Tips for Sleeping with a Hernia

A hernia may occur anywhere within the body when an organ moves from its proper place, but most commonly occurs when the intestines is allowed to move through a weakened or torn area within the abdominal wall. The hiatal hernia, however, happens when the stomach is able to push through the diaphragm, which can lead to heartburn, acid reflux, and chest pain. The discomfort and pain caused by this condition may come and go, but will not permanently heal on its own. The only way to cure a hernia is to undergo hernia repair surgery by making an appointment with an experienced hernia specialist.

A hiatal hernia may affect the quality of your sleeping habits, but there are certain solutions to this problem. The negative impact a hiatal hernia can have on a good night’s sleep may be alleviated by taking certain steps to change your sleeping environment.

1. Elevate the top side of your bed, but do so without using extra pillows, which can cause problems with your back or neck. Instead, place bricks or blocks of wood that are about half a foot in length under the legs of your bed to keep it elevated, which will reduce the discomfort you may experience with a hernia. Elevating the upper portion of your body will also reduce the chances of stomach acid moving back up through the esophagus.

2. The position in which you sleep is very important while suffering from a hiatal hernia. Try your best to sleep on your side or back and avoid lying on your stomach or any other position that may be awkward, as doing so can further irritate the hernia site.

3. If you have problems with manually elevating your bed, an adjustable bed may be a good alternative. These can be purchased like any other type of bed with different types of designs or styles. They are button operated, so adjusting your bed would be much easier with the ability to find the level that is specifically right for you.

4. Be sure to avoid heavy meals before going to bed, as a full stomach can irritate those afflicted with a hiatal hernia. It is also important to maintain comfort, not just in sleeping positions, but by sleeping in comfortable clothing that does not constrict the abdomen. Comfort is very important if you have a hiatal hernia in both the waking and sleeping hours.

While taking the above precautions may alleviate the bothersome symptoms of a hiatal hernia, the condition will not go away on its own and requires the attention of medical treatment by a hernia specialist.