Head of the bed!

One of my friends said “more recipes please!” and yes, I could happily post recipes every day but there are other GERD topics that need to be addressed. One of the most important for me was elevating the head of the bed. What are the options if you don’t want to buy a new bed? Or you are ready to make a big purchase?

Head higher than the stomach

My doctor told me that bunching up a bunch of pillows would not be enough. Here is one article from Medscape about nocturnal reflux and recommendations for sleeping.  Recommended elevation of the head of the bed is 6-8″, so what to do? I admit that I had an easy solution with my bed that I brought from Switzerland. In many European countries, there are no box springs. We have wooden slats that are removable and torqued into the frame. They give the same or better support than box springs give. Also, the mattresses are much less dense than American beds. All I had to do was pull on a strap and the head of the bed elevated. Great for me now, but that mattress is 22 years old and it’s time to look into a new one with an adjustable base.

For those of you who have a bed with no adjustable base, what are you using? There are numerous wedge pillows that are marketed for GERD: Medslant, Bed Wedge and Beauty Rest to name a few. Check out the reviews here.

Now, some research into adjustable bases.

In a local furniture store, I found an Iowa firm Midwest Restonic that had an adjustable base with individual pocketed coils. The base would fit any mattress and the queen was about $1200. It had a five year warranty. Simmons Beauty Rest had an adjustable base with both a head and foot massager, plug-ins on the side of the base for charging electronics and was $1699 for a queen.  Beauty Rest also had a plain base that sold for $1588. Tempur-Pedic had a wide range of bases ranging from $699-$4998, some with mattress included. I also checked with the company Mattress Firm and they offer a 100 day trial period for Tempur-Pedic products.

After reading many reviews, I found a reoccurring problem. If you are not buying the whole kit and caboodle, make sure that your mattress fits the adjustable base.

Another important question is whether your partner is willing to sleep with an elevated head. Here is an interesting article from medical anthropologist Sydney Singer that could be a good read for those partners who doubt that sleeping elevated can be healthy for them too. If you cannot convince him/her, each one of the above listed firms have split mattresses. You can sleep elevated and your partner can remain flat. WiseGeek lists the best sleeping positions for GERD: your left side “to keep the ring of muscle between the stomach and throat closed”. Head higher than the stomach, that is the main thing!

I travel a lot so I often have to resort to pillows. I used to ask for extra pillows but the trend of placing 5 pillows on each bed is now common practice. I take 4 of them, lift up the mattress and fold them in half between the mattress and the box springs. I also place a note on the bed each morning for the maids. I once struggled mightily with a king size bed to get those 6 pillows perfectly placed only to find that the maids would remove them each morning when they made the bed. I finally left a note!

We spend 1/3 of our lives sleeping and as GERD sufferers, some of the worst symptoms appear in the night if GERD is not controlled. Good luck and let me know how you are solving the problem of your

Head higher than the stomach



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