Gravity1st Elevated Sleep Systems brings drug-free relief to acid reflux and GERD patients

By Brad Meyer | Posted: Saturday, March 9, 2013 4:24 pm

In an era when nearly one-third of the population suffers from gastrointestinal disorders, a Woodlands entrepreneur has created an innovative, drug-free solution bringing relief to thousands of patients dealing with acid reflux and related diseases.

Gravity 1st Elevated Sleep Systems is a simple, but effective way for patients suffering from acid reflux and GERD to reduce or eliminate the painful and potentially life-threatening effects of the disorder. The approach uses gravity, not drugs, to provide long-term relief.

“When stomach acid backs up into the esophagus, it can cause pain and discomfort,” said Kelli Minson, creator of the Gravity 1st Elevated Sleep System. “Left untreated, continual exposure can lead to serious complications, including esophageal cancer in some patients.”

Minson has firsthand knowledge of how serious acid reflux can be. In 2007, her husband, a respected Houston physician board-certified in disaster medicine, woke her in the middle of the night with a piece of paper with the words “call 911” he had just written.

“He had an inflamed larynx that left him unable to speak and he was having trouble breathing,” Minson said. “It took him by surprise because he had not had any previous symptoms.”

The emergency room doctor commended elevated sleep as part of the therapy because lying in a prone position ran the risk of allowing powerful stomach acids to come in contact with sensitive esophageal tissue – delaying recovery or worsening the situation.

Creating a viable elevated sleep system proved to be a challenge. Foam wedges and other homemade solutions forced her husband to sleep only on his back and bent him in the middle – making the reflux worse.

Minson eventually came up with a makeshift incline for the entire mattress on the living room floor. It occurred to her that an inflatable mattress with a custom incline incorporated into its design would be functional, portable and more convenient.

“Based on my personal experience, I knew it was a good idea,” Minson said. “It’s something I wanted to share with others.”

The concept was simple: a quality inflatable mattress with a built-in elevation of approximately 9 inches at the head of the mattress – allowing the individual to sleep in any position while allowing gravity to keep harmful digestive acids away from the throat.

“That’s when we came up with the tagline ‘Gravity: It’s not just a good idea, it’s the law,’” Minson said. “Sir Isaac Newton was more right than he knew.”

In 2008, a white paper at Johns Hopkins concluded that only losing weight and sleeping with the head of the bed elevated showed benefit as first-line treatment of GERD. Minson created her prototype sleep system and made the unique inclined mattress products available to the public.

Minson’s mattress concept was well received, being featured in SkyMall’s New Inventors Showcase and a variety of television news and talk shows. The mattress proved beneficial to people with a variety of discomforts and disorders, including snoring, chronic back pain, allergies, sinus and other medical related issues.

“More than 75 million people in the U.S. suffer from acid reflux and GERD,” Minson said. “Over-the-counter products and prescription medication treat symptoms, but they don’t solve the problem; and over time, they become expensive.”

Gravity 1st Elevated Sleep Systems, on the other hand, are available in a variety of sizes, starting at only $249 – a one-time price equivalent to the cost of one month of some prescription drugs. And because it is portable, it is ideal for temporary use – as in the case of delicate face and neck cosmetic surgery. Many patients get used to sleeping on an incline a week or two prior to the surgery.

Minson was not surprised that the concept was functional and effective, but she was surprised by the widespread support of her elevated sleep system – now available in single, double, queen and king sizes. In response to continued requests, she will introduce a line of inclined mattresses for babies and infants.

“Physicians have found multiple benefits to elevated sleep in young children,” Minson said. “But mothers don’t want to leave their babies in their car seats 18 hours a day – this is a better solution.”

The response from the public and the medical community has been gratifying – personally as well as professionally. Her greatest satisfaction comes from helping people.

“This is certainly not about selling mattresses,” she said. “This is about coming up with an innovative solution to a situation facing a lot of people. It’s a simple, inexpensive solution to a complex and potentially life-threatening problem.”

For more information about Gravity 1st Elevated Sleep Systems, visit www.gravity1st.com or call 855-873-4728.