Best Sleeping Positions for Vertigo | Guide
Vertigo can be a particularly alarming feeling for anyone who suffers from it. Even the mildest form of vertigo can result in a spinning sensation, even if you are lying completely still in bed. The effects of vertigo can last for a few minutes or can, in some cases, linger for days. It is therefore unsurprising that people who suffer from vertigo have a hard time getting to sleep. The signature spinning sensation is particularly disorienting when the body is lying motionless, preventing sufferers from relaxing and drifting off to a peaceful slumber. Vertigo and sleep deprivation often go hand in hand.
If you struggling with vertigo and are in desperate need of a good night’s sleep, our guide has some essential advice you will want to read. We will outline some useful sleeping positions you can adopt to help overcome the effects of vertigo, along with other crucial insights into this debilitating condition.
Before we talk about sleeping positions, it makes sense to explore what vertigo is in a little more detail. In short, vertigo is a dizzy sensation that makes the sufferer feel as though they are moving, even when they are completely still. In most cases, suffers feel as though their body is rotating, although the feeling is also commonly described as a tilting sensation. In addition to the dizzy sensation, sufferers may also experience compromised stability, light-headedness and a general feeling of weakness.
Most sufferers of vertigo tend to be women and it is more commonly experienced by those over the age of 50. However, many individuals outside of this demographic can also suffer from vertigo. It is not uncommon among younger individuals, while many men can also experience vertigo symptoms. The onset of vertigo can be rapid and the effects can be felt from anywhere from a few minutes to several days. In the most extreme cases, vertigo symptoms can persist for several weeks.
Common Causes of Vertigo
Benign paroxysmal positional vertigo (BPPV) is one of the most commonly experienced forms of vertigo. This type of vertigo usually results in very brief episodes, with low-level dizziness that persists for several seconds. This form of vertigo is almost always caused by inner ear issues. The root cause of this is down to calcium deposits found within the inner ear canal. These calcium deposits are essential at ensuring we maintain proper balance. However, in some cases these calcium deposits can move around. This movement causes disruption to balance and can lead to feelings of dizziness. In extreme cases, it can also lead to BPPV.
Best Sleeping Positions for Vertigo
Central positional vertigo is another fairly common issue. This form of vertigo is triggered when structures within the central nervous system do not function correctly. Unlike BPPV and milder sensations of light-headedness, this form of vertigo can leave the suffer feeling as though they are spinning around, even when lying still. Although the effects usually last for seconds or a few minutes, the intensity of the symptoms can be significant.
If you are looking to overcome milder forms of vertigo, you should ensure that your head is properly positioned so you can enjoy more restful sleep. Head positioning is a particularly effective remedy for anyone suffering from BPPV. Elevating your head by around 45 degrees can result in a significant reduction to feelings of dizziness. This level of incline should be comfortable enough for most individuals, although some may not find it suitable for them. Anyone suffering from neck complaints may find that this incline puts additional strain on the neck, compounding on existing symptoms. However, most people will find that head elevation is an easy way to mitigate the impact of vertigo on their sleep. A wedge pillow provides you with a convenient way of keeping your head slightly elevated, without you having to make too much of a compromise on comfort. Wedge pillows are relatively inexpensive and many include adjustable inclines. A more compact travel pillow can be used in lieu of a wedge pillow as interim solution.
If money is no object, you may want to think about purchasing an adjustable mattress or adjustable bed. These are expensive, but those who have been struggling with vertigo for a long time will definitely benefit from such products. Adjustable beds and mattresses will allow you to maintain healthy sleep positions for longer, helping overcome the disorienting effects of vertigo easily. They are also effective at alleviating things like acid reflux, heartburn and snoring. Generally speaking, they will help you enjoy the best sleep possible.
This may seem like an obvious suggestion, but sleeping on your back can be an effective way of overcoming the symptoms of vertigo. In fact, back sleeping is the ideal position for anyone struggling with vertigo. This simple position ensures that the calcium deposits within the inner ear canals are properly balanced, while also preventing fluid leaks that can contribute to more extreme forms of vertigo. If you suffer from BPPV, sleeping on your back should yield significant improvements to your sleep. Provided you maintain the desired position throughout the night, BPPV is unlikely to be triggered. You should combine sleeping on your back with proper elevation to ensure minimal disruption to your sleep, however.
Many people who suffer from vertigo find their symptoms triggered when they awake from sleep and begin to rise. If you have fallen asleep while lying on your back and have maintained this position while sleeping, you are less likely to experience vertigo symptoms when you wake. This is because the inner ear canals are less likely to be disturbed, negating the chance of you feeling unbalanced and dizzy as you rise.
More extreme forms of vertigo that persist for hours or days will require significant lifestyle changes in order for you to overcome them. However, if you suffer from milder forms such as BPPV, it is relatively straightforward to make subtle changes to your sleeping routine that result in significant changes. Adopting a new sleeping position is as simple as lying on your back and slightly elevating your head. Not only will this allow you to fall to sleep more easily, it will also lower the chance of you waking up feeling disoriented.