and colleagues found that the average number of reflux events per hour was significantly greater during naps than nocturnal sleep (40 versus 3.5). When they measured the reflux, the percentage of time spent at pH less than 4 was also significantly greater during naptime compared to the nighttime (36 percent versus 9 percent). A pH of 4 is often used as a benchmark for when sufferers of acid reflux might feel symptoms.
The results from this research came from a small study so more investigation is certainly needed. However, it can be concluded that naps might add to the severity of acid reflux disease. These findings may also help shed some light and understanding for the mothers and fathers of infants and toddlers who have struggled at nap time to keep their babies asleep.
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Tracy Davenport, Ph.D., is a freelance health writer and the C.E.O. of Tracy’s Smoothie Place. She serves as the expert on a weekly radio show about health and wellness and is the author of Making Life Better for a Baby with Acid Reflux and multiple articles about the cost of caregiving. Learn more about Tracy and what healthy living services and products she can offer on her website. She can also be found on Twitter and Instagram @drinksmoothies.