Heartburn During the Night – The Dangers and Solutions

Heartburn and reflux attacks are more common during night-time than at any other time of the day. If you are suffering frequent heartburn during the night it is not something that should be ignored as it brings with it particular dangers and you are not in a good position to deal with the problem.

Gastroesphogeal Reflux Disease (GERD) is a problem for millions of people, it occurs when the esophageal sphincter, a small valve that separates the esophagus and the stomach, becomes damaged or is relaxed by certain foods and fails to keep acid where it should be in The stomach. The problem can increase at night for two reasons.

· By lying down you are removing the benefit of gravity and allowing acid to flow more easily into the esophagus
· Many people eat late in the evening which causes pressure on the stomach forcing acidic juices out of the stomach.

Unfortunately night-time attacks can be more damaging than similar attacks during the day. Firstly attacks can disrupt sleep which means the body does not have the opportunity to repair. But even more seriously acid can remain in contact with the walls of the esophagus for much longer periods. During the day sufferers will usually take action as soon as they feel the discomfort of a reflux attack. Drinking water or even swallowing saliva can help flush acid back to where it should be. At night time, however the sufferer may be unaware and so the acid settles in the esophagus.

Fortunately there are some fairly simple actions that you can take to avoid heartburn during the night

· Avoid Eating late at Night. Our busy lifestyles mean that we often get home late and eat just before going to bed. Ideally you should try to have your last meal at least two hours before going to lie down. This will allow some of the food to leave the stomach.

· Make Your Last Meal Small. Traditionally we have our main meal last thing. This makes no sense at all. You are providing most of your body's fuel just before 8 hours of inactivity. Try making lunch the main meal and have a lighter snack as your last meal.

· Avoid Carbonated Drinks. Drinks that are full of gas will bloat your stomach causing pressure and pushing acid out of the stomach. If you must drink Cola try to have it at lunchtime and no later.

· Avoid Known Heartburn Triggers. You will probably know the foods that cause heartburn for you, but here are some of the more common ones; Spicy food, coffee, very starchy food, foods containing high levels of fat or grease.

· Try Raising your Head. Sleeping with a large bolster pillow or raising the head of your bed on 6 inch blocks may help to prevent night time heartburn.

· Cut Down or Stop Smoking. A more difficult one but smoking has a major damage affect on your body and particularly the throat and esophagus that is under attack from heartburn. Smoke strips the protective layer of mucus from your esophagus leaving it more exposed to the acid

· Alcohol. Unfortunately alcohol will both increase the production of stomach acid and relax the esophageal sphincter. Try to avoid late night drinking and you may be heartburn free that night.

Tips to Relieve Pregnancy Back Pain

Firstly let me congratulate you on being pregnant! If you are reading this article then you are probably one of the many women who suffer from back pain during pregnancy. Back pain is an extremely common symptom during pregnancy and is also one of the most disabling conditions for a pregnant woman. This article offers some tips to relieve pregnancy back pain and help you enjoy your pregnancy more.

Back pain normally occurs in the third trimester when the babies added weight causes an increase in strain on the back muscles. However, it is not uncommon to experience back pain earlier on in a pregnancy, especially if you have suffered from it before the pregnancy. Unfortunately, pregnancy tends to exacerbate any aches and pains prior to pregnancy.

The most common cause of back pain is the compression of the vertebrae caused by the abnormally curved posture adopted during pregnancy. In the upright position, most of the strain is supported in the muscles that run alongside your spine, the erector spinae muscles. This group of muscles is the main source of support for your spine and acts to hold your spine in its postural position.

Changes in posture experienced during pregnancy put added strain on these muscles. Tension in these muscles leads to stiffness and pain in the back, and can also cause compression of the nerves exiting the spine. This will affect your nervous system and cause an imbalance. An imbalanced nervous system is not a healthy state to be in especially when you are pregnant. Scientific evidence shows that any pain or anxious emotion experienced by the pregnant mother has a direct effect on the development of the fetus.

