Changing Your Sleep Position Can Sooth Your Acid Reflux

Last Updated on June 8, 2022


Do you suffer from acid reflux?

Does the acid reflux keep you up at night? Do you struggle with getting enough sleep so that you feel fully rested?

It turns out that your sleeping position can in fact, actually treat your nighttime acid reflux!

When you sleep on your left side, and your upper torso elevates at the proper angle, it actually hinders the stomach acid from traveling up and through your esophagus.

Ok, great!

But how do you sleep on your left side, while also maintaining an elevated sleeping position?

 

The solution

We’ve researched quite a number of acid reflux treatments, pillows, routines, etc.

Some will raise your head, others will prop up your back. The one thing that they all have in common is that they just don’t work.

While doing our research, we found that for nighttime acid reflux, it’s hard to beat the MedCline Acid Reflux Bed Wedge and Body Pillow System.

a man sleeping on a MedCline Acid Reflux pillow

 

This “system” includes a wedge – which promotes the proper angle – and a body pillow.

There is an adjustment period, but once you acclimate, it might be hard to go back to a traditional pillow.

The body pillow hugs the contours of your entire body, and you do get acclimated to the wedge within a few nights.

 

Has this been professionally tested?

Yes, it has.

Independent clinical trials have proven that it can reduce nighttime heartburn, regurgitation, and acid exposure in the esophagus, as well as improve overall sleep quality.

 

infographic about acid reflux data after using the MedCline pillow

 

What exactly is the system?

There are two basic components here:

  • The wedge
  • The body pillow

This is a “system”, of course, not just a pillow. The individual pieces work in conjunction with each other to not only treat nighttime acid reflux, but to ensure that you are comfortable enough to actually fall asleep.

So, let’s take a quick look at each component.

 

The wedge portion

The wedge portion is the part of the system that actually treats your acid reflux.

a man inserting his arm into the wedge of a MedCline acid reflux pillow

 

It features the optimum angle to keep your stomach acid down, while actually providing you with a comfortable sleeping position.

It also has an opening for your arm to fit through, to reduce the pressure placed on your shoulder joint. Because of this feature, this system is effective for chronic shoulder pain as well.

 

The body pillow

The body pillow provides you with somewhere to rest your head, but it actually does much more!

It keeps you on your left side – which is the optimal position for proper acid reflux relief. And the shape hugs the contours of your body to ensure comfort.

the individual components of a MedCline Acid Reflux pillow

It creates a cocoon of comfort, which helps make you forget that you’re actually elevated on a wedge. It also keeps you from sliding off of the wedge.

 

How and why does it work?

The key here is in the 15-20 degrees of elevation that the wedge provides. The 5-degree angle varies if you rest your head on the wedge for instance, or on the body pillow.

This angle is sufficient enough to keep your stomach acid from traveling up and causing acid reflux.

graphic showing the degrees necessary to prevent acid reflux while sleeping

Most pillows designed to treat acid reflux symptoms just lift your head or your neck. Not only do these pillows not work, they usually just result in a stiff neck.

The system also takes advantage of gravity by keeping you on your left side.

By doing so, the stomach acid has to travel up to get into your esophagus, as opposed to having direct access when you’re on your right side.

 

How do you use it?

Using the MedCline system is fairly straightforward. It might take a few nights to get accustomed to the routine, but it really isn’t rocket science.

It’s 50% instructional, and 50% experimentation.

 

Step 1 – Set it up

The wedge portion comes with an inner cushion. You’ll place the cushion in the opening. After that, place the body pillow on top, and the set up is complete.

 

 

 

Step 2 – Place your arm inside

Place your arm inside of the opening, and situate your arm to your comfort preference. Some people prefer their arms extended. Others will prefer a bend at the elbow.

 

 

Step 3 – Find your comfort zone

You’re almost done!

Now you just have to find the right position for you. This is where you might need a night or two to find your sweet spot.

 

What does it feel like?

When you look at the system, your first thought might be – “How could that possibly be comfortable?”.

This is a valid question, because sleeping on a hard surface is definitely not comfortable. But this system isn’t actually “hard”.

It’s firm, but not hard!

 

the foam material of a MedCline acid reflux pillow

 

The wedge itself is 4 layers of foam. The bottom three layers provide support, while the plush top layer is soft – to provide comfort.

Other than the elevated angle, it really is not different from laying on a memory foam mattress.

 

Sizes and specs

The wedge is 4 different types of medical-grade foam. The body pillow is shredded memory foam.

The body pillow includes a washable 80% Cotton /20% Polyester pillowcase.

 

The right size for you

MedCline’s Reflux Relief system is available in 3 different sizes. They are:

  • Small – measures 40″ long, 27″ wide, and 10″ tall.
  • Medium – measures 50″ long, 30″ wide, and 12.5″ tall.
  • Large – measures 52″ long, 30″ wide, and 14″ tall.

(The length is from the body pillow).

You can refer to the following chart to find the right size for you. If you are on the borderline, MedCline recommends you choose the smaller of the two sizes.

 

sizing guide for MedCline acid reflux pillow

 

Final thoughts

You’ll need to acclimate, of course, to the elevation.

And you might need to adjust to having a wedge underneath you. Or you might need to get used to having the body pillow following the contours of your body.

If you’ve been sleeping with just a traditional pillow your entire life – this system will definitely place you out of your comfort zone.

The trick here is to stick with it. Give yourself a few nights to acclimate to the system.

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