Are you spinning, dizzy, or nauseous when lying down or rolling over? Below are some helpful things you can do if you get vertigo when lying down or rolling over in bed.

WHAT TO DO WHEN I HAVE VERTIGO FROM LYING DOWN OR ROLLING OVER

People who feel vertigo when lying down or rolling over have an option to stay put in that position and “wait it out.” Vertigo when lying down or rolling over in bed usually lasts for less than one minute.

The other option is to sit up or prop up on at least two pillows to interrupt the vertigo experience. This of course depends on how you feel, because some people are unable to move safely to sit up while they are having vertigo and they have to wait it out.

WHAT CAUSES VERTIGO WHEN LYING DOWN OR ROLLING OVER?

Most often vertigo when lying down or rolling over in bed is caused by BPPV, Benign Paroxysmal Positional Vertigo. The good news is that simple BPPV can be resolved in 1-2 sessions of “particle repositioning maneuvers” about 85-90% of the time.

The bad news is that finding a skilled provider who can treat BPPV is not easy, because it requires a clinical specialty. You can search for a provider who performs “particle repositioning maneuvers” at vestibular.org.

HELPFUL STRATEGIES?

In the meantime, you can use the following strategies to manage the vertigo when lying down or rolling over. This technique is called the “active rest.”

  1. Sit on a chair or lie down propped up on at least two pillows, if possible.
  2. Keep your head still.
  3. Concentrate on the points of contact between your skin and the supportive surface.
  4. Either stare at a vertical line, or close your eyes if your eyes are bouncing around, whichever feels better.
  5. Take slow deep breaths to try to remain calm.
  6. Avoid moving back into any “provoking positions” or triggering motions, until you are evaluated and instructed by a Vestibular Health Care Professional (BPPV expert).

For example, if you got the vertigo rolling onto your left side, then don’t do that again until after you are treated by a BPPV expert.

HOW TO MANAGE THE VERTIGO GOING FORWARD

Eventually, you will resume all normal activities with the help of a skilled provider. But until BPPV is resolved, you might just make yourself feel miserable.

Note: Vertigo when lying down or rolling over in bed is most commonly caused by BPPV, but it can also have other causes. Your Vestibular Expert can assess you for other root causes as well.

LEARN MORE

For more information on managing vertigo and a video link, check out this blog post at BetterBalanceInLife.com called “FAQ: How Can I Manage an Episode of Vertigo?

 

Disclaimer

This blog is provided for informational purposes only. The content and any comments by Dr. Kim Bell, DPT are not intended to be a substitute for professional medical advice, diagnosis, or treatment. Always seek the advice of your physician or other qualified health provider with any questions you may have regarding a medical condition. The details of any case mentioned in this post represent a typical patient that Dr. Bell might see and do not describe the circumstances of a specific individual.

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