How to Raise the Head of the Bed

Written by andrea lott haney
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Certain medical conditions, such as chronic congestion, sleep apnoea, gastro-oseophageal reflux disease (GERD) or frequent heartburn, can make sleeping on a mattress parallel to the floor uncomfortable. If you suffer from GERD, one recommendation from the National Institute of Diabetes and Digestive and Kidney Diseases to help relieve symptoms is raising the head of your bed. Raising the head of your bed elevates your upper digestive tract, and helps keep the acid in your tract flowing downward while you're sleeping instead of creeping up and waking you due to discomfort. Raise the head of your bed to help relieve other discomforts, or to give you more general comfort at night.

Skill level:
Moderately Easy

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Things you need

  • Wood blocks
  • Wood glue
  • Hammer
  • Nails
  • Wedge bed support

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  1. 1

    Glue together wood blocks using wood glue until the blocks are 4 to 6 inches tall.

  2. 2

    Secure the wood blocks to the legs at the head of the bed using a hammer and nails. This will keep the bed from slipping off its risers.

  3. 3

    Place a wedge support under the top half of your body, or under the top portion of your mattress, if your bed design makes it impractical to tilt the entire bed.

Tips and warnings

  • Help reduce reflux symptoms at night by eating your main meal early in the evening, and taking a walk or remaining upright for a couple of hours after eating. Avoid nighttime snacks.
  • Leading an overall healthy lifestyle, including maintaining a healthy weight, exercising and monitoring medical problems, such as high blood pressure and diabetes, can help reduce your need for a tilted bed over time.
  • Do not try to prop yourself up with pillows at night. Pillows bend your abdomen in a way that constricts the digestive tract, increasing the risk of reflux and other problems.
  • Problems such as sleep apnoea and GERD may signal more serious health problems, such as heart disease or high blood pressure. See a doctor and do not attempt to treat yourself solely at home.

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