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HI all! I have been really confused about this one thing lately and just don't know what to do. Some say you should sleep with the head of your bed elevated orthers say your feet? For the past few years I have slept with my feet elevated, gave my head elevated a chance once for like 3 days and couldn't sleep at all, so I went back to having my feet up. Now, I am hearing that I should sleep with my head elevated to reduce reflux, increase blood volume, or strengthen my veins. which is it? Plus how long does it take to adjust to a new position?

does anyone know the objective of either?

My mom brought this up the other day and I don't know if anyone has tried but what about sleeping with both head and feet elevated?You know like those mechanical beds? A problem I have with that is I only seem to sleep on me stomach, would that hurt if I was "u" shaped?

I hope this makes sense to you all.


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The purpose of elevating the head of the bed is to retrain your body. if you're tilted slightly upright, then it shouldn't be quite as difficult to be upright. (eventually) You wouldn't have to worry about a u-shape, because when you do this, you're supposed to prop up the bed frame itself, like by putting bricks under the posts by the headboard. I've heard four inches is a good height.

I know that I elevate my feet when I'm feeling dizzy, like I may pass out, or if I'm having brain fog. I don't usually do it while I sleep.

As far as doing both, I have no idea. I imagine you wouldn't be able to sleep on your stomach that way. Sounds very uncomfortable!


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I raised the head of my bed for a year.....5".....always a poor sleep and always got up with a sore back.

Anyhow, after the year was up I had the bricks removed and things have been better.

But now, I have a new mattress and take a sleep aid before bed. Forget the name.

Have been wondering if I should now have the head of bed raised again, perhaps less than 5".

Mary P

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raising the head of bed is NOT GOOD IDEA for all.

made me worse after a year...come to find out my bp is very low when sleeping...and some do better elevating feet...but good luck finding that article...so little known about it

be careful as raising head can make you feel worse...

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I too read an article that said that raising the head of the bed is not advisable for all of us, that that advice was outdated before they understood as much about how much variance there is between us as they do today. I think that applies to hyperadrenergenic POTS but not the rest of us POTSys . . . or was it the other way around? Does one of the veterans around here know which it is? At any rate, perhaps ask your doctor if that applies to your form of dys??

Personally, I tried sleeping on an angle for a while (head tilted up), just for daytime naps--due to all the hubbub about not lying down on Midodrine--and found it to be miserable. I'm a stomach sleeper too and I think that may have been why, but I guess that's just a theory. It just made me toss and turn. Now I lie flat and am much more content.

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No direct info on which type of dysautonomia does best with the head of the bed elevated, my doctor has not advised me to do that. I was advised to do tilt training at home (standing leaning backwards with my shoulders on the wall) to lengthen the time I could tolerate standing for.

If you are thinking of switching from feet elevated to head elevated I think it would be a good idea to sleep flat for a few weeks before lifting your head to give your body a chance to adjust.

Basically lying with feet elevated causes more blood volume to go to our heads (whilst in that position). It is excellent to be able to lie like that when you are experiencing dizziness but I'm not sure about the effect of sleeping like that long term?

I wouldn't try sleeping with both head and feet elevated (especially whilst lying on your front). You would probably end up uncomfortable and with all your blood in the dip. I've been in adjustable hospital beds where they have put me sitting up with my feet elevated and I usually end up with pressure areas developing (you can guess where) after only a few hours.

Hope you find something to suit you.


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I've wondered the same thing. I sometimes feel faint when lying down in bed and the only way I can get to sleep is by raising my legs/feet, either by raising the foot of the bed or I have a foam ramp (not so good for my back but easier to put in place if I happen to need it one night). It never seemed to cause any long term effects.

I had heard of raising the head of the bed and always thought this would make me worse. I have tried but just can't sleep in that position, so came to the conclusion it wasn't for me.

I used to sleep on my stomach all the time. Not because it is especially comfortable, rather it was like my body wouldn't sleep in any other position. Now I have my POTS and other health problems under better control I hardly ever sleep on my stomach. I always thought I slept on my stomach when my heart was racing, but then I discovered that in fact lying on my stomach raises my HR 10 or 15 points and I tend to sleep like that when my heart rate is low. If I've overdone the midodrine, this problem comes back.

Definitely wouldn't try raising both ends of the bed - I think that is asking for joint problems and I can't imagine it would make POTS any better.

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I've occasionally slept with head raised when I've had a migraine, as my head hurts too much to lie flat. But when ans symptoms are flared, I feel worse if I'm not flat. I usually sleep with my legs a little elevated because of a bad back. (I put a pillow under thighs and another under calves.)

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