Tips To Make Mornings Easier With Postural Hypotension or Postural Orthostatic Tachycardia

Health & Medical Blog

Postural hypotension and postural orthostatic tachycardia syndrome are two conditions that cause blood pressure to drastically drop when changing to an upright position. The symptoms of both include dizziness, lightheadedness, syncope or near syncope, confusion, and nausea. An additional symptom of postural orthostatic tachycardia syndrome is a rapid heartbeat. Both of these conditions make getting up in the morning extremely difficult for people who have them and downright scary for people with these conditions who live alone. Here's what you need to know and how to make mornings easier to manage.

Why are mornings so difficult? 

The main reason for mornings being so difficult is that dehydration plays a large role in the inability for the body to regulate blood pressure and heart rate. Most people do not keep water or electrolytes beside their beds to drink throughout the night, but patients with these conditions should. A night of sleep without drinking any water or electrolytes causes the body to have very little blood volume. When the blood pools in the lower extremities, a decrease in blood volume causes the blood pressure to reduce even more. 

What should the morning routine be? 

In addition to drinking water whenever they wake up at night, people with either of these conditions have to take getting up in the mornings very slowly, or they risk getting so dizzy they fall over or faint altogether. When living alone, dizziness and fainting can be quite scary and should be avoided as much as possible. Here are a few things to incorporate into the morning routine that may help reduce your risks of dizziness and fainting: 

  • Increase incline by slowly adding pillows behind your head while your body adjusts to being in an upright position. 
  • Drink a full bottle of water or a bottle of enhanced water with electrolytes as soon as possible after waking up, which means keeping a stash of water bottles beside your bed.
  • Take your morning medication as directed before you fully sit up or stand up.
  • If your medication is to be taken with food, be sure to have a protein bar, breakfast biscuit, or other preferred food waiting for you beside your bed.
  • Put compression socks and compression garments on while still in bed to prevent as much blood as possible from pooling in your lower extremities when you change your position.

Since you don't have anyone to help you in the mornings and mornings are difficult, it may be a good idea to sleep with compression socks and garments on. However, ask your cardiologist first before you do so. Also, your cardiologist can give you a recommendation on what compression strength is right for you.


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