The material appearing on is for educational use only. It should not be used as a substitute for professional medical advice, diagnosis or treatment. Healthy Pixels LLC does not endorse and expressly disclaims liability for any product, service, manufacturer mentioned or advertised on this web site.

Sleep – a new angle of repose

Earlier this year we reviewed how breathing improves sleep and overall health. Armed with this information, I experienced the best sleep of my life, forcing air through my nose by taping my mouth shut with gentle 3M Micropore surgical tape. But it gets better. Since late August my sleep quality has got another lift with a simple technique called inclined bed therapy.

By raising the head of the bed 4-8 inches, gravity appears to benefit the nocturnal healing process in numerous ways…

Independent medical researcher and inventor Andrew Fletcher discovered this simple technique to improve conditions ranging from fatigue, nighttime urination, varicose veins, acid reflux, sinus and respiratory conditions, and back pain. One news report documented how a man was able to walk after 10 years of paralysis. Online anecdotes at describe additional benefits for blood pressure, snoring, bowel movements, leg and foot swelling, and hydration.

While some mattresses can mechanically elevate the head, a gradual incline over the full length of the bed is best to retain spinal alignment.

Height adjustable bed risers at the head of the bed may be the cheapest and most convenient way to start inclined bed therapy. Center legs should be supported to prevent damage to the bed.

Alternatively, a full-size wedge of foam may be placed between the mattress and box springs. Whole bed wedge foam can be purchased online. Other companies provide niche solutions including angled mattress foundationsinclined box springs, and inclined, latex foundations. The company that patented MediWedge describes how a full bed incline is more effective than a short one; a short slant of the torso (by mechanical elevation in some beds) may aggravate acid reflux.

A hardware solution involves removing the legs of the bed and attaching 2×6 lumber stacks as risers along the width of the bed at the head and midway points. More construction details can be found at

Inclined bed therapy is yet another exciting example of how we can improve aspects of our health with simple, non-invasive techniques. Sleep is our most powerful ally, and the quality of our slumber is far more important than the quantity.

Medical Anthropologist Sydney Singer writes an entire book on this issue, noting Space Medicine research that links migraines to increased pressure from the horizontal sleep position.

Starting to wonder why we sleep flat? There are no clear answers. We may need to look back in time, as ancient Egyptians used beds that were slanted down by about 5° with footboards at the base.  The Egyptians also built sleep temples to heal the body and analyze dreams.

The most difficult challenge is opening our minds to the possibility that we can change our lives with something so simple and unassuming. Thank you Andrew Fletcher…and the brave explorers who have published their experiences. It took me a few decades to wake up to this new world, but better late than never!

2 comments to Sleep – a new angle of repose

  • Thanks for sharing your experienes with Inclined Bed Therapy! for the latest information you can find us on facebook

  • al norman

    I was sick for days with the flu, it was not going away, I could not sleep, I had headaches and clogged sinus, I tried cold remedy be that added to my inability to sleep, I tried vitamins, but no added benefit, I noticed that every time i sat up in the bed i could breathe, so i put some small blocks of wood under the bed posts at the head of the bead
    I fell asleep within minutes, I hope this works for you.

Leave a Reply

You can use these HTML tags

<a href="" title=""> <abbr title=""> <acronym title=""> <b> <blockquote cite=""> <cite> <code> <del datetime=""> <em> <i> <q cite=""> <s> <strike> <strong>