Has this ever happened to you: you’re sitting for a prolonged period of time and the moment you get up, you have to sit back down because you are hit with dizziness? Or maybe you woke up and experienced intense dizziness to the point of near fainting when you tried to get out of bed.
If these situations sound familiar, you’re not alone. Many people may experience sudden dizziness upon standing up. But why?
The main culprit of dizziness upon standing is due to changes in blood pressure. Your heart pumps so that blood can reach your entire body, but sometimes, this process is slowed down or difficult to accomplish as a result of gravity or arteries. Arteries are what carry the blood away from the heart and veins are responsible for returning the blood back to the heart. In some cases, the pressure available to move the blood through the veins isn’t enough, resulting in low blood pressure. Furthermore, blood in the veins must also fight gravity to try and get the blood back up towards the heart.
Normally, this process isn’t an issue and the blood moves throughout our body without any issues. In some cases, such as when you stand upright, blood pressure isn’t enough to circulate the blood properly, which can result in dizziness.
When you are sitting or lying down, your body isn’t fighting gravity. It is only when you stand up quickly that your body goes into shock and must move blood quickly, but unfortunately, it cannot handle the demand.
This sudden drop in blood pressure is particularly dangerous for seniors, as it is sometimes enough to cause fainting, which can result in injury. If you try to push through the dizziness, that is when the risk of fainting increases, so it is best that you stay still until the dizziness subsides or sit back down to allow it to pass.
How to prevent dizziness when standing up
The obvious answer to the question how to prevent dizziness when standing up is to simply stand up slowly. It is the sudden posture change that results in dizziness, so rather than jumping up to your feet or leaping out of bed, take your time to prevent gravity from messing with your circulatory system.
Furthermore, when rising, you may want to hold onto something such as the bed, chair, or table just in case you do feel faint or dizzy.
Lastly, it’s important that you stay well hydrated. Healthy blood pressure relies on hydration and you are more likely to experience dizziness when you are dehydrated. Overall, maintaining healthy blood pressure is important for general health. Regardless if it’s high or low, these extremes can lead to health complications, so keeping it at a healthy level is ideal.