Study Links Naps to Increased Reflux

by Tracy Davenport, Ph.D. Health Writer

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.

Tracy Davenport, Ph.D.
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Tracy Davenport, Ph.D.

Davenport is the founder of Using the latest scientific research, she helps people live their healthiest lives via one-on-one coaching, corporate talks, and sharing the more than 1,000 health-related articles she's authored.