7 Benefits of Sleeping With Your Head Elevated

Last Updated on September 21, 2021

by Marc Werner, Founder - GhostBed

What are the benefits of sleeping elevated? Whether you invest in an adjustable power base that lets you raise your head and feet at the touch of a button, or you go the DIY route with a few strategically placed pillows, many people experience better sleep right away when they sleep at an incline. In this article, we’ll explore some of the key health benefits and how this sleeping position might help you, too.

Overview: Benefits of Sleeping with Your Head Elevated

Sleeping elevated with your head raised, in particular, has been shown to have many health benefits, alleviating symptoms of many common issues and helping you get the great sleep that your body needs.

Benefits include reduced snoring and relief from other sleep apnea symptoms, migraine relief and post-nasal drip prevention, among others. Many people also get better sleep by elevating their legs simultaneously.

I. Reduces Mouth Breathing

II. Prevents Post-Nasal Drip

III. Curbs Snoring and Sleep Apnea

IV. Improves Blood Circulation

V. Relieves Shortness of Breath

VI. Eases COPD Symptoms

VII. Soothes Head Stuffiness

I. Reduces Mouth Breathing

If your mouth is dry upon waking, then most likely you are mouth breathing while asleep. Your mouth may naturally open as you’re sleeping because of nasal obstruction (like if you have a cold), nasal swelling, or even just out of habit.

Mouth breathing is associated with decreased lung function, which can in turn affect the quality of your sleep. It can also dry out your gums, increasing your chances of cavities, plaque and gum disease.

Sleeping on an incline can help, though; with your head raised, you’ll open up your airways, which makes breathing through your nose much easier.

II. Prevents Post-Nasal Drip

The body naturally creates about a quart of mucus each day. Most people won’t even notice it, but those with post-nasal drip certainly will as they deal with that familiar trickle down the back of the throat. Post-nasal drip can be detrimental to sleep because it causes you to wake up coughing and hacking as you try to clear the mucus in your throat.

Lying flat allows that mucus to gather in the back of the throat. Keeping the head elevated, on the other hand, can alleviate post-nasal drip because gravity won’t be pulling the mucus back.

III. Curbs Snoring and Sleep Apnea

Snoring may be an indication of sleep apnea, a disorder in which your breathing repeatedly stops and starts as you sleep. Whether it’s actually sleep apnea or just simple snoring, your involuntary noises can cause sleep disturbances throughout the night for both you and your partner.

Sleeping elevated will help to curb snoring and promote better breathing. This helps take the pressure off your airway so it’s easier for you to breathe.

IV. Improves Blood Circulation

There’s a reason that hospitals use adjustable beds for patients with heart issues. Sleeping elevated, with both your head and feet raised in the zero-gravity position promotes blood flow to your heart and helps your circulatory system work more efficiently.

V. Relieves Shortness of Breath

Even if you don’t have a heart condition that affects your circulation, there may be times that you experience shortness of breath while lying down flat. This can be caused by a host of conditions, from medical to psychological. Raising the head of your bed can combat these issues, allowing for better breathing and less chance of being awakened by shortness of breath.

VI. Eases COPD Symptoms

Chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD) actually refers to a group of diseases, including emphysema and chronic bronchitis. People with COPD experience breathing-related problems, especially as they sleep. Essentially, those with COPD may have unhealthy or enlarged lungs, which then flatten their diaphragm, making it more difficult to breathe. Other symptoms like a chronic cough, chest pain, and frequent nighttime urination can also affect sleep. Many patients also have an overlap of COPD and sleep apnea.

VII. Soothes Head Stuffiness

Anyone who has experienced a simple cold or any respiratory ailment understands the uncomfortable sleep that lying flat delivers. This usually happens because your sinus passages can’t drain properly in this position, which results in extra sinus and head pressure.

By sleeping elevated, the mucus will be able to drain more easily, allowing you to sleep more peacefully.

How to Elevate Your Head While Sleeping

Now that you know the benefits of sleeping with your head elevated, what’s the easiest way to get into position? There are a few ways to elevate the head of your bed:

  • Insert a foam wedge between your mattress and foundation or box spring
  • Stack several pillows directly underneath your upper torso and head
  • Use an adjustable bed base

The easiest option, of course, is going with the adjustable base. Designed to work with any mattress type, an adjustable base allows you to quickly and easily adjust your head and your feet elevation, helping you to ease chronic pain as well as relax in style.

Shop GhostBed’s Adjustable Base

For a high-end luxury adjustable base at an affordable price point, GhostBed has you covered. Enjoy maximum comfort and exceptional quality, with additional features like multiple preset positions, USB ports, dual head and foot massagers and under-bed LED lighting. It’s rejuvenation and relaxation, right at your fingertips.

Marc Werner - Founder, GhostBed

Marc Werner

Founder - GhostBed

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After undergoing three neck surgeries, Marc knew what it was like to live and sleep in constant pain. In 2001, after searching fruitlessly for a comfortable pillow and mattress that supported his neck and back ... Learn More


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