By Dr. Mercola
Most people who get nighttime heartburn have heard the advice that they should avoid eating any later than three to four hours before bedtime. But although the advice is ages old, it’s only recently been studied scientifically.
And according to the researchers, it’s a good rule to follow. One study found that eating dinner within three house of sleep was associated with a sevenfold increase in the risk of reflux symptoms. Another study confirmed the result, finding that a late evening meal created significantly more reflux.
According to the New York Times:
“As for why three to four hours is the threshold, researchers say that is roughly the amount of time it takes for food to clear the stomach. In chronic heartburn, stomach acid slips into the esophagus, and that’s more likely when lying in bed shortly after a meal, when gravity is not helping to keep digestive juices in the stomach.”