Yes. When you lie down after eating, stomach acid could rise and cause discomfort. This is more likely if you have acid reflux or gastroesophageal reflux disease (GERD).

GERD is a digestive disorder that occurs when stomach acid frequently travels back into your esophagus (the tube that connects your throat to your stomach). The lining of your esophagus can be irritated by this acid reflux.

According to a 2005 study published in the American Journal of Gastroenterology, patients with GERD are encouraged to wait 3 hours after eating before lying down.

Keep reading to learn more about indigestion and what you can do about it.

Indigestion is discomfort in your upper abdominal area. Also called dyspepsia, indigestion is a group of symptoms as opposed to a disease.

Although the experience can be different for different people, the symptoms of indigestion may include:

Indigestion is commonly caused by:

Other digestive conditions

Indigestion can sometimes be caused by other conditions, such as:

To ease your indigestion, your doctor may recommend lifestyle changes, such as:

  • identifying and avoiding foods that trigger your indigestion
  • reducing or eliminating caffeine and alcohol consumption
  • replacing three large meals a day with five or six small ones
  • managing your anxiety and stress
  • exercising regularly
  • maintaining your weight
  • avoiding specific pain medications, such as aspirin, ibuprofen (Advil), and naproxen (Aleve)

If your indigestion doesn’t respond to lifestyle changes, your doctor may suggest over-the-counter (OTC) antacids.

If your indigestion doesn’t respond to OTC antacids, your doctor may recommend:

Although there haven’t been many studies to support alternative medicine treatments, the Mayo Clinic suggests that indigestion may be eased by:

If you experience postprandial hypotension, Harvard Medical School suggests lying down for an hour or so after eating.

What is postprandial hypotension?

During digestion, extra blood is routed to the stomach and small intestine. If your heart and blood vessels don’t compensate properly for this, blood pressure decreases everywhere but the digestive system.

This drop can result in lightheadedness or dizziness. It can also trigger:

  • nausea
  • fainting
  • angina

Lying down after eating may cause indigestion due to the rise of stomach acid. If you have GERD, you should avoid lying down for 3 hours following meals.

On the other hand, if you have postprandial hypotension, which can make you feel lightheaded or dizzy after eating, you should consider lying down for an hour after eating.

If you often find yourself experiencing indigestion following meals, make an appointment with your doctor. They can recommend lifestyle changes or medications to treat and relieve your symptoms.