Experience Healing Sleep With Inclined Bed Therapy

on Sep 30, 2023| Modified on Feb 17, 2024
Incline Bed Therapy

The human body utilizes sleep as a crucial period for healing and recovery. It's during sleep that vital processes of detoxification and repair occur. However, sleeping on a flat bed might not provide the optimum position for these healing processes to unfold effectively. Inclined Bed Therapy, a method that involves elevating the head of the bed by 6 inches, significantly enhances the body's healing capabilities during sleep. This beneficial sleeping position can relieve and improve numerous health conditions, such as back pain, digestive issues, and sleep apnea.

History of Incline Bed Therapy

Inclined Bed Therapy (IBT) is not a modern-day innovation but has a historical foundation that Andrew K. Fletcher from the UK brought to the forefront. Andrew Fletcher’s extensive research and experiments have paved the way for understanding the health benefits of this simple change in sleeping posture.

In the mid-1990s, Fletcher made a significant breakthrough by establishing the connections between the body's inclination during sleep and improved circulation. His work highlighted how elevating the head of the bed positively impacts blood and lymph fluid movement, emulating the natural gravitational pull and optimizing the body's healing processes during sleep.

Health Conditions Potentially Improved by Inclined Bed Therapy

Experience relief from a variety of health issues with Inclined Bed Therapy. By merely elevating the head of your bed, you may notice significant improvements in conditions, including:

  • Acid Reflux
  • Heartburn
  • Sleep Apnea
  • Snoring
  • Poor Circulation
  • Swollen Lymph Nodes
  • Varicose Veins
  • Back Pain
  • High Blood Pressure
  • Edema
  • Nighttime Frequent Urination
  • Insomnia

Why Does Inclined Bed Therapy Enhance Health?

The efficiency of blood and lymph circulation is significantly hindered when the body is flat, as gravity impedes their free movement. Inclined Bed Therapy counteracts this by gently sloping the body while sleeping, promoting optimal circulation. Enhanced circulation means more oxygen-rich blood is distributed throughout the body, and lymph fluid moves more freely. This efficient flow is vital for the body's nightly tasks of repair and toxin elimination.

Imagine a stagnant pond with no fresh water circulating through it. Now, think of a river, continually flowing, clear, and pure, thanks to gravity and a natural incline. Similarly, ensuring continuous blood and lymph flow during the night using Inclined Bed Therapy supports overall health improvement by boosting the body's reparative and detoxification processes.

How to Elevate Your Bed for Inclined Bed Therapy

To start experiencing the benefits of Inclined Bed Therapy, you can use bricks or blocks to elevate your bed. Alternatively, specialized 'bed risers' are available online to streamline the process.

For newcomers to Inclined Bed Therapy, it’s advisable to begin with a modest 3-inch elevation. Assess the impact and your comfort with this new sleeping position. If the initial elevation brings noticeable improvements and comfort, you can elevate your bed to the recommended 6 inches after a week or two.

Have you tried Inclined Bed Therapy?  Please send us some feedback! Continue reading to read about the impressive results our readers have experienced with this natural remedy!

Acid Reflux

9 User Reviews
5 star (8) 
4 star (1) 

Posted by Anthony (Mysore, India) on 12/15/2014

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.

Replied by Linann
(Newton, Nc)

Hi, my husband suffers gerd and we have raised our head of bed with bricks, he has no gerd now, but I cannot sleep like that, I wake every morning with shoulder/ low back pain, I told him I couldn't sleep with him after 24 yrs of marriage, lol I'm going to get a twin bed to put next to him so we can still be together, have you heard of anyone else not being able to sleep in an inclined bed? Ty


Linann, when I first started the IBT I too had shoulder, back and neck pain for the first week to where I almost set my bed back down. Then it was gone! I can say I woke up one morning and had no pain at all. it was through researching I found out this is normal as sleeping inclined like that elongates and aligns the body. I started out at a 6" incline and when the pain started I put the bed down to 4" until it was gone, then went back up to 6" with no pain at all. Maybe you can tough it out for at least a week to ten days and, if your hubby can manage his gerd at the 4" raise for the week and then back up to 6". I so promise you the pain you feel will go away, and it is so worth the several days of getting use to sleeping like that and the aches and pains.


Persevere, you won't regret it!


Same here, however, after a couple weeks, no more pain!


Nothing in this world can take the place of persistence.

