What Sleeping Positions Won’t Have You Choke on Your Sleep

Whether it’s due to a hefty meal, pregnancy, or a health condition like GERD, choking on vomit during sleep can be a frightening experience. If you’ve ever woken up with this terrifying sensation or almost threw up in your sleep, you understand the urgency to avoid a repeat incident. 

This guide will explore safer sleeping positions and strategies to avoid choking in your sleep and vomiting, thus promoting better overall sleep health.

Why Do We Choke on Vomit While Sleeping?

Waking up choking on vomit can occur for various reasons. Most commonly, it’s a result of acid reflux or gastroesophageal reflux disease (GERD), where stomach contents, including stomach acids and partially digested food, are regurgitated back into the esophagus and throat. This can lead to a host of issues, including choking, coughing, and heartburn, which can disrupt sleep and negatively impact overall health.

Safer Sleeping Positions

The position in which you sleep can significantly impact your likelihood of experiencing acid reflux. You may not give much thought to your sleeping posture, but making some adjustments can offer considerable relief, especially if you’re frequently waking up choking or almost throwing up in your sleep. Let’s delve deeper into some sleeping positions that can reduce the risk:

Elevated Head Position

One of the most effective positions to reduce acid reflux is sleeping with your torso elevated. By simply raising the head of your bed about six to eight inches or ensuring your body from the waist up is lifted, you may be able to prevent stomach acids from flowing back into the esophagus. This position utilizes gravity to help keep your stomach contents down where they belong, reducing the likelihood of acid reflux.

Pillows, foam wedges, can achieve this elevation. Additionally, using multiple pillows isn’t always recommended as it may lead to neck discomfort. It’s important to keep the body straight and not just elevate your head with pillows or a short wedge, as it could potentially exacerbate reflux.

Left Side Sleeping

The recommendation of sleeping on your left side comes from the anatomical structure of the stomach and esophagus. When you lie on your left side, the stomach is positioned below the esophagus. This means stomach acid, propelled by the esophageal sphincter’s relaxation during sleep, is less likely to creep back up into your throat and cause choking or discomfort.

This position can be particularly beneficial for pregnant women, whose bodies undergo numerous changes, including increased pressure on the stomach, leading to a higher likelihood of reflux.

Remember to use a body pillow or similar device to maintain this position throughout the night if you’re not accustomed to sleeping on your left side. If your body can tolerate sleeping on the left side gradually, your body will become comfortable with this position, leading to more peaceful nights.

Avoid Back and Right Side Sleeping

Certain sleeping positions can exacerbate acid reflux, such as sleeping flat on your back or on your right side. Lying flat can make it easier for stomach acid to flow back into your esophagus, leading to potential choking in your sleep and vomiting.

Meanwhile, sleeping on your right side can worsen heartburn and acid reflux. This has to do with the shape and orientation of the stomach in relation to the esophagus; lying on the right side places the stomach higher than the esophagus, making it easier for the stomach acid to escape back up.

Adopting healthier sleeping positions isn’t about perfection; it’s about progress and doing what’s possible to reduce the risk. Small adjustments can have big impacts on reducing instances of nighttime acid reflux. However, these changes should be part of a broader strategy that includes a balanced diet and regular exercise, among other healthy habits.


Effective Sleeping Solutions

While adopting safer sleeping positions plays a significant role in reducing the risk of acid reflux, other effective solutions can complement these changes and offer added protection. Let’s delve into a couple of sleep aids that can help prevent reflux and choking:

Under Mattress Wedge

Investing in the best under-mattress wedge for acid reflux can provide a robust, long-term solution for acid reflux-related sleep disturbances. These specially designed devices work by gently tilting the entire mattress, effectively keeping your head and torso elevated throughout the night.

An under-mattress wedge serves multiple purposes. Firstly, it ensures a consistent elevation, unlike pillows that may shift during sleep. Secondly, it offers a comfortable and ergonomic sleeping posture, reducing the chances of developing neck or back pain.

Apart from preventing acid reflux, the wedge can also contribute to improved breathing, reduced snoring, and relief from sinus congestion. Therefore, it is a holistic investment for not just acid reflux sufferers, but anyone looking to enhance their overall sleep quality.

Mattress Tilter

A mattress tilter functions similarly to an under-mattress wedge but offers an alternative approach to addressing the same issue. This sleep aid is another effective solution for those suffering from chronic acid reflux.

The concept behind a mattress tilter is simple yet effective. It facilitates the adjustment of the tilt of your bed, allowing you to maintain an elevated position while sleeping. This ensures that gravity helps keep the stomach acid down, reducing the chances of choking on vomit.

A mattress tilter, much like an under-mattress wedge, can bring about other health benefits, too. These include alleviating symptoms of conditions such as sleep apnea and sinusitis, promoting better digestion, and even enhancing overall comfort during sleep.

Remember, while these sleeping solutions are undoubtedly beneficial, they should ideally be used as part of a comprehensive plan to manage acid reflux. This plan might involve dietary changes, weight management, and medication, among other measures. As always, consulting with a healthcare professional for personalized advice is strongly recommended.


About Reflux Guard

Reflux Guard provides revolutionary and proven solutions for those suffering from acid reflux and GERD. Committed to improving the sleep health of individuals everywhere, Reflux Guard designs products like under-mattress wedges and mattress tilters. These devices help ensure a safer, more restful night’s sleep, reducing the risk of waking up choking on vomit or almost throwing up in sleep.

As a trusted name in the industry, Reflux Guard combines years of research with customer feedback to create products that tackle acid reflux at its core. The company’s focus on innovative solutions, safety, and the highest quality standards underscores its commitment to providing relief and comfort to its customers.

Remember, it’s always best to consult a healthcare professional if you’re frequently choking in your sleep and vomiting. In addition to implementing the strategies above, it’s crucial to address any underlying health conditions that might be causing these symptoms. Sleep is integral to our overall well-being – let’s make it as safe and restful as possible.



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