Imagine coming home after a long day at work. You’re finally getting ready to settle into bed when suddenly, the unexpected happens – heartburn. If you’re losing sleep over heartburn at night, know that you’re not the only one. In fact, between a half and three-quarters of people with heartburn have acidity at night that disturbs their sleep.1

This isn’t great news if you love your sleep as much as we do! While symptoms of heartburn at night are generally the same as what you experience when it’s still bright out, poor sleep can also lead to tiredness during the day – impacting your mood, your productivity at work and many everyday activities.1,2

But don’t despair! We’ve looked at some of the latest research and put together some useful tips to help reduce your heartburn at night, including things like which side is best to sleep on.

What are the symptoms of acidity at night?

In general, the symptoms of acidity problems are much the same during the day and at night-time.3

The most common symptom is heartburn, which is a burning sensation in the centre of the chest.3 This sensation sometimes spreads to the throat, and there may also be a sour, bitter taste in the throat.

Around 70% to 75% of people who have acidity problems say that they have heartburn at night.3 A recent study suggested that people with heartburn at night tended to have more severe symptoms than those who mostly have heartburn during the day.3

People who get heartburn at night are more likely to have other symptoms as well, such as regurgitation of foods or sour liquid, and they may also experience a persistent cough or hoarseness.3

Diagram to describe  heartburn

Why is acidity at night particularly worrying?

There’s no doubt that the biggest difference is that acidity at night often affects your sleep. Doctors and scientists seem to discover more and more reasons why sleep is so important to your health and wellbeing, so having poor sleep can be a real problem.

Various studies around the world have shown that between 40% and 75% of all people with heartburn at night report that it disturbs or interrupts their sleep.1,3,4

When you don’t get enough sleep, it can lead to tiredness during the day, which can impact your mood, reduce your productivity at work and affect other daily activities.1,2 As a result, recurrent heartburn at night has a greater impact on people’s lives than heartburn during the day.1,2  

Getting relief from heartburn at night

Yes, experiencing heartburn at night is a huge inconvenience. But not to worry. A few changes to your diet and lifestyle may be what you need. Here are a few handy tips that have been shown to help.

Icon Avoid eating less than 3 hours before bed

Avoid eating less than 3 hours before bed5

A late-night snack may sound like a good idea, but when you eat soon before going to bed, you'll have a full stomach. This not only stimulates acid production, it may stretch and weaken the ring of muscle that helps keep the stomach acid from rising up into your oesophagus. You should also try to cut down on spicy or rich foods.

Raise the head end of your bed

Raise the head end of your bed5

Lying flat on your back makes it more likely for acid or acidic gas to rise up into your oesophagus. Raising the head of your bed a little can help combat this.2

Avoid sleeping on your right side

Avoid sleeping on your right side5

People often ask which side is best to sleep on to reduce heartburn. The answer is the left! The entrance to the stomach is towards the right side, so if you lie on that side there’s more chance acid could leak back up your oesophagus

Reach out for Eno

Reach out for Eno

If acidity still manages to find a way to get in the way of your sleep, take Eno. 'Eno complements your body’s natural self defence mechanism to fight heartburn, acid indigestion or sour stomach, and gets to work in just 6 seconds7. Eno fights acidity fast and without acidity you can comfortably fall asleep. Read more about Eno and learn how it can help relieve your symptoms here.

When to see a doctor

If your symptoms don’t improve after trying dietary and lifestyle changes or antacids, please talk to your doctor.

Icon When to see a doctor

You should also make an appointment with your doctor if you experience any of the following symptoms, as they may indicate other underlying conditions:6

  •  Heartburn that occurs two or more times a week
  •  Difficulty swallowing
  •  Persistent nausea or vomiting
  •  Weight loss because of poor appetite or difficulty eating
  •  Chest pain associated with exercise and exertion

Where to find out more

We hope these hints will help you get relief from heartburn at night and other symptoms of acidity at night. A good night’s sleep not only helps you prepare for the day ahead, it is also so important for your general health and wellbeing.

You can find out more about getting rapid relief from acidity problems here. We’ve also put together some great tips about home remedies for acidity problems here.


  • References

    1. Johnson DA, Le Moigne A, Li J et al. Analysis of clinical predictors of resolution of sleep disturbance related to frequent nighttime heartburn and acid regurgitation symptoms in individuals taking esomeprozale 20 mg or placebo. Clin Drug Investig 2016; 36: 531–538.
    2. Katz PO, Gerson LB, Vela MF. Guidelines for the diagnosis and management of gastroesophageal reflux disease. Am J Gastroenterol 2013; 108: 3: 308–328.
    3. Orr WC. Management of nighttime gastroesophageal reflux disease. Gastroenterol Hepatol 2007; 3 (8): 605–606.
    4. Olafsdottir LB, Gudjonsson H, Jonsdottir H, Thjodleifsson B. Natural history of heartburn: a 10-year population-based study. World Journal of Gastroenterology 2011; 17 (5): 639–645.
    5. Sandhu DS, Fass R. Current trends in the management of gastroesophageal reflux disease. Gut and Liver 2018; 12 (1): 7–16.
    6. Mayo Clinic. Heartburn. Mayo Foundation for Medical Education and Research 2018. Retrieved from:
    7. A Comparison of the Effect of Regular ENO and Placebo on Intragastric pH in Healthy Fasted Subjects . Does not imply relief.