Reviewed By: Pramod Kerkar, MD, FFARCSI

What is Dizziness?

Dizziness is a feeling of lightheadedness where a person feels as if he/she is fainting; or Dizziness can be described as if the surroundings are moving around when actually there is no movement (vertigo).

Dizziness is a term, which is often used generally where people use this term to describe varying type of sensations, such as of giddiness, loss of balance, stumbling when walking etc. Dizziness is a very commonly experienced symptom and is generally not a cause for concern and is often not linked to any serious condition; nevertheless, it is advisable to get yourself checked by your physician if you are experiencing dizziness regularly. Dizziness can encompass a broad range of factors, such as falling, whirling, tilting, feeling off-balance or spinning feelings and one of which is dizziness when lying down. So what causes dizziness when lying down? Read on to know more.

8 Common Causes of Dizziness When Lying Down

8 Common Causes of Dizziness When Lying Down

Given below are the 8 common causes of dizziness when lying down:

  1. Labyrinthitis

    Labyrinthitis is caused by infection of the labyrinth and is a form of vertigo. The cause of Labyrinthitis is often a virus, but can also occur as a result of bacterial infection. Labyrinthitis can cause a strange sensation of moving even when a person is still and also causes dizziness when lying down.

  2. Benign Paroxysmal Positional Vertigo (BPPV)

    Benign Paroxysmal Positional Vertigo or BPPV is a medical condition where a person feels as if everything is moving around him/her. BPPV is a frequent cause of feeling dizzy when lying down. Normally there is movement of multiple small calcium stones around the labyrinth region of the inner ear. In Benign Paroxysmal Positional Vertigo, the movement of these stones gets hindered, which causes dizziness in the patient even when lying down. The dizziness can be felt for some seconds to 1 or 2 minutes and commonly occurs in elderly individuals who have inner ear problems and young individuals who have experienced an injury to the head.

  3. Stress and Anxiety

    Stress and anxiety is one of the major causes for feeling dizziness when lying down. Panic attacks, which are associated with anxiety, can cause dizziness when lying down along with hyperventilation. Patients suffering from post-traumatic stress disorder can also suffer from dizziness when lying down.

  4. Medications

    Dizziness upon lying down can also occur as a side effect of some prescription medications. So, it is important to check your medications if you are feeling dizziness when lying down. Medications, which can cause dizzy feeling when lying down, include prescription medications, OTC medications, food supplements and herbal remedies. If the culprit medicine has been detected then it can be switched to some other medicine or stopped to treat dizziness when lying down.

  5. Overheating or Dehydration

    Dehydration which can occur from heat exposure, lack of proper diet, long distance travel is a frequent cause of experiencing dizziness when lying down. A person can also feel dizzy upon lying down when suffering from hypoglycemia and drinking fruit juice can help resolve the dizziness. Whenever a person is having dizziness when lying down, then they should try to get up slowly and eat and drink something.

  6. Aging

    Aging gives rise to many ailments, which can include tremors, loss of balance, not being able to focus and dizziness when lying down. All these can occur as a result of degeneration of the nerve and brain tissue.

  7. Hypotension

    A person also feels dizzy when suffering from hypotension or low blood pressure. In hypotension, a person feels dizzy when getting up suddenly and can also experience dizziness when lying down. So it is important to address the hypotension to get rid of dizziness when lying down by following a good diet, rest and medications if necessary.

  8. Other Causes of Dizziness When Lying Down

    Other causes of dizziness when lying down include carbon monoxide poisoning, heart arrhythmias, misuse of recreational drugs, hypoglycemia, migraine and vertebrobasilar insufficiency.

Ways to Get Rid of Dizziness When Lying Down?

In order to get rid of dizziness when lying down it is important to treat the underlying cause for it. For diagnosing the underlying cause of dizziness when lying down the doctor will conduct an ENT exam, do a general check up and other investigations such as:

  • CT or MRI scan of the head.
  • Investigations to test balance.
  • Testing the nerve function.
  • Cardiac check up.
  • Blood tests.

Depending on the results, the doctor can recommend various things to get rid of dizzy feeling when lying down, such as rest, medicines or balance exercises.

Ways to Prevent Dizziness When Lying Down

To prevent dizziness when lying down, you should avoid making any rapid changes in your position (either body or head) when lying down, such as turning or twisting your head.

  • Substances which hinder blood circulation such as salt, caffeine, alcohol, tobacco should be cut down.
  • Avoid stress to prevent dizziness when lying down.
  • Keep yourself hydrated and drink plenty of fluids to prevent dizziness when lying down.
  • Remove all the substances from your life to which have an allergy.

When To Seek Help When Experiencing Dizziness When Lying Down?

Immediate medical help should be sought if you are feeling dizziness when lying down accompanied with the following:

  • Dizziness after a head injury.
  • Severe headache.
  • Persistent vomiting.
  • Neck stiffness or high fever.
  • Fainting.
  • Seizures.
  • Loss of hearing.
  • Chest pain.
  • Palpitations.
  • Trouble breathing.
  • Speech or vision changes.
  • Inability to move an arm or leg.
  • It is also important to seek medical advice:
  • If you are feeling dizziness for the first time.
  • If you see a change in your symptoms of dizziness.
  • If you experience dizziness after taking any medicine.

Also Read:

Pramod Kerkar

Written, Edited or Reviewed By:

, MD,FFARCSI

Pain Assist Inc.

Last Modified On: May 31, 2018

This article does not provide medical advice. See disclaimer

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