What Are the Causes of Night Time Vertigo?


Vertigo, including night-time vertigo, is a product of a balance system issue. Balance is controlled by the inner ear, vision and the muscular-skeletal system. Vertigo typically results from an inner ear problem and can be exacerbated by the dark.

Experiencing vertigo
Experiencing vertigo (Image: Stockbyte/Stockbyte/Getty Images)


Vertigo, including night-time vertigo, is caused by the false perception of motion, particularly spinning motion. Multiple vertigo episodes are frequently an indication of a vestibular (inner ear) disorder.

human ear
human ear (Image: BananaStock/BananaStock/Getty Images)

Night-time Vertigo

Night-time vertigo is simply vertigo that happens at night. It is a product of darkness disabling other components of the balance system.

Dizzy in the bathroom
Dizzy in the bathroom (Image: George Doyle/Stockbyte/Getty Images)

Vision and Night-time Vertigo

Even with a vestibular disorder, balance can be maintained by the eyes and sensory nerves (from muscles and joints), according to the Mayo Clinic. At night or in a dark room, the visual portion of the system is disabled, and the vertigo sensation can be worsened.

Eyes closed in bed
Eyes closed in bed (Image: Creatas Images/Creatas/Getty Images)

Walking at Night and Vertigo

Many people experience imbalance while walking in the dark. For those prone to vertigo, walking in the dark can aggravate vertigo episodes.

Checking on child in a dark room
Checking on child in a dark room (Image: Comstock/Comstock/Getty Images)

Help with Night-time Vertigo

During a vertigo attack, it can be helpful to remain in a lit room, with eyes open, and sit rather than lie. Maintaining vision and sitting helps the brain receive proper balance signals from the eyes and sensory nerves.

Sitting on bed
Sitting on bed (Image: Goodshoot RF/Goodshoot/Getty Images)

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