(NSW Australia)

I've slept on an inclined bed for years - love it - don't like it when I'm compelled to go flat. I ached for a few days at most when I began but it was soon gone. I tell everybody about it. I've just put my 101 year old neighbour up on a 3" brick for her swelling ankles. The swelling hasn't gone down yet and perhaps wont until we go higher but she is sleeping better and not paceing the floor with restless legs. Another elderly neighbour tried it for painful and swelling legs and the very first morning after told me that her usual morning giddiness wasn't there... Persist and go have a Swedish massage to the aches! Maybe not so high. For slipping - get a footboard on the end of the bed. You can push up on that.

Acid Reflux
Posted by Todd (San Jose, CA) on 02/12/2008

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?

Replied by Laurie
(Springfield, Va.)

Acid Reflux Remedies: Hi, In answer to Frank's question about sleeping positions, it is thought, though doctors aren't sure why, that sleeping on the left side is best for acid reflux. Re the bricks under the bed. As someone else on the site pointed out, it is imperative to raise the head of the bed, either by using bricks, or by purchasing a foam pillow that is raised at the head. The recommended height is from 6" to 8", depending on tolerance. My husband just put the bricks under the front legs of my bed, as I found the foam pillow to be uncomfortable, and I finally did not wake up with acid in my mouth, and a sore throat. I have not tried the natural remedies listed on your site, but I plan to! I HAVE used a drug called Zegrid, which is Omeprozole and baking soda in a long-acting capsule, but I think I might prefer to just try the baking soda and see how that does. Thanks for all the ideas.

Replied by Jeannie

To cure acid reflux, take a flat teaspoon of bicarbonate of soda every 12 hours for 6 weeks. It will be gone!

Replied by Robert
(San Antonio , Texas)

Could it be that you have silent reflux and not acid reflux? Silent reflux only impacts you at night because the flap in your stomach is not closed and lets the acid out. So you don't actually have too much acid. If you have acid reflux it impacts you at any time of the day or night because you have an acid problem.

Acid Reflux
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.

Replied by Maggie

Inclined bed therapy requires the bed to be raised a minimum of 6 inches at the head of the bed.

Replied by Mmsg
(Somewhere, Europe)

Maggie, I've seen impressive results in taking down swollen feet, with less height.

Acid Reflux
Posted by Susan (Concord, NH)

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.

Acid Reflux, Edema

1 User Review
2 star (1) 

Posted by DFORCA (Sequim, WA.) on 01/18/2021

I've tried raising the head of my bed six inches, because of acid reflux.

Had a bad dream, I dreamed that I was on a shear mountain rock wall inching my way along a narrow ledge.

What did work, was laying on my right-side, this seemed to remove the pressure of the stomach contents coming back up the throat.

Now, I just go to bed with an empty stomach and sleep on either side.

I've tried raising the foot of my bed six inches, to try and reduce the foot swelling.

It didn't work for me, what did work, was placing an extra comforter folded up into a large garbage bag.

I placed that under my calves for about an hour.

My feet didn't look normal, but, the swelling had gone down noticeably, I was able to tie my shoe laces without my feet hurting.

Replied by Cindy
(Illinois, USA)
432 posts

Drink two glasses of water then set the timer on your phone to go off in 2 hours. When it goes off, drink down - I.e. no sipping - 8 ounces of water and reset the timer. The next time it goes off, drink another 8 ounces of plain water and do that throughout the waking hours.

People will tell you that you're merely diluting the acid and they'll be right but that's one of water's jobs, in the body, and if you're not getting enough water to support all of the other bodily function AND keep the acid diluted, your body is going to be too busy trying to keep you alive to deal with the acid issue. Everything your body does requires water. Every heartbeat. Every movement. Creating enough blood volume to pump blood and oxygen to the brain to keep you upright and conscious. Your very survival.

This won't rehydrate you because acid problems are proof that one has been dehydrated for a very long time and rehydrating a chronically and profoundly dehydrated body and getting everything back on track can take YEARS. Years of cleaning up the mess, repairing whatever damage its caused that CAN be repaired and just the general bodily duties BUT, you will feel better TODAY and every day from this day forward, if you do this. And if you get off track again, you'll know it because you'll recognize that feeling of an acid attack approaching and you can stop it in its tracks with those first two glasses of water.

(faithville, Us)

I have some experience on rehydration. The body is very interesting . When it thinks there is a shortage it hoards stuff. Kind of like me I suppose. Then, when you get a bunch of that stuff the body at first keeps hoarding it ....too much water can kill you and I was learning about water and salt years ago. I had a bad week of trying to do too much salt and water too fast . Start low dose and slow with any addition of exercise or food or liquid or supplements or creams or oils or inhalants. Use CAUTION so you don't have to suffer or die.


