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.
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.
Night-time vertigo is simply vertigo that happens at night. It is a product of darkness disabling other components of the balance system.
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.
Many people experience imbalance while walking in the dark. For those prone to vertigo, walking in the dark can aggravate vertigo episodes.
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.