How Should You Sleep with Vertigo?

natural remedies for vertigo

One of the many struggles of people who have vertigo is getting quality sleep. And unfortunately, the lack of which can trigger more intense, dizzying spells that could last for a few minutes to an hour.

If you experience the same problem, chances are you have a hard time attending to your usual tasks at home or work. To help you get around that, let’s take a look at vertigo as a symptom and the natural remedies for vertigo that you can try.   

What is Vertigo?

Most people use vertigo and dizziness interchangeably. However, it’s important to note that they differ a bit from each other. When you go to your doctor to report dizziness or vertigo, you need to point out specific details, such as the symptoms that come with the episodes and other pre-existing conditions.

You can tell that you have vertigo attacks and not simple dizziness based on the sensation you experience. For example, do you feel like everything around you is spinning, or do you only feel lightheaded? How about the accompanying symptoms? Do you also experience nausea, vomiting, ringing in the ears, migraine, or sensory sensitivity during the episode?

If you answer that you feel like you’re in motion even when you’re still and suffer from additional symptoms, you have vertigo.

What’s Causing My Vertigo?

While it’s tempting to immediately scroll through the section where we discuss the natural remedies for vertigo, it’s equally important to understand what’s causing your symptom. This way, you can ensure that the method you choose can provide you with much-needed relief. 

Essentially, vertigo arises from a malfunction in the vestibular system, a group of tiny bones inside the ears. This system takes charge of sending signals about your head’s motion or your body’s orientation to the brain.

Unfortunately, for patients like you, your vestibular system isn’t working as it should, so you end up feeling like you’re in motion, even when you’re perfectly still. To give you more ideas, let’s look at the common causes of vertigo.

  • Meniere’s disease

Meniere’s disease is a rare ear disease, affecting only 0.2 percent of the US population. If you’re diagnosed with Meniere’s, this means that you have an abnormal build-up of fluid inside the ears, causing ear congestions, temporary hearing loss, tinnitus, and severe bouts of vertigo.

  • BPPV (benign paroxysmal positional vertigo)

One of the most common causes behind vertigo is BPPV. When you’re diagnosed with this condition, it means that the ear rocks or calcium crystals located inside your inner ear get displaced somewhere along the ear canal.

When this happens, your brain gets tricked that you’re moving, when in fact, you’re not in motion. Often, the symptoms worsen when you change your head’s position.  

  • Vestibular neuritis and labyrinthitis

Besides the two common causes we listed above, labyrinthitis and neuritis also trigger mild to severe vertigo attacks. These are both ear infections that can cause a lot of problems to the ear. 

They affect the vestibular nerve, which transmits signals concerning motion and balance to your brain. As a result, the signal transmission gets disrupted, causing loss of balance and sensory disturbances. 

natural remedies for vertigo

Living with Vertigo – Natural Remedies to Improve Sleep

When sleeping at night, it’s common to roll your head on the bed to find a comfortable position. However, because you have vertigo, this can be quite challenging.

If you’re diagnosed with BBPV, this triggers vertigo quite quickly. If, on one hand, you got diagnosed with Meniere’s, lying on your pillow increases fluid buildup. This can increase ear congestion and, later on, bouts of dizzying spells. 

It can be quite a frustrating ordeal, especially once the symptoms start to show. How should you sleep with vertigo? To improve your situation and decrease your chances of triggering another vertigo attack, here are some practices you can try:

  • Lay on your back when you sleep

You’ve probably read a lot about how laying down on your back when sleeping provides you with the best support for your spine. But, besides that, it can also improve the quality of your sleep.

With this sleeping position, you can keep the calcium crystal from migrating to places where they shouldn’t be. Also, it’s quite handy in minimizing fluid build-up.

  • Stick to a good sleeping routine

Aim to create a sleeping habit that works for you. You can do this by maintaining a regular sleeping and waking-up time. You can also explore relaxation options such as aromatherapy, meditation, and warm baths before you sleep.

As much as possible, you should also skip caffeine, heavy meals, long screen exposure, and alcohol a few hours before bedtime. 

  • Move slowly when you wake up

Instead of pacing out of the room when you wake up, you should opt to make small movements. By doing so, you can minimize vertigo intensity and frequency.

Aim to transition from a lying position to a sitting and standing position as slowly as you can. This way, you can help your inner ear adjust and adapt to your head’s position and orientation. 

  • Exercise, Stretching, and Meditation

Another common trigger of vertigo is stress, so these are a few things you can do to manage stress on a daily basis. Instead of clearing your mind when you meditate, try to focus on positive things. Use exercise and stretching to strengthen your core which may also improve your posture.

  • Quit Smoking

If you don’t smoke, good for you – don’t start. If you are a smoker, now is the time to give it up for good. Smoking is terrible for the health of your neck in general, and it can work against your attempts to relieve vertigo. Additionally, smoking negatively impacts blood flow and oxygenation, which can worsen vertigo symptoms and hinder quality sleep. Quitting can make a huge difference in both areas.