What about trying apple cider vinegar? It should work as well as it alkalines the body

Replied by Cindy
(Illinois, USA)
432 posts

For "edema", rebounding. Get the lymphatic system circulating. If you have to, bounce on the edge of the bed, sitting far enough back that your feet are off the floor. The lymphatic system doesn't have a heart or any other physical pump, other than YOU and that motion will do the pumping. Plus, it just feels good so, BONUS!

Andrew Fletcher, Inventor

1 User Review
5 star (1) 

Posted by Andrew (Devon) on 10/02/2018 4 posts

Thank you all for discussing and testing my theory on Inclined Bed Therapy.

Kind regards,

Andrew K Fletcher


Back Muscle Tightness

1 User Review

Posted by Suzieq (East Alabama) on 10/03/2018

I have been sleeping inclined for about a year now. I experience tightness and pain of my upper back and neck muscles. This has persisted despite the multitude of ways I've tried adding pillows to support different parts of my body. All I can think is that my upper back and neck are trying to keep me from sliding down the bed and are tensing up??? This is despite the fact that I put a pillow under my hips for that purpose.

Any help and suggestions would be GREATLY appreciated, because I'd like to continue sleeping this way.

Thank you.

Replied by Mmsg
(Somewhere, Europe)

Suzieq, lower the incline of your bed. It seems too high for you. A lower incline gives just as many benefits.

Back Pain

1 User Review
5 star (1) 

Posted by Cindy (Illinois, Usa) on 06/22/2016 432 posts

I've been sleeping on an incline for over 10 years and love it. I doubt I could sleep flat, even if I wanted to. But I just discovered something AWESOME about my inclined bed. It helped but I actually cured my indigestion, acid reflux and hiatal hernia with water- I haven't had any of the acid symptoms since I drank two glasses of water, the very first day I heard about it. That said...

I used to go to the chiropractor 2 or 3 times per year for neck problems and such but I saw an inversion table on tv and they talked about neck problems but ONE woman said that it cured her carpal tunnel - which I also had - so I got an inversion table and, sure enough, no more carpal tunnel AND no more visits to the chiropractor. They immediately bleeped out the woman's comments about carpal tunnel but I had already heard it so...but that's not the AWESOME part!

The AWESOME part is that with an inversion table, you don't have to go completely upside down to get the benefits. And because it is so big and awkward to set up and take down, I'd been procrastinating with regard to actually doing it but one day I was particularly sore and trying to figure out something I could do to relieve the soreness enough to actually wrestle the inversion table up and usable and I looked at my "inclined bed" and thought that since I don't actually have to go all the way upside down, I wondered...if I laid on it the wrong way around...would that provide some traction? And it DID!! And it was AWESOME!!

I laid with my head at the foot of the bed, rolled up in a sit up to sort of stretch out my spine. Then I put my arms straight over my head for a few seconds and stretched, then twisted my torso one way and stretched, then the other way and stretch and then I pull my knees up to my chest for just a few seconds, got up and felt like a new woman! It wa shocking!! I couldn't believe it!

So, now, after a day hunched over the keyboard, I lay the wrong way on my inclined bed and stretch. It's like a whole new life - a whole extra half a day of feeling good and sleeping good and just overall awesomeness!

Replied by Maria Cuevas

Hi, Was wondering if you could elaborate on your comment about the two glasses of water that provided relief from acid reflux. When did you drink the two glasses of water and how often during the day. Was the drinking of the water related with your experience with the inclined bed? I get night time acid reflux. Thanks for any info you can provide..


4 User Reviews
5 star (4) 

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

Posted by Mmsg (Somewhere, Europe) on 06/27/2011

when I would get swollen ankles, I would elevate my feet in an "L" against the wall. It helped. but now that my bed is 2 inches higher at the head, I find I get up with non-swollen ankles even without elevation.

Replied by Mmsg
(Somewhere, Europe)

It's been about a year since I have raised my bed headboard about an inch or an inch and a half. I had read about Inclined Bed Therapy here and on Andrew Fletcher's site and figured a small lift won't hurt.

Well, I'm happy to report that even now in the HOT summer days, when my feet tend to swell, they are "drained" to normal by morning. Previously I would put them up by the wall, forming an L while laying on my back. Last night my feet were so swollen, I was sure I would have to do that, but wanted to "test" out the IBT on such swelling, and I am happy to report that this morning the swelling was gone!

