How should you sleep when you have vertigo?

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Vertigo is a feeling of being imbalanced, dizzy, nauseous, motion sick, & experiencing other vertigo-like symptoms. Vertigo isn’t a disorder on its own. It’s almost always a symptom of some underlying disease that is either diagnosed or undiagnosed. Vertigo is of two types; central vertigo & peripheral vertigo. Central vertigo is caused by issues with the central nervous system. Certain autoimmune disorders like Multiple Sclerosis & Lupus can also be central vertigo causes. Here know about the best Vertigo treatment option.

Additionally, brainstem disorders, spinal cord misalignments, brain injury, & certain head injuries can also be central vertigo causes. Peripheral Vertigo, on the other hand, is caused by an inner ear issue. Ear infections, surgeries, head injuries, neck injuries, & certain inner ear disorders can all be peripheral vertigo causes.

Peripheral Vertigo is easily treated with the help of vertigo exercises, vertigo medicines, & some home remedies. In some cases, it is also possible for peripheral vertigo to go away on its own, without any vertigo treatment necessary.

However, this is almost never true for central vertigo. Central vertigo not only lasts longer, but it is also often chronic in nature & requires constant vertigo treatment & monitoring. Since most attacks of peripheral vertigo are triggered by a change in the position of the head, sleeping in safe positions is especially important for quick & effective vertigo treatment.

In this blog, we’ll tell you about the sleeping positions that doctors commonly recommend for peripheral vertigo patients. But before that, let’s take a look at some of the peripheral vertigo causes & what is the appropriate vertigo treatment for each of them.

Peripheral Vertigo symptoms:

Not every individual with peripheral vertigo will have similar symptoms. Some will have a few symptoms while some others will have different ones altogether. It is also possible for some affected individuals to only experience one or two of these peripheral vertigo symptoms, even during an acute attack. The severity of peripheral vertigo varies greatly between individuals, but there are some general similarities in the core symptoms. Almost all will experience dizziness (though some may not realize it), and paralysis of the legs, arms, or other specific body parts.

However, a peripheral vertigo patient usually has one or more of the below-mentioned symptoms during an attack:

  • Tilting
  • Swaying to one side of the body
  • Sudden dizzy spells
  • Vertigo
  • The sensation of movement even when there is none
  • A spinning sensation or a feeling of the surroundings moving or spinning around
  • Rapid, abnormal, jerky eye movements, also known as nystagmus. Their frequency & degree of randomness can often help your doctor identify which type of vertigo you’re suffering from.
  • Headaches, sometimes of migraine intensity
  • Sweats & chills
  • Photosensitivity & sound sensitivity

Peripheral Vertigo causes:

There are a lot of peripheral vertigo causes that can lead to vertigo-like symptoms in people. Most of these are inner ear issues, and some can be due to head injuries, neck injuries, or certain widespread infections.

Some of the most common peripheral vertigo causes include:

Benign Paroxysmal Positional Vertigo(BPPV):

BPPV as it’s commonly known is an inner ear issue that is caused by the accidental dislodging of tiny calcium crystals inside the middle ear, into the semicircular canal of the inner ear. These crystals are motion-sensitive & thus they create a false sense of motion when they’re inside the inner ear canal. This causes spinning sensations, dizzy spells, & motion sickness in those suffering from BPPV.

Vestibular Neuritis:

It is an infection of inflammation that affects the vestibular nerve of the inner ear. This nerve helps carry balance-related signals from the inner ear to the brain. When it gets inflamed, this transfer of signals gets interrupted which leads to dizziness, spinning sensations, & motion sickness in patients. Usually, the symptoms go away once the infection resolves. However, in some cases, they may linger.


Labyrinthitis is another ear infection that affects the labyrinth of the inner ear. The labyrinth houses the vestibular system of the body which helps maintain balance & coordination. When this organ gets swollen or inflamed due to a bacterial or viral infection, it causes problems with the way the inner ear perceives balance-related signals. This causes dizziness, motion sickness, spinning sensations, & other balance-related signals in people.

Meniere’s Disease:

Meniere’s Disease is an inner ear disorder that is caused by an excessive build-up of fluid inside the ear. This fluid accumulation leads to dizziness, motion sickness, spinning sensations, hearing loss, & a ringing, buzzing, or whistling sound in the ears(also known as Tinnitus). Patients may also feel some sort of pressure inside the ears.

Sleeping positions when you suffer from Peripheral Vertigo:

It’s pretty normal for people to change their head positions as they sleep. However, for patients with BPPV & other forms of peripheral vertigo, any changes in the head position may be a trigger for vertigo attacks.

Something as simple as rolling over in bed, getting up from a lying position, or sitting up in bed can cause vertigo attacks in those that suffer from BPPV. Picking out adequate & safe sleeping positions that don’t trigger vertigo attacks thus, is especially important for those that have BPPV & other forms of peripheral vertigo.

Sleeping in certain positions can greatly reduce your chances of getting a vertigo attack when you move your head. These positions include:

Sleeping on your back:

Most people know that sleeping on the back is the best position for long-term spine rehabilitation, position, structure, & overall balance. People that suffer from chronic back pains are often told to sleep on their backs to provide lasting relief. Sleeping on the back is also a good position for vertigo sufferers as it helps keep their spine centered & aligned, & also holds their neck in position so that any changes in the head position don’t affect the inner ear crystals. Aside from this, BPPV patients should be especially careful about turning over to the side of the ‘bad’ or the affected ear, as it can trigger vertigo attacks.

Making slow, deliberate movements:

If you suffer from BPPV or other forms of peripheral vertigo, it’s important to not make any sudden movements that may affect the equilibrium of the calcium crystals inside the ears. Try not to suddenly turn your head or get up from a sitting position to avoid acute vertigo attacks. Instead, try making slow & deliberate movements to get from one place to the other. For example, instead of sitting up suddenly in bed, try sitting up slowly, moving your head & torso upwards a few inches at a time. Also, while getting up in the morning, try slowly crawling from one side of the bed to the other instead of waking up in a single, sweeping motion. This will significantly reduce the possibility of you getting a vertigo attack when changing head positions suddenly.

Indulge in stress-relieving activities at bedtime:

Stress is one of the most significant contributing factors to vertigo attacks. Therefore, indulging in stress-reducing activities during bedtime is very helpful in reducing the frequency, intensity, & incidence of vertigo attacks during any changes in the head position and sudden movements. Try to limit your screen time to 1 hour before bedtime and read books, listen to soothing music, or take a calming bath before sleeping. All these activities help reduce your everyday stress levels & help in effective vertigo treatment.

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