Gastroesophageal reflux disease (GERD) may also be connected to sleep apnea. In an important study by the American College of Gastroenterology, it was found that patients with sleep complaints, but without heartburn symptoms, still suffered episodes of nighttime acid reflux. In a separate study, researchers found that symptoms of GERD are common and frequendy severe in people with obstructive sleep apnea.
People with gastroesophageal reflux commonly report poor sleep and waking at night because of acid reflux. However, one study showed that 94 percent of the recorded reflux events were associated with arousal from sleep or awakening whether or not the people noticed their reflux. This silent reflux may be the cause of sleep disturbances in people with unexplained sleep disorders. In another study on GERD and sleep presented by researchers at Duke University Medical Center, reflux symptoms were common and frequendy severe in 168 patients undergoing sleep studies who reported symptoms consistent with sleep apnea. Therefore, I believe that GEPJD may be an underlying cause of sleep apnea and needs to be treated appropriately to resolve the sleep apnea.