Study objectives: To objectively characterize (1) the relationship between gastroesophageal reflux disease (GERD) and sleep quality, and (2) the influence of sleep position on this relationship, using in-laboratory polysomnography.
Methods: We retrospectively analyzed first-night diagnostic in-laboratory polysomnography data for 3411 patients (median age 55 years; 48% male). Medication use and medical condition data were obtained through self-reported questionnaires. Associations between sleep quality and the presence of GERD, and the influence of sleep position on these associations, were analyzed using multivariable linear regression models.
Results: After adjusting for age, sex, body mass index, and relevant comorbidities, GERD was associated with a 3.0% decrease in sleep efficiency, 8.8-minute increase in wake after sleep onset, 24.4-minute increase in rapid eye movement (REM) latency, 13.4-minute decrease in total sleep time, 1.4% decrease in %REM sleep, and 1.5% increase in %N3 sleep. Having both GERD and the majority of sleep on the right side was associated with an 8.6% decrease in sleep efficiency, 27.5-minute increase in wake after sleep onset, 35.6-minute decrease in total sleep time, 2.1% decrease in %REM sleep, and 3.5% increase in %N3 sleep. Having both GERD and the majority of sleep on the left side was associated with an 8.7-minute increase in sleep onset latency.
Conclusions: GERD is associated with an impairment in objective sleep quality. These associations were more pronounced in right-sided sleep and mostly ameliorated in left-sided sleep. Physicians should recognize the potential for poor sleep quality in patients with GERD and the effect of body position on this relationship.
Citation: Gurges P, Murray BJ, Boulos MI. Relationship between gastroesophageal reflux disease and objective sleep quality. J Clin Sleep Med. 2022;18(12):2731-2738.
Keywords: GERD; body position; polysomnography; sleep; sleep quality.
© 2022 American Academy of Sleep Medicine.