The C.A.M. Report
Complementary and Alternative Medicine: Fair, Balanced, and to the Point
  • About this web log

    This blog ran from 2006 to 2016 and was intended as an objective and dispassionate source of information on the latest CAM research. Since my background is in pharmacy and allopathic medicine, I view all CAM as advancing through the development pipeline to eventually become integrated into mainstream medical practice. Some will succeed while others fail. But all are treated fairly here.

  • About the author

    John Russo, Jr., PharmD, is president of The MedCom Resource, Inc. Previously, he was senior vice president of medical communications at, a complementary and alternative medicine website.

  • Common sense considerations

    The material on this weblog is for informational purposes. It is not medical advice or counsel. Be smart, consult your health professional before using CAM.

  • Recent Posts

  • Recent Comments

    Raising the head of the bed to treat orthostatic hypotension

    Orthostatic hypotension is an excessive decrease in blood pressure that occurs when a person stands up. It results in reduced blood flow to the brain and dizziness or fainting.

    Researchers in Ireland studied the effects of sleeping on a bed where the head is raised 6 inches.

    First, the details.

    • 100 older adults with chronic orthostatic hypotension were randomly assigned to a treatment group for 6 weeks.
      • Sleeping on a bed where the head is raised 6 inches
      • Control group
    • Changes in mean arterial pressure and symptoms were recorded, as well as a battery of other parameters.

    And, the results.

    • Symptoms improved to a similar extent in both groups.
    • There were no differences in any of the outcomes measured.

    The bottom line?

    The authors concluded, “These findings suggested that sleeping-head-up at 6 inches has no additional effects on symptoms or hemodynamic parameters at 6 weeks than existing non-pharmacological measures in older patients with orthostatic hypotension.

    Telling someone to sleep with their head raised 6 inches is misleading. The objective is to have a continuous 6-inch incline from the butt to the head. Simply sleeping with your head at an angle while the rest of the body is horizontal will do nothing except cause a stiff neck.

    Caution, placing 6 inches of blocks under the legs at the head of the bed places lots of stress on the frame. I’ve bent a metal frame trying it.

    2/20/11 21:07 JR

    Leave a Comment

    You must be logged in to post a comment.