Balancing the sympathetic and the parasympathetic nervous systems
A 72-year-old man decided to place his pillow at the end of the bed with feet next to the headboard. He slept like this for about 10 days. Then he began waking up with severe dizziness and a spinning head. As he continued to sleep with his head and pillow at the end of the bed for the next five days, his dizziness continued. Then he decided to place his pillow back in place next to the headboard. The next morning, he woke up without being dizzy. He finally figured out the reason he had been having dizziness when he got up. He then figured out a remedy to get rid of the dizziness.
Apparently, the bed was uneven, the headboard side of the bed is higher than the end of the bed where his feet normally are. Even with a pillow, his head was lower than his feet next to the headboard, and blood rushed to his brain when he slept. That caused the dizziness when he got out of bed.
He placed his pillow back to its original position next to the headboard where his head was slightly higher than his feet. The next day when he got out of bed, his dizziness was gone. On the second night after changing back to his original sleeping position with his pillow and head next to the headboard, his head was only slightly above the level of his feet, and he woke up dizzy once again. Then he raised his pillow and slept with his head much higher than his feet. He even sat up and leaned against the headboard while he rested in bed. With some deep breathing and meditation, he was able to get rid of his dizziness when he subsequently got out of bed.
Apparently, when he slept for 10 days with his pillow and head at the lower end of the bed, it caused blood to rush to his head while he slept, and over a period of ten days, this “trained” the sympathetic nervous system to rush blood to the brain at night and even during the day. When he returned to sleep in his original position with the pillow and his head at a higher level than his feet, the parasympathetic nervous system kicked in to slow the rush of blood to the brain.
The proof of this came about when he worked at his desk. Previously, he had no problem with dizziness even after working for many hours sitting at his desk. However, after the ten days of sleeping with his pillow and head at the lower end of the bed, he became dizzy after working for about an hour at his desk. His work required a lot of mental activity, and the active mental activity required more blood to the brain. And with more blood to the brain, he became dizzy. He had to stop working to let his mind rest and allow the parasympathetic nervous system to kick in again to slow his heartrate and to regulate and reduce blood flow to the brain.