vertigo-and-sleep-how-to-get-a-better-nights-rest-with-vertigoVertigo is the sense of motion when there is no motion, a symptom that a chiropractor in Seneca, SC help patients for. Many of us have experienced a brief dizzy spell, whether it was from pushing yourself too hard at the gym, riding the tilt-a-whirl at the amusement park, or from dehydration.

However, vertigo is different than what we usually think of as simple dizziness or that feeling you get if you’re afraid of heights.  Vertigo sufferers experience severe spinning, tilting, swaying, or pulling sensations that can make it impossible to feel like you can regain your balance.  Other symptoms that frequently accompany a vertigo episode include nausea, vomiting, headache, tinnitus (ringing in the ears), sweating, and irregular eye movements.

Perhaps one of the most challenging aspects of living with a vertigo-causing disorder is getting a good night’s rest.  Changes in head position can trigger vertigo episodes. Many people will have their first attack of vertigo lying down to go to sleep or rolling over in bed.  Read on for some helpful information that can help you rest easier.

I Think I Have Vertigo – What Can Be Causing It?

Vertigo is usually caused by a disorder in the vestibular system, which includes the inner ear and the areas of the brain that process information related to balance control and eye movements.  The most frequently diagnosed vertigo-causing vestibular disorders include:

  • BPPV (benign paroxysmal positional vertigo)

Small crystals of calcium, usually referred to as canaliths or otoconia, that are typically embedded within the inner ear can break loose.  Once free, they can migrate into other areas of the ear where they disturb normal fluid movement and can send confusing signals to the brain about head position.  It is estimated that up to 80% of vertigo cases can be attributed to BPPV.

  • Meniere’s disease

Abnormal fluid buildup in the inner ear occurs in Meniere’s disease, resulting in the feeling of fullness in the ear, tinnitus, fluctuations in hearing loss, and severe vertigo attacks.

  • Vestibular neuritis and labyrinthitis

An infection, usually viral, can inflame the inner ear or the nerves that connect the inner ear with the brain.  This inflammation causes a disruption in the communication of sensory information from the ear to the brain resulting in vertigo, balance troubles, and changes to hearing and vision.

Vertigo and Sleep

It is normal to change positions through the night as you’re sleeping.  However, for vertigo sufferers, this can prove to be problematic. In cases of BPPV in particular, changes in head position can trigger a vertigo attack.  For Meniere’s diseases sufferers, lying down in bed can allow fluid and pressure to build in the inner ear. When vertigo begins to disrupt your normal sleep cycle, the effects can snowball quickly.  Sleep deprivation and the anxiety over whether or not a vertigo attack might happen can impair your mood and ability to focus, which in turn can magnify vertigo symptoms. Not only can vertigo wreak havoc on your life when you’re awake, but it can also start to rob you of much-needed sleep.

To reduce your chances of having a sleep-disrupting vertigo episode, there are some things you can start doing now that can help:

  • Sleep on your back

You’ve probably heard that sleeping on your back is the best position for your spine, but it is also the sleep position of choice for vertigo sufferers.  Sleeping on your back may keep fluid from building up and may prevent calcium crystals from moving where they don’t belong. Sleeping on your side, especially with the “bad” ear down, can trigger a vertigo attack.

  • Go slowly upon waking

Though it may be tempting to just pop up out of bed in the morning, if you’ve been dealing with vertigo, it’s worth it to take your time.  Moving slowly and intentionally to make your way from lying down to sitting, and then to standing can minimize the chances of an episode. Let your inner ear adapt to new head positions gradually, whether you’re waking up in the morning or to use the restroom in the middle of the night.

  • Create a stress-relieving bedtime routine

Stress can zap your ability to fall or stay asleep, and can also increase the odds of having a vertigo attack.  Create and stick to a routine leading up to bedtime that will leave you feeling relaxed and ready to sleep. You may include things such as yoga, meditation, aromatherapy, journaling, reading, and taking a warm bath.  Avoiding screen time, caffeine, alcohol, and heavy meals in the hour or two before bed can also help.

Looking at the Neck for Long-Term Vertigo Relief

If you’ve had the experience of moving your head and neck and experiencing a vertigo attack as a result, it should come as no surprise that the neck plays a significant role in vertigo conditions.  Head position and neck alignment are inseparable. Where the head goes, the neck must follow (and vice versa). A misalignment of the vertebra that’s positioned at the junction of the head and neck, the atlas (C1), can hold the key to lasting relief for vertigo sufferers.

Upper cervical chiropractic is a branch of chiropractic that hones in on this delicate area.  Through the use of precise diagnostic imaging and other exam procedures, a personalized adjustment is crafted for each patient, allowing for an extremely gentle and specific correction.  

Getting the atlas corrected can aid in proper head position, inner ear drainage, and optimal processing of balance signals.  Many vertigo sufferers in the Seneca area have found lasting relief with this natural, effective technique. If you’re looking for a chiropractor in Seneca, SC, visit our website at www.uppercervicalseneca.com to find out what sets us apart, and then contact us to schedule your complimentary consultation.

References:

https://vestibular.org/labyrinthitis-and-vestibular-neuritis

https://www.aafp.org/afp/2010/0815/p361.html