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Compared to standing or sitting, lying down makes it physically easier for excess stomach acid to pass into the oesophagus; this can cause indigestion, and heartburn too.

To help prevent this, some people raise the head of their bed in order to put their body at a steeper angle, which helps keep acid down. But, lying down may not be the whole or only reason, as we will see.

Thankfully there are several ways you can help yourself feel more confident about leaving the house without the worry of morning indigestion. Start by simply considering these three questions:

Should I consult my doctor?

If you are waking up with heartburn or indigestion, and have suffered from this repeatedly and you have no idea why then you may wish to consider seeking advice from your doctor. It's possible that regular morning indigestion needs a professional's opinion. So, see your doctor if you also have:

  • Unexplained weight loss
  • Persistent indigestion for the first time and you are aged 55 or older
  • Difficulty when swallowing
  • Vomiting
  • Blood when you vomit or blood in your stool

Some medications may cause indigestion symptoms. So, if you are taking any at the moment, you may also need to discuss this possibility with your doctor.

However, if you’re feeling that the indigestion symptoms do not come on straight after waking up, rather a bit later, then it could be that the reason is down to lifestyle. If so, the next question could be key to preventing or reducing your morning indigestion in future... 

What did I eat and drink before going to bed last night or for breakfast?

Indigestion can be caused, not just by what you eat, but also when you eat it, how much you have eaten and how you eat it! The digestive process is challenged if you:

  • Ate late at night, especially if it was a big meal that continues to stimulate your stomach to produce excess acid once you have gone bed
  • Eat fatty foods or spicy foods for breakfast, or drink caffeinated and/or carbonated drinks
  • Smoke in the mornings
  • Eat quickly, in a rush to get out of the house

If any of these suggestions apply to you, adjusting your eating and lifestyle habits accordingly can help. It's advisable to allow yourself plenty of time to eat in the mornings, rather than doing so on the wing, or as you’re walking out the door. This allows your digestive system to digest, or at least begin digesting food, before you start moving about. Stomach acid is more likely to stay in your stomach while your body is upright and stationary.

Therefore, eating whilst sat in a more relaxed environment can result in digestion being complete or nearly complete before you leave the house, so there will then be less acid to slosh around as you run for the bus!

If I get indigestion in the morning, how can I relieve the symptoms?

Firstly, it is advisable to think twice before having a cooked breakfast, coffee or citrus drinks, since they could all make your symptoms even worse.

But if you have a busy morning ahead, you'll need to get on with your day quickly. In which case, Gaviscon Double Action can bring the fast relief you're looking for. That's because it gets to work instantly, with one action that neutralises stomach acid and another that helps prevent acid coming up into the oesophagus (food pipe) by forming a protective barrier in the stomach, keeping acid in place.

In addition to Gaviscon Double Action, there's a whole range of Gaviscon products. Find which one may be most suitable for you. Or simply call into a pharmacy as early as you can - the quicker you take some treatment, the quicker you're likely to start feeling better.

So remember, if you want to prevent indigestion, or other acid-related conditions (such as heartburn) in the future - check your eating habits and your lifestyle.


All information presented is not meant to diagnose or prescribe. Gaviscon Double Action for Heartburn & Indigestion. Always read the label. If symptoms are severe or prolonged you should consult a doctor or pharmacist. Medicines can affect the unborn baby. Always talk to your doctor or pharmacist before taking any medicine during pregnancy.

Article published 1 January 2021