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Winding Down: The Importance of a Night-Time Routine to Help Avoid Heartburn and Indigestion

Have you been suffering from heartburn or indigestion during the night or in the morning? If so, it could be a good idea to get yourself into a new night-time routine, which may help avoid the pain and discomfort of these conditions. With an undisturbed night's sleep, you could wake up more refreshed and ready for your day ahead.

Improving your night-time habits

Heartburn and indigestion are caused by the effect of stomach acid. If it passes up into the oesophagus (food pipe or gullet) irritating the sensitive lining, heartburn can result. Or there may be excess stomach acid - which can be a cause of indigestion. So, keeping stomach acid levels down at night can really help you.

Why not consider these six potential aspects of your current late evening or night-time lifestyle and ask yourself - would it be wise to make a few small changes?

• Are you eating meals late at night?

o If so, stomach acid is probably being produced while you're in bed so that you can digest the late meal you've eaten

• Are you eating fatty foods or big meals late at night?

o Fat takes time to break down, which tends to lengthen the digestive process. And so   does a big, heavy meal.

• Are you eating spicy foods late at night?

o Spicy food is a well- known trigger for heartburn

• Do you smoke at night?

   o The nicotine in cigarettes can weaken the sphincter (ring of muscle) around the top of your stomach and acid can pass up and out of the stomach more easily.

This is called reflux

• What do you drink later at night?

   o Alcohol, caffeine and carbonated drinks are all associated with heartburn and indigestion

Consider a new night-time routine

It's understandable that those with a busy family or social life, or who work late, don't always find it easy to establish a routine or early evening eating habits. So, consider these helpful suggestions:

Meals: To give your digestive system time to breakdown the food you have eaten, aim to eat your last meal of the day at least three hours before going to bed. If this is not possible, then try to eat smaller meals or the type of food that gets digested easily, such as fish, rice, eggs and pasta. Aim to eliminate, or cut down on, fatty foods, spicy food, pastry and chocolate.

Drinks: Aim to drink as little caffeine and alcohol as possible and cut down on carbonated drinks late in the evening. Herbal teas and hot milky drinks could help you to relax, and can be a more sleep-friendly option.

Unwind: After a busy, active day, try to de-stress. A hot bath, reading a book or listening to relaxing music can get you into a peaceful mood ready for a good night's sleep.

Be prepared: If heartburn or indigestion does occur, do you have any medication to help you?

How Gaviscon Dual Action might help

Gaviscon Dual Action gets to work fast whenever you need it for heartburn or indigestion. It forms a physical barrier to acid - a raft (or layer) on top of the stomach contents. This helps to stop acid refluxing into the food pipe. Gaviscon Dual Action can also neutralise acid and offers long lasting relief.

If you can get yourself into a routine as suggested, it could really help reduce heartburn or indigestion. But while you're trying to implement some of measures above, or on occasions when you really need to eat, drink and be merry a little later at night, remember to have Gaviscon Dual Action by your side.

All information presented is not meant to diagnose or prescribe. Always read the label. Use only as directed. If symptoms persist see your healthcare professional.

 

Information sources for this article:

http://www.webmd.boots.com/heartburn-gord/guide/lifestyle-changes-heartburn

http://www.gaviscon.com.au