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Why Does the Head Spin on Getting Out of the Bed?

Every person, at least for once in his or her lifetime must have felt a little dizzy, especially while getting out of the bed. However, there are people, who experience this dizziness of head spin perpetually every time they get out of the bed from sleep or even from a seated position. Though dizziness is a very commonly used general term that doesn’t specify the exact trouble that these people go through, what they actually experience is vertigo.

This means that they experience continuous and uncontrollable spinning of the head. Some feel that their head is spinning and some feel that the room is spinning. Though many people ignore this condition, no kind of dizziness, head spinning, losing balance or facing trouble in waking up from bed due to these symptoms, should be ignored. These are, in fact, indication of something wrong going on inside the body. The problem could be something small or minor, or it could be something serious and life-threatening.

Why Does the Head Spin on Getting Out of the Bed?

The Mechanism of Staying Balanced and Steady

The brain receives message through various organs and body parts and understands the position that the body is in. These messages are sent through various body parts such as the eyes that can see the position that the body is in as well as the position that the body is moving in. The nerves also send signals about the positioning of the body from the legs, arms and other body parts.

The next and the most important body part that helps to send signals to the brain are the ears. Inside the ears, there are fluid-filled semi-circular canals known as the labyrinth. In the inside lining of the labyrinth, there are tiny or fine hairs. When the head moves, the fluid moves and so does these hair. Thus, the movements and the positioning signals are sent to the brain through these hairs. Hence, even when the eyes are closed, these fine hairs can help the brain to know about the body’s position; the brain registers the body position and helps in maintaining the balance. Therefore, it can well be said that the ears play an important role in maintaining the balance, eliminating dizziness and vertigo problems.

Why Does the Head Spin on Getting Out of the Bed?

Head spinning on getting out of bed is a common condition that many people experience. However, it is not a good sign. This is only indicative of something wrong going on inside the body. There are various reasons behind why the body feels dizzy, the head spins and experiences vertigo. These include –

  • Benign Paroxysmal Positional Vertigo: Benign paroxysmal positional vertigo is a very common cause of head spinning and dizziness. As already mentioned, there is a specific role of a certain fluid inside the inner ear that enters the different angular labyrinth canals of the ear. As the fluid enters the different angular canals, it helps the brain to identify and register, which direction the head is moving in. When a special type of calcium carbonate crystals known as ‘ear rocks’ interferes with the flow of this fluid, it causes the vertigo. The brain fails to register the slight movements and feels that the head is spinning. This is caused by different sorts of head injuries or even with age, as the vestibular system of inner ear degenerates. Many disorders can also cause this condition and those, who suffer from benign paroxysmal positional vertigo will experience head spins while getting out of the bed.
  • Meniere’s Disease as a Cause of Head Spinning on Getting out of Bed: In this disease, there is an excessive build-up of fluid in the inner ear. This fluid build-up causes the episodes of severe vertigo and feeling of head spinning. Those, who are suffering from Meniere’s Disease, will experience a strong feeling of head spin while getting out of bed.
  • Head Spinning on Getting out of Bed Can be Caused Due to Migraine: This is yet another cause behind feeling dizzy or head spinning. Those, who have migraine headaches, feel that their head is spinning and experience vertigo during their migraine attacks as well as even at the time, when they are not having a migraine attack.
  • Low Blood Pressure: Those, who have a very low systolic blood pressure, get feelings of vertigo, and may experience head spinning on getting out of the bed. This is more severe as they stand up from a seated position or while getting out of bed. The faster they step out of bed, the more they will feel that their head is spinning. This can be so serious at times that the person may faint or even pass away.
  • Anemia: Patients suffering from anemia experience head spinning and vertigo very commonly. This is more associated with the weakness caused by anemia.
  • Certain Drugs Responsible for Head Spinning on Getting out of Bed: There are certain drugs or medicines that cause the head to feel like it is spinning or feel dizzy as they wake up from the bed. The common drugs are antidepressants, anti-seizure drugs, tranquilizers and sedatives. If you are taking medicines to lower the blood pressure, chances are that the cause of your head spinning is this drug.
  • Low Blood Sugar: Feeling of head spinning on getting out of the bed or experiencing vertigo is often quite common with those, who have a low blood sugar level. Since patients with hypoglycemia have to take insulin, chances are that they will feel dizzy as insulin causes a feeling of light-headedness. When they wake up from sleep or get out of the bed, they will feel as if their head is spinning.
  • Infection: There are certain infections such as vestibular neuritis that cause constant and continuous vertigo and dizziness. However, in this case, the feeling of the head spinning is not concentrated only to sleeping and getting out of bed, but one will feel dizzy throughout the day.

Other Causes of Head Spinning on Getting out of Bed

Apart from these common causes of feeling that the head is spinning while you get out of the bed after a sleep, there are many other minor causes. These causes are not as severe or serious, but can often lead to the feelings of dizziness. These include –

How to Cope with Head Spinning While Getting out of Bed?

If you are getting signs of dizziness and feeling as if the head is spinning while you try and get out of the bed, it is a must that you find the cause behind this and eliminate the root problem. The diseases or other causes that lead to this problem must be treated.

Apart from that you need to make sure that you move very slowly while you wake up from the bed. Fast movements will only worsen the condition. While sleeping, try to rest the head in a slightly elevated position, so that you do not have to lift up the head from a completely different angle. Before you get up, breathing deeply for a few times will always help you to cope with the surrounding. Those, who get the head spinning feelings even after standing up, can try and squeeze both legs by overlapping the thighs. This will give them some relief.


  1. Mayo Clinic. “Dizziness.” https://www.mayoclinic.org/symptoms/dizziness/basics/definition/sym-20050880
  2. American Academy of Otolaryngology—Head and Neck Surgery. “Dizziness and Motion Sickness.” https://www.entnet.org/health-topic/dizziness-and-motion-sickness/
  3. Vestibular Disorders Association. “Dizziness and Balance.” https://vestibular.org/understanding-vestibular-disorders/symptoms/dizziness/
  4. Johns Hopkins Medicine. “Benign Paroxysmal Positional Vertigo (BPPV).” https://www.hopkinsmedicine.org/health/conditions-and-diseases/benign-paroxysmal-positional-vertigo
  5. Mayo Clinic. “Meniere’s Disease.” https://www.mayoclinic.org/diseases-conditions/menieres-disease/symptoms-causes/syc-20374910
  6. American Migraine Foundation. “Vestibular Migraine.” https://americanmigrainefoundation.org/resource-library/vestibular-migraine/
  7. Harvard Health Publishing. “Why blood pressure can drop when you stand up.” https://www.health.harvard.edu/heart-health/why-blood-pressure-can-drop-when-you-stand-up
  8. National Heart, Lung, and Blood Institute. “Anemia.” https://www.nhlbi.nih.gov/health-topics/anemia
  9. National Institute of Neurological Disorders and Stroke. “Vestibular Neuritis and Labyrinthitis.” https://www.ninds.nih.gov/Disorders/Patient-Caregiver-Education/Fact-Sheets/Vestibular-Neuritis-and-Labyrinthitis-Fact
  10. Cleveland Clinic. “Dizziness, Lightheadedness & Vertigo.” https://my.clevelandclinic.org/health/symptoms/17940-dizziness-lightheadedness-and-vertigo
Pramod Kerkar, M.D., FFARCSI, DA
Pramod Kerkar, M.D., FFARCSI, DA
Written, Edited or Reviewed By: Pramod Kerkar, M.D., FFARCSI, DA Pain Assist Inc. This article does not provide medical advice. See disclaimer
Last Modified On:August 9, 2023

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