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Gastrointestinal functioning during sleep 

Gastrointestinal functioning during sleep
Gastrointestinal functioning during sleep

William C. Orr

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date: 19 October 2020

Sleep is associated with substantial changes in gastrointestinal functioning that have considerable clinical relevance Symptoms of sleep-related dysfunction are common and are primarily related to sleep-related heartburn and regurgitation. Sleep disturbances accompany several other gastrointestinal disorders, such as irritable bowel syndrome (IBS). Sleep-related gastroesophageal reflux (GER) has been shown to plan a major role in the pathogenesis of more complicated gastroesophageal reflux disease (GERD), notably via a prolongation of acid contact. Mucosal damage has been shown to be more closely associated with this pattern of reflux in comparison with waking reflux, which is associated with more frequent but very short reflux events. Sleep disturbance is also associated with a visceral hyperalgesia that enhances pain responses associated with acid–mucosal contact. Sleep does influence intestinal motility, but further research is needed to confirm the details of exactly how intestinal motility is modulated by sleep.

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