Adjustable Sloping Bed for Hiatus Hernia Sufferers




About: school teacher of kids with special educational needs

All of us have (in effect) a valve at the top of our stomachs, which ordinarily stops our food and stomach acids coming back up our gullets. Turn us upside down and it keeps everything in.

However, for some of us that valve does not work. So, when we lie down, our stomach contents find their own level in our gullets, or worse still our mouths and noses. Frequently I have woken, choking. A hiatus hernia will often be accompanied by unusually high levels of stomach acid, so sufferers like me frequently get burnt gullets, sore throats and acid indigestion. On a bad night it can help to sleep sitting up....but this can be very uncomfortable and is not particularly restful.

Doctors recommend having  the head of your bed raised by 6 - 8" (15-20cm) so I have devised a bed which that I can sleep with my stomach lower than my head. Trust me, you pretty quickly get used to it and often can't remember whether the bed is sloping or flat....until you occasionally wake up dangling over the bottom.

But sometimes it is preferable if a bed is level, and for those occasions I have found a way to raise and lower the foot of my bed using a scissor jack (an old car one), enabling me to comfortably lift my bed and fold down some lock-in legs.

I have made my working prototype out of an old futon base. I took photos but not with an instructable in mind.

(I have found similar things sold by specialist manufacturers but they cost a fortune. Mine was made ENTIRELY from reclaimed materials)

Step 1: Fixed Legs and Backbone

As the bed was originally a futon, the three parts had to be made rigid with a beam bolted down each side. And to these I welded legs (before bolting them to the "wooden" bed!)

(the beams were made from lightweight steel box section reclaimed from a skip)

Step 2: Fold Down Legs

Then I made some fold-down legs and secured them to the steel frame with loops made from flat bar bent into u-shapes, which I welded to the beams. These enable the legs to that they can be folded/unfolded.

Step 3: Here's My Sloping Bed

Step 4: Scissor Jack and Crank

I haven't actually fitted the jack to the bed yet, but it works fine anyway. Its purpose is to lift the bed and mattress up (together they are quite heavy), so that I can fold the legs down. Then I lower the bed on to the legs fully (and secure with a pin), slide the mattress back into place and stow the crank.

Step 5: A Horizontal Bed, Ready for Action

a horizontal bed



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5 Discussions


8 years ago on Introduction

What a good idea. Is this medically indicated? My wife suffers hiatus hernia, and nobody told her that this was an alternative. It seems logical.

2 replies

Reply 8 years ago on Introduction

Hi Rimar
I'm not sure what medically indicated means, but if you are asking if raising the head above the stomach is recommended, then yes. I believe I first saw the suggestion in a leaflet picked up at the doctor's. Apparently, for some reason, lying on your left side is meant to be better for you than your right, too.

I don't have the bed in lieu of a medical solution, though. I use omeprazole 20mg morning and before bed, to keep the acid down.

My bed might not be ideal for a couple. Personally, I appreciate the benefits of sleeping on a slope, but I am not sure it would be much fun for someone who doesn't suffer. And there are of course other disadvantages to slopes.


Reply 8 years ago on Introduction

I understand you, because due to a broken metatarsal I must temporarily to sleep with one foot lifted with two pillows. It is not comfortable, really.


2 years ago

Good job :) I have been working on Inclined Bed Therapy for 21 years and have helped many thousands of people from all over the World by advising them to tilt their beds on blocks.