Last Modified on Sep 03, 2015
Inclined Bed Therapy is the simple practice of raising the head of your bed by four to eight inches in order to improve circulation throughout the body while allowing you to sleep comfortably. You most likely would have come across this idea in the form of a commercial wedge pillow for acid reflux, but this natural treatment can offer the user a number of health benefits.
In particular, those who suffer from GERD or acid reflux often benefit from Incline Bed Therapy because it helps to keep acidic gastric juices from rising up the esophagus. It is also said to offer better circulatory system health than lying entirely prone, as the body somewhat relies on gravity to power the arterial and venous systems of the bloodstream. A wedge pillow is one solution, but various means of elevating your bed (the whole thing) are also described below.
Natural Cures: Incline Bed Therapy may be good for digestive issues such as GERD, sleep apnea and snorers, edema in the legs, skeletal and spine disorders or injuries, back pain, and respiratory conditions.
Remedies for Incline Bed Therapy
The Popularity of Incline Bed Therapy Remedies - Full List
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In response to Saba from who wrote:
Question: About INCLINE BED THERAPY isn't it the same thing as what sleeping on pillows does? Will I have the same effect if I sleep on a firm pillow that is 6inches higher rather than having to raise my bed? Thank you if anyone has any answer
Saba, using a firm pillow will only bend your neck and raise your head. The rest of the body remains prone/flat. Inclining your entire bed by raising it at the head makes the entire body inclined. The feet are lower than the heart, the stomach is lower than the throat, etc. This is what gives you all the benefits being discussed here. I have been sleeping on an inclined bed since 6 months now, and my heart burn / acid reflux is gone! I was prescribed this by a gasteroenterologist as against acidity regulating tabs/syrups.
I have acid reflux only at night. I wake up with a sore throat in the morning. I put bricks under my bed making the head of the bed higher than the foot. (Actually I used one brick and one piece of plywood cut the shape of the brick. However the floor sloped from the foot of the bed down to the head. Thus the net effect was one brick. It was the sloped floor that gave me this idea.) My acid reflux went away. I no longer woke up with a sore throat. This worked for over five years. Then I slept without the bricks for a week. My acid reflux came back. I replaced the bricks. However, my acid reflux had grown worse. I now need two bricks, instead of one.
This might work only for mild cases. I tried it right away as soon as I got acid reflux.
Sleeping position might matter as to whether this cure works. I sleep on my back. I did not adopt sleeping on my back because of the acid reflux. I had slept that way most of my life.
Does anyone know whether some sleeping positions are better than others for acid reflux, i.e. back, left side, or right side? Which way does the connection between the stomach and the esophagus point? Is it the same for all people, or does it vary?
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Posted by William (Klamath Falls, OR) on 05/07/2006
Lifted head end of bed about three inches. Helps, doesn't cure, night time acid reflux.
Posted by Martin (Dublin.) on 01/02/2013
Good Morning from Ireland. Last february(2012) I found that my left Calf muscle was starting to look roaring red and purple and I won't mention the pain and itchiness. I had heard years ago about elevating your feet in order to aid the return of blood to the torso. I googled this to make sure that it was what I needed and I came across your site and read and re-read the IBT to make sure I had it right so I said i'd give it a try and said i'd log my progress and gave it a trial of a calender month.
The first couple of nights I didn't sleep all that well as my body wasn't used to the position BUT during those couple of days I wasn't tired and had noticed that my calf condition was improved. But by week three I abandoned the trial and decided that the IBT was the way forward for me. It has given me Comfort for my calves and a brilliant nights sleep. So i'd just like to say thank you for your information and wish everyone would give this a try. Martin
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Manganui, Northland, New Zealand
Posted by Shetawk (PHILADELPHIA, PA, USA) on 11/30/2008
Incline bed... I raised the foot of my bed by putting shoe boxes between the mattress and boxspring. Foot swelling went away. Didn't want to lower the head by putting risers under bottom legs because it may have caused reflux.
Posted by Gokhals (Ca, Usa) on 09/02/2015 | 38 Posts
Inclined bed therapy has really helped my health as well as many of my friends' health, here in California. I have been sleeping inclined for a few weeks now and its been amazing. Most of my "fatty" thigh lumps have disappeared (many after just one week on the inclined bed), my sleep became deeply restorative, my silent GERD vanished. I do not cough and clear my throat any more, I do not snore any more. My sleep is deeply restorative. I do not get up twice in the night to go to the bathroom any more. I could swear my skin tone has improved.
Two of my friends have greatly improved cellulite on their thighs and varicose veins.
The nature of my urine has changed as well. I collect my a.m. urine to compost (we have a drought, and I read in a book written pre WWII that urine makes great nitrogenous composting material! ). Well it used to be much more dilute before. In the last few weeks, minerals have precipitated out and stuck to the sides and bottom of the urine jar. I should really measure the specific gravity to be more precise. But it appears that by sleeping in this position, you secrete more concentrated urine, with a lot more mineral density.
I wanted to thank Mr. Andrew Fletcher, evangelist of this simple idea for transforming my life.
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Posted by Robert (Chula Vista, Ca) on 04/05/2015
After using incline bed therapy (6 degrees), my blood pressure has gone down from 145 to 112. No more pills! Been on it for 6 months. Large varicose vein has gone down in size. I have twice the energy now and I my restless leg ordeal has gone away. I'm hooked for life.
