What is inclined bed therapy and what can sleeping on a sloping bed do for your health?
Well, it is simply an alternative to sleeping laying completely horizontal. It involves raising the head of your bed, so it is on a gentle slope. The height of the bed head in relation to the foot most commonly used is 6 inches, but less or more are also used.
Inclined Bed Therapy or I.B.T. was used by the Ancient Egyptians 4000 years ago. Since the early Dynastic Period at least beds frames were of unequal length, with the bed sloping slightly from head towards the foot end. Here is one example:
I.B.T. has been shown to help people with serious illnesses which in include multiple sclerosis, ccsvi, Parkinson’s disease, psoriasis, acne,spinal cord Injuries,varicose veins, oedema, circulation and respiratory conditions and many more.
And not only that, it is just good for your general health. Not only has it been shown to vastly improve a number of conditions, sleeping in a tilted position apparently will add a few years to your life span.
While it will seem a little silly to anyone reading this for the first time, sleeping on an inclined bed does in fact have numerous health benefits and a whole heap of testimonies from people all around the world. It is all about gravity.
Andrew K Fletcher, who discovered the benefits of inclined bed therapy, was fascinated by the way in which water moved up trees via their roots. He was curious as to how gravity and the flow of water would effect the human body. So, he placed some bricks under the head of his own bed with startling results. Within four weeks, his wife’s varicose veins had all but disappeared. Since then the use of inclined bed therapy has helped many, many people for a range of varying health issues.
Inclined Bed Therapy: Discovered by Andrew K Fletcher, who has shown beyond any shadow of doubt that gravity plays a vital roll in the circulation of fluids and that posture in relation to the constant direction of gravity is of paramount importance when restoring function to all neurological and non-neurological damage.
Conditions this therapy has helped include: Parkinson’s Disease, Multiple Sclerosis, Cerebral Palsy, spinal cord injury, short term memory loss, heart conditions, blood pressure, respiratory problems, psoriasis, thrombosis, varicose veins, oedema, optic nerve damage, bladder infections, scoliosis of the spine, leg ulcer, gangrene, even completely restoring sight in supposedly irreversible optic nerve damage caused through long term progressive ms, to the point where a lady with long term damage to the optic nerve, who could not make out the edge of her monitor, completed an Open University degree and can now legally drive a vehicle on the road without wearing glasses. Confirmed by her ophthalmologist.
I have selected a few good links below for you to check out and also a video which explains how inclined bed therapy works and what it can do. But first …
How Do I Incline My Bed?
There are “accessories” that can make this easy, but really all that you need to do it to place a block of wood underneath the legs of the bed at the head end. If you are only raising it three inches then this is really easy.
If you are raising it a lot higher and (pardon me) you are very heavy, then you may need to put a support in the middle of the bed as well.
Pictured on the left is the very simple way I raised my son’s bed by three inches. I just used a 3″ X 3″ length of wood under both the bed legs.
If you have a very heavy bed and do not want to do major changes, then using a couple of little car jacks under the edges of the bed, pump it upwards, so you can slip a piece of wood or some risers in underneath.
However, if all that sounds too hard, then you can buy risers (blocks) to raise your bed very cheaply.
Pictured below is one option that is available on amazon. This is a really good set as they are adjustable. Each riser set includes four large and four small riser cups that that you can use either on their own – or stacked. This gives you a maximum height of 8 inch. And at the time of writing they cost a little more than $20 – probably cheaper than doing it yourself.
I Sleep On A 9 Inch Inclined Bed
After trying it out for myself for a month or so, I decided to make it permanent. My own bed is inclined to 9 inches and I couldn’t sleep any other way now, I love it! My bed itself is a wooded frame with slat base for mattress. When I first realized I wanted my bed inclined permanently, I took it apart, cut angled ends on the side boards and re-assembled so the slatted base sat at a permanent six” angle.
Then I wanted more height, so I have simply put a 3″ board along the length of the headboard, under the bed’s feet. This has raised the head of my bed a total of nine inches. For stability, you could use a 4″ board and chisel some little 1″ hollows if your bed has wheels or small feet, for them to sit in.
At nine inches, I find that the bed clothes do tend to slide off sometimes, and that can be a little annoying. If you are a “wild” sleeper, you may like to just stick with 6″ where the blankets usually stay put.
Do Not Rush Into Inclined Bed Therapy:
As with starting off into any new thing that will have an effect on your health, it is not recommended to immediately start sleeping on a 9 inch slope. What is recommended is to do it incrementally. Try 3 inches for a few weeks, then if you are OK with that you can raise it to six inches. After another handful of weeks and you want still more, then you can try out sleeping on a 9 inch slope.
What Research is There On Inclined Bed Therapy:
Well, since there is obviously no money to be made here, you won’t find large corporations doing a whole lot of research into it! However, there has been many years of self funded research and reporting done by Andrew Fletcher, himself. And, there are an incredible number of reports from individuals who have used I.B.T. themselves and some have had amazing rewards from it.
From article Dispelling the Night-Time Frequent Urination by Andrew K Fletcher reprinted at Chris Gupta’s New Media Explorer
During my research on the angle in which we sleep, I have worked with many people suffering from a whole range of illnesses, including multiple sclerosis. During my work with MS, it became clear that when horizontal bed rest was avoided in favour of inclined bed rest, with the head end fifteen cm or six inches higher at the head end, night time urine frequency was resolved in almost every single case, and there were many. Also oedema was resolved and this flies in the face of the current gravity/physiology relationship.
In order to determine what was happening with oedema and urine frequency, my wife and I conducted an experiment which involved measuring the specific gravity (density) of urine during different sleeping postures. We measured, horizontal bedrest, head down tilt bedrest and head up inclined bedrest. What we found was remarkable and can be tested by anyone using a simple hydrometer, the type used in home brew kits, to determine the density of urine.
Horizontal bedrest, produced a urine density lower than normal daily activity. Inclined bedrest produced urine density substantially higher that either horizontal bed rest head down tilt bedrest and normal daily activity and as we eat and drank the same during 3 weeks of measuring our urine the results were even more compelling.
But here is the crunch for this simple experiment. Head down tilt produced urine of near water density, no salts or minerals were being excreted in the urine! Which means that the salts end up in the bladder because of the effects of gravity on the salts and our posture in relation to the effects of gravity on said salts!
An additional effect of gravity on the body in the head up tilt position is the production of more heat during the night and this increases evaporation from the respiratory tract and skin, therefore reducing the amount of urine we produce and increasing the density of the urine produced.
Increased night time frequency of urination does not necessarily indicate prostate problems in males, it does how ever indicate that there might be something wrong with sleeping flat in both males and females.
Andrew K Fletcher
Video on Inclined Bed Therapy:
In the video below, John Cann Walks after eleven years of paralysis using an inclined bed. Simple, effective, cheap and totally life changing!
If you have read this far, you are probably keen for more information. Below I have a list of good links on I.B.T. for you to have a look around.
- Andrew K Fletcher’s website
- ERegimens website
- MS Multiple Sclerosis Community Forum on Inclined Bed Therapy
- Learn Yoga At Home
- Exercise Helps Stress
- Am I At Risk For Back Pain