  • Low-Salt Diet

This is specifically for when vertigo is related to Meniere’s disease. Meniere’s is triggered by too much fluid (called endolymph) in the inner ear. This can lead to severe bouts of vertigo as well as tinnitus (ringing in the ear), hearing loss, and a feeling of fullness in the affected ear. A low-salt diet can help manage fluid buildup in the inner ear, reducing the frequency and intensity of vertigo episodes. Additionally, avoiding caffeine and alcohol, especially before bed, can promote better sleep quality and minimize the risk of triggers.

  • Don’t Move Suddenly

Again, head movements are a major culprit when it comes to the onset of vertigo. Unless you are in an emergency situation, whipping your head around is a terrible idea if you suffer from repeat episodes. Also, avoid activities that will whip your head around. Sorry, but that rules out thrill rides like roller coasters as well as high impact sports.

Upper Cervical Chiropractic Care for Lasting Vertigo

Vertigo ultimately stems from one of two sources. Peripheral vertigo diseases affect the ear and throw off balance and spatial orientation in this way. Central vertigo conditions affect the central nervous system, causing signals that are sent from the ear to be misinterpreted by the brain. Either way, the result can be a spinning, swaying, or tilting sensation. How are both types of vertigo related to the upper cervical spine?

  • Peripheral Vertigo – The top bone in the neck, the atlas, is located at the base of the skull. This puts it right in between the ears. One theory on how the atlas affects the ears is that it can restrict the Eustachian tubes from properly draining away excess fluid from the ears. This, in turn, can lead to severe vertigo and even Meniere’s disease, a rare vestibular condition.
  • Central Vertigo – The atlas surrounds the brainstem. Even a slight misalignment can affect brainstem function. Also, the cervical spine facilitates blood flow to the brain, so misalignments can keep the brain from getting all of the oxygen it needs. Clearly, for optimally central nervous system function, a properly aligned atlas is necessary.

We’ve put together a 5-step plan to help our readers get rid of vertigo the safe and natural way, by seeking upper cervical chiropractic care.

Step 1 – Discovering Upper Cervical Chiropractic Relief

You’re well on your way because you’ve already reached this step. So many patient testimonials start with the patient saying that he or she had never heard of this subspecialty in the chiropractic field. Hopefully, this article along with others on the Upper Cervical Awareness blog will help you to learn about this effective means of helping vertigo and many other conditions, providing long-term results.

Step 2 – Setting Up the Initial Visit

This is often as simple as making a phone call or submitting an online contact form. The tricky part is finding a practitioner near you since the number of chiropractors who use upper cervical techniques are a small fraction of the field. One way to locate a practitioner in your area is to use the search feature on this site. It will help you to locate one of our preferred upper cervical chiropractors in your area.

Step 3 – A No-Obligation Consultation

Most practitioners offer a free (or low-cost) consultation. This will help you to determine if upper cervical chiropractic is a good option for you. There is no obligation. If you don’t like what you hear on the initial call or the first visit, you are free to walk away and give something else a try. What we find is that most people who get to speak with a practitioner about upper cervical chiropractic realize the potential benefits when it comes to vertigo and many other health problems. This helps to build anticipation for the results.

Step 4 – Patient History, Diagnostic Imaging, Examination

Now we start getting to the root of things. Not in all cases, but frequently, a patient history helps to identify a possible cause of an upper cervical misalignment. Perhaps you were in a car accident or suffered a sports injury. Horseback riding injuries are also common. However, even a slip and fall can lead to an upper cervical misalignment. Then there are wear and tear causes such as an office job where the desk is not set up in an ergonomic way or someone who does a lot of driving. Unfortunately, we do sometimes run into cases where the injury was caused by things like an assault or domestic abuse.

After the patient history is completed, it is time for some diagnostic imaging. X-rays and thermographic imaging are popular among upper cervical chiropractors. Modern imaging techniques are important for two reasons. First, they ensure that there is no structural damage to the neck that would make it unsafe to provide an adjustment (adjustments are gentle and inherently safe, so this would be rare). Second, we use the imaging to precisely measure the degree of misalignment. This allows us to customize each patient’s adjustment for maximum results.

Finally, you will get a physical examination before your adjustments and at the start of each visit. This involves checking things like leg length and whether the hips and shoulders are even. We’re not going to take x-rays every visit, but we also don’t want to adjust your atlas if it has stayed in place since your last correction, so the physical examination is an important part of the process.

Step 5 – Your Personalized Cared Plan

The first adjustment sets you on the road to recovery but depending on how far off the alignment is and how long the vertebrae have been out of place, you may need to return for your next examination and possible adjustment within a few days to a week. The longer your adjustments hold, the further you can spread out your exam appointments. That also makes upper cervical chiropractic a cost-effective form of care.

Vertigo may be a very common ailment, but that doesn’t mean you personally have to live with it. Find an upper cervical chiropractor near you to see if this is the right solution for your vertigo problems.

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The content and materials provided in this web site are for informational and educational purposes only and are not intended to supplement or comprise a medical diagnosis or other professional opinion, or to be used in lieu of a consultation with a physician or competent health care professional for medical diagnosis and/or treatment. All content and materials including research papers, case studies and testimonials summarizing patients' responses to care are intended for educational purposes only and do not imply a guarantee of benefit. Individual results may vary, depending upon several factors including age of the patient, severity of the condition, severity of the spinal injury, and duration of time the condition has been present.