Here are some tips to help you relieve pregnancy back pain.

1. Pelvic floor exercises are very helpful for easing lower back pain and sciatica. With your back flat and knees up (feet flat on the floor), squeeze your pelvic floor muscles and hold for 10 seconds. Gently relax. Strengthening the pelvic floor muscles helps to support the lower back.

2. Use pillows and cushions to support your bump in bed. This prevents added tension on your back muscles.

3. Take care when getting in and out of the car, bed or bath. Avoid any sudden jerky movements that may cause muscle strain.When sitting, avoid crossing your legs and slouching. Try to sit as upright as possible. Use a small bolster cushion or a rolled up towel behind your back to support the spine.

4. Move little and often. Try not to take walks which are too long or tiring without a rest in between. Ensure you wear proper walking shoes when you go out walking. Try to avoid wearing heels.

5. Rest regularly by sitting on an exercise or birth ball. This takes the weight of the baby off your pelvis and holds it in a stable position.

6. Avoid carrying heavy bags on one shoulder. Balance out the weight you are carrying.

7. Avoid sports or exercises that put a lot of strain on your body. Swimming is a good exercise that supports your body weight whilst being very calming and relaxing. Stretching exercises help to ease tense muscles.

8. The most effective way of relieving pregnancy back pain is by releasing the tension in the muscles supporting the spine. This is done very easily and effectively using the Bowen Technique. Relaxing the back muscles provides immediate relief from back pain and also allows the nerves exiting your spine to be free of compression. The results are reduced pain and stiffness, increased blood flow and the re balancing of your nervous system.

The Bowen Technique is an extremely gentle, safe and simple technique that can be used and learnt by anyone. Because of its effectiveness and gentleness it is fast becoming the method of choice in treating pregnant mothers and babies.

How Do I Get Rid of the Musty Smell in a Crib Mattress?

If you just had your second or third baby, it is wise if you just use the old mattress used by your first babies before. For sure, it is somewhere in the attic waiting to be used again.

As long as it is still in mint condition and there are no lumps and sags in the crib mattress, you can still use it. Inspect the mattress for signs of irreparable damages. Remember that your baby is in dire need of sleeping comfort so the mattress should be as comfortable as possible.

Now you can do the following cleaning steps:

Step 1: Get your mattress and place it on a clean platform preferably in front of your garage where it won’t be a problem if you make a little mess. Use a vacuum cleaner to get rid of the dust mites and visible dirt particles on the mattress. It is better to use vacuum cleaner as this gets rid of most of the dirt particles.

Step 2: Now you can start cleaning the mattress, disinfecting it and removing the awful smell. Make a citrus spray first. Get one lemon (or any citrus you prefer) and extract about one cup of its juice. Mix it with one cup of water and place it on a basin or a spray bottle for easier usage.

Step 3: If you have used a spray bottle, you need only to spray all sides of the mattress. Make sure you have covered all the areas. If you have used a basin, get a clean towel and dip the towel in the solution. Wring out excess moisture and press the towel on the surface of the mattress. Do this on all sides of the mattress so some of the solution can penetrate the mattress.

Step 4: Let the solution stay there for 30 minutes to an hour. After that, refill the spray bottle or the basin with clean water. Spray clean water or pat the mattress surface with dampened towel. This is to slightly remove some of the citrus odor.

Step 5: Once done, you can let the mattress dry under the sun. This should further remove any lingering musty crib smell. If it is already dry, give it one more round of vacuum cleaning.

Step 6: Now you can place the crib mattress back to its crib. Place a cute mattress cover and put pillows, comforters and bolsters.

The Differences Between Pillow Shams and Pillowcases

Many questions come up regarding the different types of bedding available in the market today. One of the most frequent questions that young moms or dads often ask is “what is the difference between pillowcases and pillow shams?” I would like to clarify the difference for you.

