Gastro-oesophageal reflux disease (GORD) is a condition where the stomach contents make their way up into the oesophagus, resulting in discomfort similar to heartburn and sometimes even complications. The condition is estimated to affect 10-15 per cent of Australians, and there are treatments available.
However, the way you sleep can also play a large role in alleviating the symptoms of GORD, especially at night. Don’t worry, you won’t have to contort yourself into any kind of difficult yoga positions to sleep, it really is as simple as sleeping on your left hand side to cut down on nighttime GORD pain.
There are a few theories as to why it works.
1. One theory is it’s because the stomach is located on the left side of the body so when you sleep on that side, gravity makes it less likely that the contents of the stomach will back up into the esophagus, causing pain.
2. Other studies have shown that sleeping on the left side can increase the pressure on the sphincter between the stomach and esophagus making reflux less likely.
There have been studies which show that in addition to sleeping on the left hand side reducing attacks, sleeping on your right side can actually increase the frequency, length, and severity of an attack.
This article originally appeared on Starts at 60.