Heartburn happens when the muscular valve called the sphincter relaxes and stomach acid flows back into your esophagus. Some habits and foods can make this worse, especially at night.

What are the worst foods for heartburn?

One of the first nighttime heartburn tips is to avoid foods that can make heartburn worse.

1. Limit coffee

Coffee and caffeine can lower sphincter pressure, causing it to relax and acid to backflow. Try drinking less coffee, especially in the evening or towards the end of the day.

2. Eat less acidic food

Avoid acidic foods like tomatoes, citrus fruits, and chocolate. If you enjoy these foods, the key is moderation. Try eating less of these foods at night.

3. Avoid fried, fatty foods

Fried foods can be triggers for some people. Avoid fried fast food and cook grilled or roasted meals at home.

4. Limit alcohol

Alcohol can stimulate extra stomach acid and relax the esophageal sphincter, contributing to acid backflow. If you find you get heartburn after drinking alcohol, try drinking less.

5. Avoid spicy foods

Spicy foods are common heartburn triggers as they can irritate your esophagus and sphincter. Swap your spices for fresh herbs or eat a bland diet.

6. Avoid carbonated drinks

Sodas and sparkling drinks make you belch, which can lead to acid reflux and heartburn symptoms.

7. Avoid peppermint tea

Both peppermint and spearmint can relax your esophagus valve and worsen heartburn.

What foods get rid of heartburn?

Eating certain foods can also help relieve heartburn symptoms.

8. Drink ginger tea

Ginger is an ancient remedy used for the digestive system. It can help relieve irritation and inflammation in your esophagus and digestive tract.

9. Eat fennel

Fennel is another soothing digestive remedy. Try grilling this low-acid vegetable as a hot vegetable dish, or drink fennel tea.

10. Eat mild vegetables

Mild vegetables like lettuce, celery, cucumbers, and sweet peppers are gentle on the stomach and don’t cause gas. Less belching can help relieve heartburn symptoms.

11. Enjoy melons

If citrus fruits make your heartburn worse, try swapping them for melons. They’re low in acid and a healthy option.

12. Try oatmeal

Whole grains like oatmeal are high in fiber, which makes you feel full for longer. You might be less likely to overeat, which can ease heartburn.

QUESTION

GERD is the back up of stomach acid into the esophagus. See Answer

How do you stop getting heartburn?

Making changes to your eating habits can also ease heartburn.

13. Stay upright

Lying down after eating can put pressure on your sphincter, making it relax. Stay upright after eating.

14. Don’t overeat

Eating too much and too often keeps your stomach full and creates pressure against your valve.

15. Eat smaller portions

Try eating small amounts more often to keep pressure off your sphincter. This can help relieve symptoms.

16. Take your time

Make your meals slow and intentional. Eating too quickly puts pressure on that valve, leading to symptoms.

17. Wait to exercise

Bending over, jumping around, and bouncing can worsen heartburn symptoms for some people. Give your system time to digest food before you exercise.

18. Avoid late snacks

Late-night snacking can lead to overeating. Eat nutrient-dense foods during the day to stay full and avoid late snacks.

19. Lose weight

Extra weight puts pressure on your esophageal sphincter. Keeping a healthy weight is one of the best things you can do for heartburn.

20. Stop smoking

Tobacco in cigarettes is known to affect sphincter function. Smoking also causes lots of other problems like heart disease. Stop smoking.

21. Avoid NSAIDs

Non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs called NSAIDs cause irritation in your digestive tract. If you often take ibuprofen, try a different pain reliever.

What helps heartburn fast at night?

These tips can quickly help relieve nighttime heartburn.

22. Prop yourself up in bed

Keeping yourself upright in bed can help take some pressure off your stomach and valve and relieve symptoms.

23. Try baking soda and water

Baking soda can help neutralize acid. Try drinking a half teaspoon of baking soda dissolved in 4 ounces of warm water.

24. Take antacids

You can buy antacids from your pharmacy. These work by changing your stomach acid that causes heartburn.

25. Try over-the-counter histamine-2 blockers

Histamine-2 blockers help heartburn by changing how much acid your stomach makes. These can relieve symptoms for a few hours.

26. Try OTC proton pump inhibitors

You can try these medications from your pharmacy if nothing else is working. These should only be taken for 14 days at a time and only 3 times a year.

27. Take prescription medications

If nothing helps your heartburn, talk to your doctor. They can give you stronger prescription medications.

28. Surgery

Sometimes surgery on your esophagus sphincter can help heartburn that doesn’t get better with treatment. Talk to your doctor about ongoing heartburn.

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Medically Reviewed on 11/10/2021
References
Allina Health: "Heartburn relief: Simple remedies to put out the fire."

Cedars Sinai: "Heartburn and Acid Reflux: What You Need to Know."

Diseases of the Esophagus: "Effect of caffeine on lower esophageal sphincter pressure in Thai healthy volunteers."

GI Society Canadian Society of Intestinal Research: "How to Avoid GERD Symptoms While Working Out."

Harvard Health Publishing Harvard Medical School: "11 stomach-soothing steps for heartburn."

JOHNS HOPKINS MEDICINE: "GERD Diet: Foods That Help with Acid Reflux (Heartburn)."

University Hospitals: "The Best and Worst Foods for Acid Reflux."

University of Rochester Medical Center: "Gastroesophageal Reflux Disease (GERD)/Heartburn."

US Food & Drug Administration: "Over-The-Counter (OTC) Heartburn Treatment."