What are the Most Common Causes of Night Heartburn?

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  • Written By: Jacob Queen
  • Edited By: Lauren Fritsky
  • Last Modified Date: 14 November 2018
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Night heartburn and most other kinds of chronic heartburn are generally caused by a condition called gastroesophageal reflux disease (GERD). Some of the most common causes of GERD that are directly related to night heartburn include medications, certain foods, and ingestion of soda drinks or alcohol. People who suffer from night heartburn are thought to have a relatively severe form of GERD, and sometimes the disorder can be debilitating by making it very hard to sleep. These people may find it difficult to perform regular tasks during their waking hours, and this can potentially hurt their job performance and personal life.

Overall, soda drinks have the most well-known association with night heartburn, and this is especially true when they are consumed at night. These drinks tend to have a relatively high acid content compared to most other beverages, and this can potentially aggravate the stomach. For patients with heartburn caused by soda drinks, it’s often effective to simply avoid drinking them at night, but other people are forced to greatly reduce consumption of them or stop consuming them altogether.

Alcohol is also known to irritate the stomach, leading to acid reflux. This kind of heartburn can happen in the day or night depending on when the alcohol was consumed. Over time, the irritation from alcohol can be severe enough to cause the development of a stomach ulcer or severe gastritis.


Sometimes certain foods can irritate the stomach and cause an effect that is similar to soda or alcohol. Different people tend to have varying tolerances for these foods, and some people have a heightened sensitivity. Some of the foods that can lead to these symptoms include citrus drinks like orange juice, spicy foods with a lot of pepper, and fried foods.

Medicines are another major cause of night heartburn, and the kinds of medicines that can cause it are pretty wide-ranging. Some medicines that are supposed to aid in sleeping can actually cause insomnia in the form of severe heartburn symptoms. There are also several blood pressure medicines and even some over-the-counter medications that have heartburn as a potential side effect. In most cases, these heartburn problems are only going to affect a small percentage of people that take the particular drug. Sometimes people who take a lot of different medicines can have trouble identifying the cause, mostly because it is such a common side effect.



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