A Pillowcase: Pillowcases are just that. It is a case to cover your pillow in. Its main purpose is to cover the pillow you use for sleeping. A pillowcase is open on one end in order to easily slip a pillow into. Sometimes it is referred to as a pillow slip. A pillowcase protects the pillow on which you lay your head to relax, or fall asleep. In addition to protecting your pillow the pillowcase helps absorb face oils, perspiration, drool, and softly protects your face as you sleep.

Pillowcases are usually purchased at the same time as your bed sheets. Most people tend to want matching bed sheets and pillowcases. Sometimes, you will find beautiful hand embroidered pillowcases. These pillowcases are generally white to show off the beautiful embroidered handiwork, and are often given as gifts. You may also see some pillowcases with a beautiful crocheted edging. These hand embroidered and crocheted pillowcases are made with a lot of love to make a special gift.

Oftentimes a hand embroidered monogram pillowcase is given as a wedding gift. Pillowcases, if decorated, are done on the open edge only and not where you lay your face. Pillowcases are made of soft materials that feel nice against your face to facilitate going to sleep quickly. Pillowcases are functional in nature more so than looking pretty, although you will find some very pretty, pillowcases.

A Pillow sham: Is normally used for decorative purposes. A pillow sham is an attractive cover for pillows. You will find that there is a slit in the back where you can insert a pillow. The opening of a pillow sham is located in the middle of the back and it may either be an overlapping of material or it may have a zippered opening. Both openings serve the same purpose of inserting the pillow. They are a great way to use an old pillow that you no longer want to use.

Pillow shams are not normally used to sleep on, or lay your face on. They are usually made of a heavier weight material that matches your comforter, quilt, duvet or bedspread, and are generally made of more expensive material. Some have more decorative materials that may be rough on your skin if you were to lay on it for a long period of time. A pillow that is covered with a pillow sham is removed nightly along with any throw pillows before going down for a good night’s sleep. Pillow shams can also be purchased individually to coordinate with your bedding. Sometimes you will find them conveniently included in a bed in a bag set.

Pillow shams are an impressive addition to any bedroom decor. They can add some real style to a worn out pillow and make it appear new. Pillow shams are a welcome addition to any bedroom, whether you are decorating your own bedroom or your kid’s bedroom.

As you can see there is a difference between a pillowcase and a pillow sham. The most important difference being, the pillowcase is functional and the pillow sham is a decorative item to be place on top of the bed. You lay down to sleep on the pillow with the pillowcase, and you lay aside the pillow that has the pillow sham. Generally in the morning when making the bed the pillows with the shams are placed on top of the pillows with the cases.

Hopefully this will clear up any questions you may have regarding pillowcases and pillow shams.

Feather Pillows – Advantages and Disadvantages You Should Know

Feather pillows have been well-liked for centuries. Does one deserve to be on your bed? Let’s look at their main advantages and disadvantages.

Advantages

Feather pillows are very soft, cuddly and moldable. They contour to the head and neck reasonable well and provide more support than down. You can scrunch the pillow to provide your head and neck with support where you need it.

They are also among the most durable pillows that you can buy and will last for ten years or even longer with reasonable care. They usually can be machine washed and dried. Feather pillows are considered a strong value because they often last so long.

Because birds fly, their feathers must be light weight or they would not get off of the ground. As a result, feather pillows weigh very little, usually weigh no more than a pound or two.

Disadvantages

Feather pillows often do not maintain significant support throughout the night because they tend to sink in to some degree.

As a result, you may find yourself needing to adjust the pillow during the night. And fluffing the pillow or shaking it may also be required to return the pillow to its preferred loft. As the pillow ages, increased fluffing or shaking will be required.

The hard quills of the feathers can often be noticed through the case and can even poke through. Further, you may notice a crunching-like noise when the pillows are compressed because the feathers can contain hard parts or because the pillow has a plastic layer to prevent the feathers from poking through.

Finally, feather pillows have been known on occasion to have an odor, maybe of water fowl or chemicals used to sanitize the feathers.