So even a small incline does do something good!

Replied by jerry

Gravity is still working while you are sleeping, that is the purpose of the inclined bed, A little confusing about raising your legs for Edema I'm hearing to do it both ways for swollen legs and ankles. do we want gravity to pull blood to our swollen ankles or not?

I was just diagnosed with Edema from High Blood Pressure, Doc said to raise my legs to help with the swelling, Gave me Lisinopril for the high blood pressure but I can't bring myself to take it, the side Effects seem worse the n the problem, I'll stick to ACV for that Problem. I think I caused this problem by drinking Liquid IV Hydration Multiplier, it contains 500 MGs of Sodium, didn't think of that when I went to the Doctors who told me to limit my salt intake so I read everything now.

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.


1 User Review
5 star (1) 

Posted by Beth (Israel) on 06/04/2017

We love the ibt, have been with it for probably 8 years!

We started because of swollen feet in pregnancy so for the swelling it is amazing but for the varicose veins I can't really say!!! Would love to hear if u have more home remedies for them.

EC: Hi Beth, Here's our page on Varicose Veins.


1 User Review
4 star (1) 

Posted by Awreeve (Asheville ) on 11/06/2021

I have been using Inclined Bed Therapy for 7 months, 5”. Prime reason for insomnia. I believe it helps to keep me asleep, but I wake up in the early hours, 3-4 am with my feet and lower legs off the mattress and I need to climb back to the top. Does anyone else have this issue? Any suggestions how to stay in the bed? My sheets are eucalyptus, not silky, the mattress is multilayer foam Nectar Premier. Platform bed, no boxspring. Any advice would be greatly appreciated!

Replied by mmsg
(somewhere, europe)

Awreeve, lower the bed. It works even with less of an incline.

MS, Back Problems

1 User Review
5 star (1) 

Posted by D (Wisconsin) on 11/08/2016

I started IBT about a year ago after being diagnosed with MS and searching the web for "natural" ways to manage it I came across Andrews video and the written info. I had nothing to lose by trying it and, now, I gained everything! I have not had to be treated (medication wise) for the MS, I was also at the door step of having to have back surgery, which I did not want and kept putting it off. Now, I don't need an excuse to put off surgery as I have no more back issues.

This is the by far the best remedy for so much I have ever came across and, it's free! I don't have to have surgery and as of date I don't for see myself having the need for MS medication/therapy.

I can't ever see myself sleeping flat again...One thing thou that is really hard is sex. We were never "schedulers" and now when the bed is not raised it's fun time. Yet, those times when one wakes and the mood is there the incline becomes a challenge. Sometimes to the point where we end up on the floor. If anyone is as bold as me and can give suggestions it would be greatly appreciated.

All in all, our health; body, energy, sleep and dreams have been renewed.

Replied by Kelly
(The Netherlands)

Can I ask how much higher the head of the bed is and the length of the bed? I read here:

'For hospital type beds, a length of 3/4 inch plywood cut to the size of a mattress, placed under the mattress will allow the mechanical mechanism to tilt the whole bed when the head end is raised.'

So an adjustable bed base and a piece of wood could work. I was advised to go for at least 1-inch thick wood.

Multiple Cures

10 User Reviews
5 star (10) 

Posted by sleepwell (New South Wales Australia) on 09/30/2023

I've slept on an inclined bed for years. Love it, hate it when I have to sleep flat when visiting others. I think it's the fresh air feel in my lungs I can most pinpoint. I also don't get up often throughout the night as previously. I've shared the therapy with friends. One elderly friend suffered from dreadful chillblains in her feet every winter leading to gangrene. She has improved vastly and the condition returned when she moved and didn't have her raised bed for some time. Another elderly neighbour woke with swollen, painful ankles one morning so I popped her up 3 inches and the pain started to subside BUT the interesting unlooked for benefit was her morning giddiness on rising. I've now put my 101 year old neighbour up 3 inches. She is ready for me to take her up to 6 as, while her ankles are still swollen, she is sleeping better and not pacing the floor at night with restless legs. I only suffered achey back for a day or two when I first adopted the method. I have a foot rest at the end of my bed and I'm tall and my feet can touch it though I don't press against it - haven't needed to. My doctor friends (obgyn and cardiologist) adopted IBT and put me on to it. I do it for health.

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