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Can an adjustable bed improve your health?

Can an adjustable bed improve your health?

There are few things more satisfying than curling up in bed at the end of a long day. But getting vertical isn’t comfortable for everyone — especially people with chronic illness, injuries, and breathing issues. Hospitals are outfitted with adjustable beds to aid in disease recovery, and bringing that kind of comfort into your home invites continuous health improvements.

What is an adjustable bed, exactly? An adjustable bed (AB) is a bed base that rises at the head and feet to create alternate angles of rest. Raising your feet aids blood flow and circulation, while raising the head makes breathing easier, and an AB’s ability to pull your body into a sitting position makes getting in and out of bed a breeze. Modern adjustable beds often come with fancy features that will make you feel like you’re sleeping in the future, with under bed lighting, massaging surfaces, sleep trackers, and silent alarms that can be configured with a remote or wireless app.

All chronic conditions stand to benefit from the unique alignment of an adjustable bed, but some diseases respond especially well to controlled recline.

Acid reflux

If you’ve ever opted to lie flat after a big meal, you’ve likely experienced acid reflux, or heart burn. Lying flat aligns your throat and stomach, and sends gastric acid upward through your esophagus. It also contributes to the development of gas. Elevating your upper body 45 degrees keeps stomach fluids where they should be: your stomach. 

Asthma, polycythemia vera, and other chronic lung diseases

When you lie flat, pressure is placed on your neck, which restricts oxygen flow — and this causes people to snore. This oxygen squeeze also heightens the probability of an asthma attack. Many asthma patients are able to sleep through the night with a simple eight inches of elevation. Polycythemia vera is a lesser known rare blood disorder, with symptoms that include difficulty breathing and a racing heart when lying down. This distressing sensation can be relieved with an AB.

Arthritis and back pain

This is where adjustable beds are especially beneficial, including split-king models that allow your bedmate to tailor their side to their needs. The pain of arthritis is ongoing, and back injuries are the number one cause of disability in America. In fact, over 80% of Americans will experience back pain at some point. Head and foot adjustments alleviate sciatic nerve pressure, while a 45 degree adjustment relieves compression. Increasingly, memory foam manufacturers are encouraging customers to use an adjustable bed with a memory foam mattress, so that their body smoothly reclines while cradled by heat-responsive foam. This zero gravity experience is one your spine will celebrate. 


One of the dangers of diabetes is poor circulation, which can lead to neuropathy and amputations. When you elevate your legs, it helps alleviate swelling in your feet, ankles, and legs.


You know the pressure you experience on your lungs after finishing a big meal? A lot of women feel that pressure throughout pregnancy, along with swollen ankles and an aching back they struggle to find relief from as the pregnancy progresses and it becomes more challenging to sit up. An AB helps women get out of bed without assistance, and experience relief in their feet and ankles. 

The price tag of an adjustable bed is intimidating when compared to the dollars you’d surrender for a simple metal frame, but becomes less so when you consider the costs of a medical condition or injury that suffers from lying flat. Financing options are often available for those with fair to good credit, and monthly payments can be lower than the price of a rescue inhaler, or a copayment to a chiropractor. So if your back aches or your breathing worsens while you sleep, an adjustable bed could be the prescription you need.