Professor William Orr and colleagues from Oklahoma, USA investigated whether the complaint of night-time heartburn as opposed to daytime heartburn (DHB) is a reliable reflection of actual sleep-related reflux events.
The team studied 3 groups of individuals, including those with complaints of night-time heartburn at least twice per week, individuals with complaints of daytime heartburn, and normal participants without any complaints of regular heartburn during the day or night.
All 3 groups were studied on one occasion with combined pH monitoring and polysomnography, and subjective questionnaires about sleep disturbance and sleep quality were given to all participants.
The team found that the night-time heartburn group had significantly more sleep-related reflux events compared with both daytime heartburn and control groups.
Daytime heartburn subjects had significantly more sleep-related reflux events than normal controls.
|Sleep-related acid contact time was elevated in the night-time heartburn group |
|Diseases of the Esophagus|
The researchers found that total acid contact time was significantly elevated in the night-time heartburn group compared with both the daytime heartburn and control group.
Sleep-related acid contact time was also significantly elevated in the night-time heartburn group compared with the other 2 groups, while daytime acid contact time was not significantly different.
The team observed that the night-time heartburn group was significantly worse regarding measures of both objective and subjective sleep quality.
Subjects with exclusively daytime heartburn do have sleep-related reflux that is greater than normal controls.
Professor Orr's team comments, "Subjects with night-time heartburn have significantly more sleep-related reflux, and both objective and subjective sleep abnormalities compared with normal controls."
"Complaints of night-time heartburn reflect sleep-related reflux events, and may be indicative of a more clinically significant condition."