Do you sometimes feel unbalanced when standing or lying down? The feeling comes from a health condition known as vertigo. It happens to a lot of people at least once in life. For some, it may be a recurring condition that may be hard to explain. Vertigo is unsettling and can disrupt your sleep.

It affects more females than males and mostly targets those above 50 years. It can cause dizziness for some minutes or go for days in some victims. Patients of the condition say that they feel as if the head is spinning. Vertigo can also make you experience a tilting sensation towards one direction. We will focus on the causes of the condition, how it affects sleep as well as how you can manage to sleep when you have vertigo. Find out more!

Causes of vertigo

Some people describe the condition as the fear of heights. Vertigo is not only limited to heights since it can occur anywhere. It comes from a problem with the inner ear. The parts of the ear allow your body to remain grounded. An impairment of a single element is what leads to the unbalanced sensation in people.

The problems linked with the inner ear are known as balance disorders. Vertigo can be a symptom of different balance disorders such as benign paroxysmal positional vertigo (BPPV), Meniere’s disease or labyrinthitis.

Most people who get vertigo have the BPPV balance disorder which occurs when the calcium deposits build up in the ear canals. The inner ear can also accumulate fluids exerting pressure on some parts thus causing the Meniere’s disease. Inflammation can cause a viral infection in the ear resulting to labyrinthitis. In this case, the infection deters the communication with your brain, making you feel unbalanced.

Vertigo and sleep


You change the position of the head when you get to bed and when waking up in the morning. The change in position may stimulate vertigo if your ear canals accumulate calcium deposits. Most victims experience vertigo when they lie down in bed ready to sleep.

The feeling disrupts your sleep and makes you uncomfortable in bed. Vertigo can also delay your sleep for hours leading to sleep deprivation. This leads to feelings of grogginess in the morning. The lack of enough sleep, in turn, affects your concentration at work and leads to bad moods. You may even experience drowsiness while driving.

Others also experience vertigo in the morning as they try to wake up. This also occurs due to the change in your head position as you try to get out of bed. Some positions such as the supine position can also trigger Meniere’s vertigo by letting the ear build up fluids.

Some researchers also report that there is a connection between sleep apnea and vertigo though there is no evidence to support the claims. All in all, vertigo is a condition that can interfere with your sleeping hours. It also comes with other symptoms such as a headache, nausea, sweating, irregular eye movement and tinnitus.

These symptoms can also make it hard for you to catch any sleep. Whether you are experiencing mild or severe symptoms, you should visit your doctor to get immediate treatment.

Preventing vertigo during sleep


You can minimize the risk of vertigo by taking some safety measures. This will help you sleep well and wake up with enough energy for the day. Start with the following

Consider physical therapy

The symptoms of vertigo intensify with inactivity. Physical therapy in the form of vestibular rehabilitation can prevent vertigo by making you physically fit. The treatment focuses on your vestibular system which includes sensory organs such as your inner ear.

The rehabilitation makes such sensory organs rely on other senses to improve balance. A therapist can also teach you exercises which increase hand-eye coordination and strengthen your joints and muscles.

Work on your sleep position


It is advisable for a vertigo patient to maintain the back sleeping position. This prevents the accumulation of calcium deposits or fluids in the inner ear. Side sleeping is not advisable since it makes you tilt your head on one side.

If you are not used to back-sleeping, get enough pillows to support you. Body pillows can help you train how to sleep in your new position. You can also get a new mattress from Bear mattress to help you switch to back sleeping easily. They design different mattresses that fulfill the needs of every sleeper. You can get one specially made for back sleepers.

Elevate the head

If you get vertigo when you enter or try to leave your bed in the morning, you should always elevate your head. Get wedge pillows specifically designed to keep your head raised. You can also use travel pillows to achieve the same effect. Get an adjustable bed which helps you remain in the right angle to keep you comfortable and reduce vertigo symptoms.

Don’t rush when waking up

Try to be slow when getting out of bed in the morning so that your inner ear can adjust to the new position of your head. After waking up, sit for some few minutes on your bed before you stand up to walk. If you have to visit the bathroom at night, follow the same procedure but turn the lights on to avoid injuring yourself if you have any vertigo symptoms.

Reduce stress


A combination of stress and vertigo can cause a lack of sleep for days. Most vertigo patients get depression or anxiety. You should start working on lowering high-stress levels to reduce the symptoms of vertigo. Try calming activities that can boost the quality of your sleep such as aromatherapy, visualization, deep breathing, acupuncture or yoga.

Eat well

A healthy diet also boosts sleep quality. Take foods such as avocado, bananas, leafy greens and fish. You should also remain hydrated by taking enough water since dehydration can trigger vertigo symptoms. Stay away from alcohol and caffeine which not only disrupt your sleep but also cause dehydration.