Acid Reflux or G.E.R.D.
Gastroesophageal reflux and sleep apnea often appear together. Approximately 80 percent of Americans who live with G.E.R.D. say their symptoms are worse at night. Seventy-five percent of these individuals say their condition causes them to routinely awaken during sleep.
The reason G.E.R.D.’s symptoms are worse at night has to do with the position of your body. During the day, when your body is primarily vertical, gravity helps keep stomach acid where it belongs – in your stomach. But at night, when you’re primary horizontal, these same acids can leak into your esophagus, and often, as far as your throat, causing a gagging/choking sensation, which causes you to awaken.
With G.E.R.D. and sleep apnea, each condition exacerbates the other, leading to a classic chicken-or-egg dilemma. Does sleep apnea cause G.E.R.D. or does G.E.R.D. cause sleep apena? Research on this issue continues.