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Dizziness When Lying Down

There can be a host of reasons why an individual experiences dizziness when lying down. This article will help you understand the various causes behind this kind of discomfort experienced when you lie down.
Rutuja Jathar
Last Updated: Apr 16, 2018
Dizziness is a generalized term, and it can mean different things to different individuals in different situations. A few may use this term to describe loss of balance, and giddiness, whereas some others might say that they are feeling dizzy if they stumble, or think that everything around them is spinning. Generally, dizziness is not associated with any serious condition, as it is a commonly experienced symptom. However, to be on the safer side, an individual should get himself checked by a doctor to know the exact cause. This specific symptom is quite obscure, and might be a result of a wide range of factors. A person may experience dizziness when lying down as a result of various mild to severe causes. Let's get into the details about what causes dizzy spells when lying down.

What Causes Dizziness?

Many people complain about feeling dizzy, particularly when lying down and getting up. Damage to the inner ear is one of the main reasons that leads to dizziness while lying down. Along with that, there are a few general causes behind this sensation, which have been briefly explained below.

Benign Paroxysmal Positional Vertigo (BPPV)

BPPV is the feeling when one literally feels the world spinning around him, and it is said to be one of the most common causes of vertigo in the United States. It is caused by the lack of movement of several small particles that comprise calcium stones inside the labyrinth, which is present inside the inner ears. These particles are supposed to move inside the ears, but when their movement gets obstructed, it can cause a person to lose balance and experience a dizzy spell, that usually lasts from a few seconds to one or two minutes, while lying down. This may occur more in elderly individuals due to degeneration of the inner ears, and in youngsters due to a head injury. The feeling of extreme unsteadiness is also often observed when a person is suffering from this type of vertigo. This condition can also cause nausea, along with the dizziness.

Ménière's Disease

This is mostly seen in those individuals who are already suffering from vertigo and BPPV. Ménière's disease is actually a disorder of the inner ear, caused by the collection of excess fluids within. In this case, dizziness is also accompanied by hearing loss, roaring in the ears, and tinnitus or loud ringing noises in both the ears. An individual might also feel a series of tintinnabulations in the ears.


When the body lacks sufficient water due to reasons such as heavy physical exercise, spending too much time in the sun, or simply not drinking enough water, it may get dehydrated and result in the person experiencing dizziness while standing as well as while lying down. This is because, dehydration is one of the causes of low blood pressure, which results in lack of sufficient blood flow to the brain, and dizziness is one of its symptoms.


Many a time, dizziness is known to be one of the side effects of several types of medications. This happens because the body takes time to adapt to the medication. Antihistamines, several sorts of sleeping pills, antidepressants, hypertension medicines, etc., can be a few reasons for dizziness when lying down.


Anxiety symptoms and several other mental conditions can lead to dizziness. Panic attacks, especially at night, may develop the feeling of being lightheaded, and lead to hyperventilation, and eventually dizziness. Dizzy spells while laying down can also be a symptom of a condition known as post-traumatic stress disorder, though this is quite rare in occurrence.


Aging is the biggest natural factor that can cause dizziness while lying down. Although, it is only observed when a person is already suffering from a particular medical condition. Severe problems with several body organs can lead to trembling of the body parts, and general wear and tear of the brain nerves can cause lightheadedness and dizziness.


This condition is more common in women than men, and is characterized by a severe recurring vascular headache. An individual may experience an acute and intense throbbing pain in one particular area of the head. Nausea, dizziness, vomiting, and utmost sensitivity to sound and light, are the other symptoms that one might experience.
Few Other Reasons for Dizziness

↬ Anemia (low red blood count)
↬ Alcohol or drug abuse
↬ High or low blood pressure
↬ Hyperventilation
↬ Arteriosclerosis (hardening of the arteries)
↬ Menopause
↬ Depression
↬ Syncope (insufficient blood to the brain, leading to loss of consciousness)

Ongoing consumption of alcohol and drugs, and even non-prescribed over-the-counter medications, can lead to dizziness. In most cases, feeling dizzy when lying down can be normal; for instance, as a result of fatigue or lack of sleep. However, it is the severity of the feeling of dizziness that is the main issue that needs to be addressed.

Something Important

Few Self-care Tips

∘ Drink 8 to 10 glasses of water daily, and also consume other fluids. This keeps the body well-hydrated.
∘ Keep off smoking and caffeine, as they curb the blood flow, and result in severe dizziness.
∘ While lying down or getting up, make sure you are slow in your movements. Frisky and jerky movements too lead to dizziness.

☎ Dial-a-doctor immediately if...

... you feel chest pain along with the dizziness.
... you experience shortness of breath.
... you go through some kind of changes in your vision or have slurred speech.
... you experience heart palpitations.
... you have seizures.

Treatment Options

If you feel dizzy once in a while when you lie down, it can be ignored; but it's always a good idea to have every reason for the dizziness explained, if the sensation is more frequent than usual. Uncertainty of the cause and recurring episodes of dizziness definitely requires medical attention; this is particularly important when the dizziness upon lying down is accompanied by headaches, nausea, weakness of the limbs, numbness of body parts, chest pain, palpitations, or slow pulse rate, and several other symptoms that seem inexplicable. The treatment for this sensation depends upon the cause that your doctor evaluates.

Always remember that, dizziness, in general, may be a symptom of a severe illnesses and not an illness itself. As such, they should not be ignored, and need to be diagnosed and treated at the earliest.

Disclaimer: This HealthHearty article is solely for informative purposes, and should not be used as a substitute for professional medical advice.