Is there something to help my wife who gets dizzy in the bathroom?

1 answer | Last updated: Sep 14, 2017
A fellow caregiver asked...

Is there something to help my wife who gets dizzy in the middle of the night, when she gets up to use the bathroom?  I am afraid she is going to fall.

Expert Answers

Julie Kardachi is an occupational therapist, and Celeste Carlucci is a professional dancer and fitness expert. With more than 60 years of combined experience in the field, they created and run Fall Stop"¦MOVE STRONG, a joyful, dance- and education-based fall-prevention and strengthening program that keeps older adults active and safe at home and in their communities. They have been teaching this program since 2004, and the program DVD has been sold since 2008.

Most people don't understand why they fall when they get out of bed, and it is often due to their blood pressure being too low for a standing position. When someone moves from lying down to upright, his or her blood pressure can take a few seconds to adjust to the position change, causing dizziness.

Here is one of our favorite tips, and an easy strategy to use if you get up during the night to use the bathroom.

"Pump the Gas": Sit for a moment or two on the side of the bed before standing; pump the gas: point and flex your feet a few times to get your blood flowing. This helps your blood pressure to adjust to your upright position.

"Pumping the gas" is also really useful after sitting for extended periods, like at the movies, after dinner or when watching TV.