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Posted by Jennywren (Perth, Western Australia, Australia) on 05/31/2013
Yay. After reading about Inclined Bed Therapy, my husband and I raised the top (head) of our bed by six inches last week as we'd heard there were multiple health benefits with doing this. We bought new, taller bed legs but others have used bricks, books and planks of wood. So I can report back after 10 days:
- I don't get heartburn at night anymore (not to say I don't still have a hernia or reflux, but I just never suffer from heartburn at nighttime)
- My husband's loud snoring has greatly improved (now a gentle murmur).
Others have reported improvement to varicose veins (meant to take 4 weeks: I'm waiting! ), deeper sleeps, more vivid dreams, fixing their backs, fixing their oedema (swollen feet/ankles) and less up and downing to the toilet.
Hope this helps, it's such a simple solution!
Posted by Mario (Dallas Tx, Usa) on 02/20/2013
I have been sleeping in a incline bed for few mounts , so far good improvement, back pain, gone acid reflux better, sleep apnea much better snore gone. The problem is I also have leg pain and to relieve that, I need to put pillows under my legs. I hear that may causes problem later on. Need some opinion, please.
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Dallas Tx, Texas
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Posted by Steve (Las Vegas, Nevada) on 11/24/2012
My Wife and I started Incline Bed Therapy a about a week ago and both notice we are sleeping better through the night, less snoring (we both used to wake each other up with loud snoring) less back pain, we waking up feeling more energetic and with a generaly better mood than before. We used 4 inch wooden bed lifters. Steve
Posted by Beverly (Old Hickory, Tennessee/usa) on 10/09/2009
My husband and I started sleeping on the incline - head about 6-8 inches higher than feet approximately 10 days ago. What we have noticed so far:
1. husband no longer snores (did not sleep with him for several years on consistent basis because of this, even though he had $500.00 dental snoring device after trying every over-the-counter remedy available)
2. We are both sleeping through the night without having to get up and use the bathroom except on rare occasions - we are able to go right back to sleep if we do get up - best few nights of sleep I have had in years.
3. We are both starting to remember our dreams, which I have not had access to in years
4. Stools are more compact without being constipated
5. I am able to sleep in my own bed now instead of the sofa, which I had difficulty doing even when hubby was not in the bed
6. Have started to notice a decrease in husband's blood pressure - will continue to monitor since he is on medication for this
7. Have noticed that I do not seem to be as thirsty during the day
We are pretty much hooked. Will continue to observe how we do with this different mode of sleeping and report any further benefits.
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Kc, Mo, Us
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Roan Mt, Tn
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Mississauga, On, Canada
Posted by Cindy (Kansas, USA) on 10/04/2008
Just wanted to share my experiences with "incline bed therapy" that I read about here on earth clinic.
I've found IBT to be one of those things that one should just do, do now and do for the rest of their lives. I am 100% convinced that people should not sleep flat. Ever.
After sleeping inclined (6 degrees)for 3 1/2 weeks I slept flat for one night. 4 glaring differences were 1) I had to get up in the middle of the night to go to the bathroom, 2) I looked about 20 years older when I got up the next morning, 3) I was extremely dehydrated when I got up (I'm a big fan of the watercure and hydration, in general), and 4) what I thought was fat ankles - which I've had my entire life - was actually edema, which completely disappeared.
I was so amazed by the improved skin tone and younger appearance in the face and the fact that my ankles were no longer fat that I failed to noticed that I wasn't getting up in the middle of the night with a great urge to go to the bathroom. Nor had I noticed that the struggle to keep hydrated had disappeared when I started sleeping on the incline. After sleeping flat for one night, I felt as if I couldn't get hydrated all the following day.
I don't have any health problems, so I can't speak to that, but if one's circulation is disrupted when lying flat, as Mr. Fletcher discovered, then it stands to reason that even a "healthy" person would benefit from a 50% increase in the time the body spends in a state of proper circulation. I can only imagine what it would do for people with serious health issues!
Aside from the occasional experiment, I will definitely be sleeping on an incline for the rest of my life. And to clarify, that is a straight incline. It isn't the "hospital bed" position where only the head is raised.
EC: Thanks, Cindy -- new remedy page created! Question: what did you use to raise the head of the bed 6 degrees, bricks?
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In the sticks, Nevada
Posted by John (Escondido, California - USA) on 02/02/2009
Up until last June, I had been getting up two to four times a night for years due to an enlarged prostate. Then one day I was painting the base of my bed and didn't want to set it back on the floor, so I put a couple barbells under the head to keep the painted base off the carpet. Hit the sack that night and woke up at 5:00 -- couldn't believe that I had slept all night. So, I went to the Internet to do some research and ran across the "inclined bed therapy" concept.
Now I'm at 6 inches high and sleep well every night and only get up once. Also had a cough that would wake me during most nights... that went away. Varicose veins have subsided. My wife no longer snores. This one simple move has changed our lives - and it can change yours. Regardless of the problem you have, try it and see what happens. I don't take any drugs and sleep like a log every night.
Elevating the head of the bed 2" (use 2 pieces scrap 2"x6' board to elevate head of bed) cures acid reflux when you awaken in the morning. Doesn't work all day but its good for a nice part of the morning when you first wake up.