Two easy ways to improve your overall digestion are thoroughly chewing your food and avoiding eating while under stress. Stress can upset our digestion by disrupting digestive secretions and the rhythmic contractions of the intestine that propel food through the digestive tract. Well-known methods of decreasing stress, such as physical exercise, meditation, yoga and tai chi, have been shown to produce significant improvements in digestive function. Getting enough sleep each night is also helpful for improving digestion. Elevating the head of your bed by 6 inches can also be an effective treatment for nighttime heartburn. You can do this by inserting a wedge between the mattress and box spring to elevate the body from the waist up or placing something to prop up the head of the bed. Other general recommendations include:
• Not lying down for at least three hours after eating.
• Limiting alcohol consumption.
• Eating smaller, more frequent meals.
• Quitting smoking.