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Sleep Positional Therapy for Nocturnal Gastroesophageal Reflux

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eMediNexus    22 December 2022

Evidence has suggested the role of sleep position in the occurrence of nocturnal gastroesophageal reflux, with the left lateral decubitus position being the most favorable. The present study evaluated the effect of a novel electronic sleep positional therapy wearable device on sleep position and nocturnal reflux symptoms.

 

It included patients with nocturnal symptoms of gastroesophageal reflux, who were directed to sleep in the left lateral decubitus position and randomized (1:1) to an electronic sleep positional therapy wearable device programmed to either produce vibration when in the right lateral position (intervention) or only during the first 20 minutes (sham). The study evaluated treatment success, defined as a >/=50% reduction in the nocturnal reflux score. It also looked for a change in sleep position and reflux symptoms.

 

The study observed-

 

  • Enrollment of One hundred patients. 
  • 44% treatment success rate in the intervention group vs. 24% in the sham group. 
  • A marked avoidance of sleeping in the right lateral decubitus position and increased time sleeping in the left lateral decubitus position with treatment. 
  • More reflux-free nights in the intervention group vs. the sham group.

 

This study shows that sleep positional therapy using an electronic wearable device promotes sleeping in the left lateral decubitus position and markedly relieves nocturnal reflux symptoms.

 

Schuitenmaker JM, Kuipers T, Oude Nijhuis RAB, Schijven MP, Smout AJPM, Fockens P, Bredenoord AJ. Sleep Positional Therapy for Nocturnal Gastroesophageal Reflux: A Double-Blind, Randomized, Sham-Controlled Trial. Clin Gastroenterol Hepatol. 2022 Dec;20(12):2753-2762.e2. doi: 10.1016/j.cgh.2022.02.058. Epub 2022 Mar 14. PMID: 35301135.

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