How To Sleep With a Stomach Ulcer

Chew on antacids; sleep with ease.
How To Sleep With a Stomach Ulcer
Tom Greenspan
December 21, 2022

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Stomach ulcers can be excruciating and flare up for any reason causing discomfort, pain, and sleepless nights. However, Stomach ulcers are common, and the causes may surprise you.

Sleeping with a stomach ulcer can be challenging, and make it easier, avoid spicy foods and foods that aggravate you. Alcohol should be avoided, and sleeping in an elevated position will help manage any up flow of stomach acids.

Who Gets Stomach Ulcers?

According to the CDC, 25 million Americans get stomach ulcers each year. That is an enormous amount of people, and anyone of any age can get stomach ulcers.

Stomach ulcers occur simply by acid attacking the stomach lining. One major cause of stomach ulcers is the use of some painkillers, namely NSAIDs, including Ibuprofen.

This pain medication reduced the stomach linings functional integrity, making it easier for stomach ulcers to occur.

Stomach Ulcers Symptoms

Symptoms of stomach ulcers include bloating and pain, particularly if the pain wakes you at night, you can have a stomach ulcer.

The feeling of nausea will accompany stomach ulcers, and you may even vomit with bloodstains running through the acid, taking on a coffee color.

Complications include severe pain and bleeding, and even perforation of the stomach wall. At this stage, treatment is a must. The consequences of not treating stomach ulcers can be catastrophic.

Sleeping with Ulcers

Ditch drinking alcohol to shorten the recovery period. Also, with the proper diet and selecting anti-inflammatory foods, you can have regular sleeping patterns.

Minor adjustments return significant gains when it comes to leading a healthy lifestyle. But more so when you are suffering from stomach ulcers.

Reducing the acid production in your stomach is the key to success, and with dietary changes and medication, you can succeed.

You should always refer to your doctor if you notice changes you may be experiencing at night.

Foods To Avoid

You will be best served if your diet consists of anti-inflammatory foods. This means you need to cut out:

  • Sugary foods and beverages
  • Refined foods such as pasta, bread, cakes, crackers. Anything that you can consider a refined carbohydrate
  • Fried foods
  • Refined oil like Canola and other vegetable oils
  • Dairy

That's a list of foods to avoid.

Instead, include dairy in your diet, consume probiotic yogurts as healthy anti-inflammatory foods.

Don't Eat 4 hours before Sleeping

Yes, you read right, don't eat for four hours before bedtime because we are trying to establish a point where the stomach acids have done their job.

Let the stomach acid subside. As long as the stomach is not expecting any food and does not receive any food, acids will be minimal.

Low gastric juices will enable you to get a good night's sleep.

Take Prescribed Medications

Many of us self-medicate, and sometimes holistic medicine is the best choice. When it comes to stomach ulcers, this is not the case.

In most cases, your doctor will prescribe antibiotics to kill the H. pylori bacteria.


H.pylori is a bacteria that like to live in the sticky mucus of the stomach lining. When we have a stomach ulcer, the bacteria can cause infections and make us feel quite ill. H.pylori can aggravate the infected ulcer resulting in surgical treatment to repair the damage.

The importance of taking prescribed medications cannot be overstated.

Additional Sleep Aid Medications

What you need are proton pump inhibitors, not sleeping pills.

Inhibitors prevent your stomach from producing hydrochloric acid, which breaks down and digests food intake.

Medications like omeprazole, lansoprazole, rabeprazole, esomeprazole, and pantoprazole reduce the production of stomach acid to combat stomach ulcers.

Also, histamine (H-2) blockers, famotidine, cimetidine, and ranitidine, can reduce the amount of stomach acid.

If your doctor has not prescribed these medications, they are available over the counter. It may be necessary to add some medications, such as cytoprotective medications, to protect the stomach lining.

Improve Your Sleep Environment

Adjustable Bed

Elevating your sleeping position and sleeping on your back will prevent any acid reflux and hopefully give a decent night's sleep as you adjust the bed in small increments to find the optimal position for sleeping.

GERD symptoms can be relieved, and acid reflux can be prevented with the proper elevation of an adjustable bed.


It may sound like an old cliche, but it's the truth, and more so when suffering painful nights from an ulcer.

  • Sleep in a dark room or at a light level, you find comfortable.
  • Maintain a temperature of around 68 Fahrenheit. A cool room will allow you to sleep better and faster.
  • Cut out noise with earplugs or a white noise machine. 
  • Limit electrical devices like ipads, phones, and laptops. The blue light disturbs your circadian rhythm and will make it hard for you to sleep.

Use Pillows

Placing a pillow between your legs or under the legs can provide extra support and comfort.

If you usually lay on your belly to sleep, try sleeping on your side with a pillow slightly under your ribs and belly for extra support.

Must Do’s

Quit Smoking

It’s hard breaking an addiction, but the rewards happen fast. Did you know that smoking increases the flow of stomach acids? Smoking also makes you more susceptible to stomach ulcers.

The facts are backed by science, and quitting smoking is the most significant factor to a speedy recovery.


While most of us enjoy the occasional glass of wine, alcohol aggravates the mucous membrane of the stomach, which, when combined with an ulcer, can cause severe pain and insomnia.

Avoid Stress

Studies show stomach ulcers and stress are connected. If you reduce the stress, you can shorten your recovery time. Nonetheless, some doctors disagree with the notion that physiological stress has any connection to stomach ulcers and say the condition is caused solely by lifestyle choices.

No matter what you think, avoiding stress is not a bad idea.

Wrapping it up

We have a few do’s and don'ts in this article and sleeping positions to help you sleep with a stomach ulcer. The main thing is to follow medical advice with medication and sleep in a slightly elevated position. 

We hope you enjoyed this post. Catch you next time.