It is best to first understand what happens at night. When we lay down we in essence cancel the effect of gravity. This lessens the amount of upward pressure coming from the stomach needed for acid and stomach content to pass the through the sphincter muscle and enter the esophagus. The dangers of this happening is that what entered the esophagus can sit there and cause all kinds of damage.
A hidden problem is, if the acid and stomach content sit in the esophagus and it is not felt. It is believed this is one of the causes of Esophageal Cancer. The way to reintroduce gravity is to lift the head of the bed. Studies show that lifting the head of the bed reduces incidences of Acid Reflux and when it does happen, the Acid and Stomach content clear faster.
It is also important to not lay down for 3 hours after eating and educate yourself on which foods can cause Acid Reflux, such as alcohol, carbonated drinks, caffeine, chocolate, fatty foods, etc.
If you are violently awoken by an Acid Reflux Volcanic type attack first thing you might do is sit up, most likely very quickly because you might even feel like you are choking.
When this happens you will need to sit up for a while in order not to have a possible repeat incident and you most likely are in misery. I could only share what I have done in such a situation.
This might be a little disgusting but it works for me. I sit up and take 2 Gaviscon tablets. A doctor told me that Gaviscon offers a barrier between the stomach and the esophagus. I sip cold water and usually do a lot of coughing.
Additionally, I spit out what comes up and this seems to reduce the pressure and dilute the Acid. Originally I would cough only and it would take many hours before I would try to get a little more sleep, by spitting out what I cough up I usually could go back to sleep in an hour or 1 1/4 hours.
My theory why this works, by sipping water and spiting it out I believe it does 3 things; dilute the acidic effect, doesn’t unnecessarily re-injure the esophagus by swallowing any acid or stomach content, and it reduces the upward pressure.