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Dizziness When Getting Up From Laying Down

by
author image Erin Beck
Erin Beck began writing professionally in 2008 as an opinion columnist for the West Virginia University student newspaper, "The Daily Athenaeum." She has worked in health promotion at the university and as a communications intern at the National Alliance on Mental Illness. She has a Bachelor of Science in journalism and a Master of Public Health, both from West Virginia University.
Dizziness When Getting Up From Laying Down
Dizziness can make you feel like you're going to faint. Photo Credit Pixland/Pixland/Getty Images

Dizziness when getting up from lying down is called postural or orthostatic hypotension. It can occur when the brain receives incorrect information about the body's position in relation to its surroundings and movements. While dizziness is usually not serious, talk to a health care provider if you experience dizziness often. It could signal an underlying health condition.

Types

Types of dizziness include vertigo, dysequilibrium, light-headedness and mixed dizziness, according to the Merck Manual of Health and Aging. Vertigo is the false sense of motion or spinning. Dysequilibrium is a sense of unsteadiness or loss of balance that involves the legs or trunk. Light-headedness is a feeling that fainting may occur soon. This type of dizziness usually occurs when a person gets up quickly after sitting or lying down for awhile. Mixed dizziness is a type of dizziness that does not fit in the other categories.

Mechanism

A dramatic fall in systolic blood pressure can cause you to feel dizzy after standing up too quickly, according to MayoClinic.com. Normally, gravity causes blood to collect in your legs when standing. To ensure enough blood returns to the brain, your body increases your heart rate and constricts blood vessels. In people with postural hypotension, this mechanism fails.

Causes

Postural hypotension can be due to dehydration, prolonged bed rest, pregnancy, diabetes, heart problems, burns, excessive heat, large varicose veins and certain neurological disorders, according to MayoClinic.com. Drugs used to treat high blood pressure, antidepressants, drugs used to treat Parkinson's disease and medications used to treat erectile dysfunction can also be to blame. Postural hypotension can even occur in young, otherwise healthy people, and is generally harmless.

Prevention

To prevent dizziness when getting up from lying down, try moving slowly, MayoClinic.com recommends. Before getting up, breathe deeply for a few minutes. If the problem occurs when you get up from sleeping, try lying with the head of your bed slightly elevated. If you begin to get symptoms while standing, overlap your thighs and squeeze, or place one foot on a ledge or chair and lean forward as far as you can.

Treatment

Mild dizziness rarely requires treatment. If your dizziness bothers you and is caused by medications, your doctor may change the dose or type of medication. If your dizziness when standing up is recurrent, your doctor may prescribe the medication fludrocortisone.

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