Expert Commentary

Sleep Related Gastroesophageal Reflux and Sleep Quality

William Orr, PhD

President and CEO
Lynn Health Science Institute
Oklahoma City, Oklahoma

In GERD patients with nighttime heartburn it is well established that they have a marked increase in sleep complaints, and GI symptom scores increase with the severity of insomnia. Treatment of nighttime heartburn has also been shown to produce an improvement in subjective sleep complaints. The aim of this study was to determine if differences in sleep measures are accompanied by different patterns of gastroesophageal reflux (GER) in patients with and without complaints of nighttime heartburn. 1. GERD patients with nighttime heartburn show a unique pattern of subjective sleep disturbance and objectively documented sleep related GER. 2. These data support the notion that sleep related GER is a cause of a significant sleep disturbance, and sleep related GER should be considered as a potential cause of otherwise unexplained sleep complaints.

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