Sleeping on an incline or Inclined Bed Therapy (IBT) as it’s more commonly known, has many health benefits that often aren’t talked about. It essentially involves elevating your bed frame or mattress on the head end, meaning that you would be falling asleep at a slight angle.
Generally it’s recommended to elevate the bed or mattress by 6” (15cm), but it’s also worth noting that you can reach this level of degree incrementally. In turn, this should leave your bed at an incline of 5 degrees from the standard horizontal position we usually have our beds. Even Ancient Egyptians slept on an incline, so it makes you wonder if they were onto something…
What are the benefits of IBT?
- Helps the digestive system
When we lay flat, our food isn’t easily digested because we don’t have gravity to help us. However with IBT, gravity helps food move through the digestive system quicker and easier, and in turn this helps prevent unpleasant things like constipation.
- Prevents snoring and sleep apnea
Sleeping on an incline promotes better breathing and discourages mouth breathing. IBT un-obstructs the passage for nasal breathing, which can therefore help prevent snoring at night. For those who sleep with a partner, it means they won’t be as distrubed.
- Can help people with autoimmune and neurological diseases or spine injuries
Research has been conducted that demonstrated that people with Parkinson’s, multiple sclerosis (MS) or spinal cord injuries had noticeable improvements after sleeping on an incline. Although there isn’t much scientific proof to say it helps alleviate symptoms, there are many testimonials out there that praise the benefits of IBT in order to help relieve their symptoms.
- Helps relieve migraines and improves the glymphatic system
Sounds confusing, right? Let’s start with the latter. Basically, when we sleep our brain has the ability to flush out ‘waste’ that accumulates throughout the day. When we lay flat, gravity isn’t working in our favour and discourages glymphatic drainage. Over time, this increases pressure on our eyes, ears and sinuses. This relates to migraines too: studies have revealed that those who sleep at an incline who suffer from migraines felt improvements in several days. Overall, gravity helps promote glymphatic drainage which can improve how we feel when we wake up.
How do I achieve an incline on my bed?
One way to achieve a bed incline is through an electric bed. These are great as they are simple to operate at the controls, and allow you to easily alter how inclined you want your mattress to be positioned. There are also cheaper ways of achieving this, using a wedge pillow or wedge mattress underneath your current sleeping solution.
There are plenty of other benefits about sleeping on an incline, so if you’re interested in giving it a try then you should delve deeper into your own research. It can take some people a long time to feel the benefits of sleeping on an incline, whereas others can feel benefits from the first night. This means doing your own research is vital to explore what will work for you.
So, what do you think about Inclined Bed Therapy? Have you done it before? Or are you interested in doing it? Let us know in the comments…