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Does raising the head of your bed really make a difference?


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Hi I wanted to get people's opinions on raising the head of your bed. This is commonly suggested as a means of increasing plasma volume/reducing nocturnal urine volume, but there is no actual evidence that it works as far as I can see. The only studies I can find that mention this have applied it in combination with other measures, one with fludrocortisone and Levine's exercise studies. 

I have had the head of my bed raised on blocks since pretty early on after developing POTS, and cannot say it has made any positive difference other than I am less comfortable, don't sleep well and often wake with symptoms associated with being "upright". It concerns me that my brain is possibly needlessly going without its full potential blood flow at night, as well as obviously during the day which can't be helped.

I understand that this measure could have a role in people with supine hypertension, but I am not in that subgroup.

I am also currently looking into getting evaluated for a possible CSF leak as I have EDS and all my symptoms were triggered abruptly by a very forceful Valsalva. If this is the case, then lying flat would obviously be preferable. 

Please chime in with any thoughts and experiences! I think I am going to ask my husband to remove my blocks this weekend. 

B x

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I couldn't raise the head of my bed because the bed frame is fixed to the wall .I tried propping up with pillows but as I sleep on my side that didn't work out well. 

I just wanted to say once I got my sleeping patterns better I started to see improvements in a number of my symptoms. It took about 18 months to get my sleep better and I still get insomnia occasionally . 

I have allergies so my Dr changed my antihistermines to one that causes drowsiness,  I practise meditation and mindfulness along with relaxation and breathing techniques. 

There are some interesting threads on pheonix rising about this 

 

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@bombsh3ll I have alternated between raising the head of my bed and not even having pillows at all. The reason I tried raising in the first place was because I would get very congested and had a hard time breathing while laying flat. However, nowadays that symptom just comes intermittently - doesn’t matter if it’s raised or not, so I just lay on two pillows now which is kind of a medium. Like you, I cannot say confidently that raising the head of the bed actually does anything. 

Keep us updated once the blocks are removed!

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I tried raising the head of my bed by about 6 inches.  Much to my surprise I did not need to pee as often in the middle of the night.  I can go about 6 hours now before needing to pee again.  Yes, I am taking Clonidine, which helps decrease the need to pee as well.  Raising the head of the bed resulted in an added effect on top of that.

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I actually removed half the blocks last night, taking the top end of my bed down from about 30cm to 15cm, and had the most comfortable night in a long time. No sliding down or waking multiple times to crawl back up the bed again! I didn't wake up to pee any earlier either, & my orthostatic intolerance, which is severe regardless of what I do, wasn't any worse, so I think I will leave it at the current level.

B x 

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I am confused - I was always told to elevate the TOP of my bed for GERD symptoms and the BOTTOM of my bed for POTS related cerebral hypoperfusion … so I just did not ever elevate anything. You guys are saying you elevate the TOP of the bed for POTS? 

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