British Lung Foundation
34,288 members41,681 posts

Raising head of the bed ?

Hi everyone,

I have bronchiectasis and asthma, and just to egg the pudding, a hiatus hernia causing reflux. I was advised to raise the head of my bed to help with this as the acid has caused Reike's Odema, (sp?) a swelling of my vocal chords. So yesterday i raised the head of my bed by about 4/5 inches and when i got up this morning my chest was really tight and painful, and i have beenn huffing and coughing all day trying to clear the mucus with very poor results, so still tight chested and miserable.

So i wondered if anyone knows if my sleeping with my top half raised may have caused the congestion problem, as I have been fairly well for the past couple of weeks.

11 Replies

ooh, confused now. Dad has his raised alot, he has one of those support thingies like you get in hospitals. we were told that it makes it easier for him to breathe than laying flat and so far dad agrees, no probs there.


hi Puff, I had the same problem with my hiatus h and bronch..... I have got rid of the acid completely by food combing and raw green juice. Food combing optimises the digestion and if done properly will stop all acid pain & reflux....very quickly.

I used to find that sitting in bed with 5 pillows helped more than raising bed. I don't need to do that now.

sorry you are chesty coughing, it's awful and I hope you have a better night tonight.



Hi huffnpuffer, I also have HH and reflux and sleep on a wedge pillow with several more ordinary pillows on top of it. I have copd not bronchiectasis, but ive never experienced what you describe so can't be much help there :( If you've just done it for one night, maybe you could try another some time to see if the symptoms repeat then speak to your doc if they do. My sister in law has bronchiectasis (only one lung left as she had it badly from a teen) so i know how horrid it is. Hope you feel better soon.


02trees, why have the HH and reflux, food combing will stop it ?...



Hi zube, thanks for your post. So glad food combining works for you. It sorted my reflux and HH problems for a good while (diagnosed 26 years ago) but now at 66 ive been diagnosed with barretts oesophagus (pre-cancerous condition due to reflux) so concerned to minimise this. I dont get pain from the reflux but can feel when its present - a kind of gush and warmth - but with BA the stomach lining grows up into the oesophagus and that mostly forms a barrier to pain. But i think my stomach sphincter is just too loose now so have to treat it with gravity. jean


hello again jean, sorry for the delay in reply, pc problem now fixed.

sorry you have the copd & BA, a lot to juggle with then.

I remember the sculptor Liz Frink had BA too, she was brilliant but I don't know much about how she coped with BA.

my hh was caused by coughing and the over bed method of lung draining I was told to do 40yrs ago, not surprised it led to hh but no one advised me, I'm a bit wiser now at 64 !

sounds like your hernia is "sliding" then ?... better that way maybe.

I hope you keep control of it all, it's quite nice drifting off to sleep on a pile of pillows hey... .



Apols for even longer delay in reply zu. After 3 years without major exacerbation due i think to leaving work and being super-militant about infection control, ive gone down with a stinker.

There are always things to juggle arent there!

What do you know about sliding hernias Zu? ive read about them but not sure why it might be better to have this, or what the alternative model of HH might be ;) I used to get pain like a tennis ball stuck at bottom of gullet when i was diagnosed and was just pleased then that it wasnt cancer.

Love Eliz Frink and hadnt known she had BA. I might post a question to see how people on this site cope with it - ive not seen it mentioned. come to think of it, i should prob get round to introducing myself :) jean


Oh jean that's a pity, seems a lot of people down with infection at mo but you did well to stay clear 3yrs, that is impressive.

was told my hh is sliding when I had endoscopy 2008, wanted more info but they just said ask GP - he just said take omeprazole.... no thank you.

If the hh is sliding then logicaly it can slide back into normal position ?.. if you do not eat too much food or mixtures of food that create acid production it will give less problem.

I heard of a man drinking a pint of fluid... ha , then jumping down off a box so gravity would pull the liquid filled hh back down - apparently it works !

Anyway, I only get a problem with mine now when coughing a lot, the raw green juice is very helpful, is alkaline and seems to calm everything.

Jean I hope you get over that infection soon.take care.

Huffnpuffer and everyone else here too.



Hi, My husband finds it more difficult if he sleeps more upright, which seems to be the opposite to most COPD sufferers. He finds the smallest change can have a really dramatic affect on his COPD and that might be the case for you. I hope that your chest feels easier during the day. Talk about the devil and the deep blue sea!!! Hope you have an easier night tonight. TAD xx


Thankyou to everyone for your replies, really grateful for all your help. Had another bad night i'm afraid, but also have a temperature today, and feel a bit fluey, so maybe its nowt to do with the raised bed. I'm off to the docs a bit later, to try and nip any infection in the bud, fingers crossed, so thanks again for your help.

Hoping you all stay well xxxxxxxxx


I can't do raised. The more upright I sleep the worse my breathuing is (COPD).


You may also like...