According to two new studies, reveal people with GERD, gastro-esophageal reflux disease, and other gastrointestinal disorders are more likely than others without these conditions to report excessive daytime sleepiness, insomnia, and poor sleep quality. Researchers from Pennsylvania State University selected more than 1,550 adults, who reported having risk factors for sleep-related breathing disorders, to participate in the study. After a physical examination and providing a detailed medical history, each study participant spent a night in a sleep lab.
Researcher Geoffrey S. Raymer, M.D., says they found a significant relationship between GERD and excessive daytime sleepiness and insomnia. He added, "We also found a connection between peptic ulcer disease and hiatal hernia and insomnia."
In a second study, researchers from the Lynn Health Science Institute in Oklahoma City compared data from 20 GERD patients to records of healthy individuals. Study participants completed a sleep quality exam and underwent esophageal monitoring evaluation for 24 hours in a sleep lab. Researchers evaluated the number of minutes required to fall asleep, the number of arousals from sleep, sleep efficiency, and the proportion of time spent in various stages of sleep.
Results show people with GERD reported having poorer sleep quality than did healthy adults. All GERD patients reported having heartburn at least four days per week and having woken up with heartburn at least one night a week. More then 15 million Americans experience daily heartburn symptoms and may suffer from GERD.