A Mattress Industry Veteran CEO Offers Advice About Sleep, Acid Reflux, Wedge Pillows, Sleep Apnea, And Oxygen Generators...Where To Buy!
I’ve been in the bedding business for 25 years. Hundreds if not thousands of times, I’ve had heart to hear talks with customers about which mattress is best for GERD (Gastroesophageal Reflux Disease) and how to get a decent night’s rest while suffering from this devastating condition. I’ve suffered with it myself and understand how desperate you might fee. Once you’ve done all of the medical stuff, adjusted your diet, and made any lifestyle changes you can, we all have to deal with that one demon over which we have no control- gravity.
There’s nothing worse than lying flat to nestle in for the night only to feel that burning sensation creep up from your stomach into your mouth or throat. Of course, it’s not uncommon to experience acid reflux and heartburn, especially after eating spicy foods or a large meal. And lying flat often makes it much worse. But, the fact is, there is no magic mattress that will solve the problem..but there is a solution.
As you might know if you’re taking the time to read this article, GERD is a digestive disorder that affects the lower esophageal sphincter (LES). The LES is a ring of muscles between the esophagus and stomach. These muscles are normally taut, keeping the opening from your stomach to your esophagus closed. When you eat or drink something, the muscles relax so the food or liquid can travel down into your stomach. They then tighten once the contents reach the stomach. In people with GERD, however, the muscles are weak or relax irregularly. This prevents the LES from closing completely, allowing stomach contents to come back up into the throat.
The condition is more likely to develop in people who are pregnant or overweight, but not necessarily. I’m 6’2” and weigh 189 lbs, work out a lot, and I’m in great shape for being in my early 60’s, except for the crippling effects of GERD. It may also affect people who have certain health conditions, such as asthma or diabetes.
The prolonged acid reflux associated with GERD can cause irritation and inflammation in the esophagus, leading to a condition called esophagitis. Esophagitis may make it difficult or painful to swallow. When left untreated, GERD can also damage your esophageal lining and cause esophageal ulcers. This may result in bleeding, narrowing of the esophagus, or a condition called Barrett’s esophagus.
Some common treatments for GERD include antacids, prescription medications (H2 blockers or proton pump inhibitors), and surgery. By the way be diligent about using medications. Don’t skip doses or give up…your body takes a while to heal a burned esophagus, so give it time! There are also several lifestyle changes, especially related to sleep hygiene, that will make a HUGE difference. If you often experience GERD symptoms at night, you may benefit from using a GERD wedge pillow. Let’s talk about them, and then I’ll give you a few good links that’ll take you to stores I recommend that can get you all setup.
How A Wedge Pillow Works…
The way that acid reflux and GERD wedge pillows work is simple. Acid can leak out of the stomach and into the esophagus more easily when a person is sleeping on their back and using a standard pillow. A wedge pillow slightly elevates the head, shoulders, and torso to prevent this from happening. When the upper body is elevated, gravity makes it less likely for stomach contents to come back up into the esophagus.
You can use a wedge pillow while sleeping on your side or on your back without causing any tension in the head or neck. Most pillows on the market are elevated between 30 to 45 degrees, or six to eight inches at the top.
Wedge pillows for acid reflux and GERD are sturdy and ergonomically designed. As time passes, however, often, they will lose their shape and firmness. You will likely have to replace your wedge pillow with another one after several years. Pillows in general, in my opinion, should be replaced every 2-3 years.
The best option, I have found, is to find a wedge cushion that fits under your mattress, that tilts the head end of your bed slightly. Believe it or not, even a subtle 10% angle can keep acid in your stomach and prevent “creep”. At first, it’ll seem a bit weird feeling, your partner may complain, and you may find sleeping on your side difficult. Give it a chance, at least a week, and you will quickly adapt to your new configuration. We’re all resistant to change, but our bodies are amazing at settling in. Here are a few companies I recommend that offer solutions for GERD. Give them a shot! Read on, below the gallery of stores for GERD products if you want to learn about sleep apnea and products available for snoring, apnea in general, even oxygen generators.
Where To Buy WEDGE SYSTEMS for gerd
I've purchased products from Contour Living and we've referred people there for years. Their Mattress Genie wedge unit is adjustable, allowing you to choose your perfect angle. From product development to customer response, they take their own customer feedback into consideration when developing the best products on the market. From their inception in 1991, Contour Products has become a brand leader...comfort is not just an indulgence, it’s a necessity to quality of life.