It’s not just the caffeine keeping you up at night.
Do you love to sip on a nice, crisp cola with lunch? Or maybe you reach for an orange pop when you need a pick-me-up. Whatever the case, you might want to think twice about your beverage choice. That’s because research shows a daily soda habit might be disrupting your sleep—and not only because of any caffeine that might be in the drink.
A large study published in the journal CHEST surveyed more than 15,000 people and found that 25 percent of respondents experienced heartburn at night. What was more interesting: people who drank at least one carbonated soft drink during the day were likelier to experience nighttime heartburn.
Nighttime acid reflux doesn’t just disturb your sleep; the study also found that people who experienced reflux during the night appeared to have a worse overall quality of life than those who experienced it only during the day. On top of that, heartburn tends to last longer when you’re in bed than when you’re up and awake, which is why nighttime reflux is linked to a higher risk for serious complications, like damage to the esophagus (not to mention it’s super uncomfortable).
If you deal with heartburn two or more days a week, you can try an OTC medication like Nexium 24HR for all-day, all-night protection from frequent heartburn. But if you’re a steady soda drinker, it’s worth trying to reduce your risk of reflux by kicking your soda habit. (If your soda of choice contains caffeine, reduce your caffeine consumption slowly to limit withdrawal symptoms.)
Next, find some tasty (and healthy) alternatives. One great swap is to sip decaffeinated iced tea (unsweetened if you can do it) for the perfect afternoon drink. If tea isn’t your thing, perk up your water by infusing it with herbs, fruit, and vegetables. Combinations like watermelon and basil or cucumber and kiwi are refreshing and delicious.
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