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A way to sleep designed by rocket scientists? How the zero gravity position can help your health

A lot of adjustable beds on the market talk about the zero gravity position without really telling you what it is. It's not something you have to go to space camp to learn about. This position is designed to make you feel almost weightless and help relieve a number of health issues – especially related to circulation. Read on if you want to know more about what could be your new favorite position.

Weird science

The name comes from NASA. No, really. The position is as close as possible to how astronauts are sitting when they launch. That’s because reclining this way evenly distributes pressure across the entire body so that they’re better able to withstand the forces pressing against them as they hurtle into space. Turns out that's good for normal bodies, too.

Here’s how to do it. Raise the knees so that the legs are at about the same level as the heart. The head should be a little higher, but not too high. The body should be at a 120-degree angle, which promotes blood flow from head to toe. (NASA gets pretty scientific, but you don’t have to.) You can get into this position using pillows or wedges for support, so you don't have to buy an adjustable bed. The plus of using an adjustable bed is that you don't have to worry about those pillows moving, and you know it's at the right angles to work best.

Someone's enjoying the zero gravity position on the Rize Aviada! You can see how the body is angled with the head and legs raised to relieve pressure.

The right stuff

All adjustable beds offer relief from some issues just by being able to raise the head. Zero gravity does the same thing with the head-up part of the position. That helps with breathing issues, acid reflux, and general aches and pains. Sleeping with your head raised opens the airways to help reduce snoring and ease allergies, asthma, or just regular congestion. If you’re not breathing well, you’re not sleeping well!

Studies have shown that reflux (acid or not) clears up when the head is in an elevated position. It’s gravity at work – if your torso is inclined, it’s harder for the acids to climb back up. Again, you can try this with pillows to see if it works before spending money on an expensive solution.

Under pressure

Another consistent benefit of power bases is relieving aches and pains by adjusting to a better position for your body’s needs. Zero gravity does that from head to toe. Those rocket scientists tested the position and found that it distributes pressure evenly across the body. This means that no one pain point is getting weighed down.

If you've got lower back pain, zero gravity is a big benefit. Raising the foot of the bed relieves stress on the lower spine.

Go with the flow

The thing that the zero gravity position does really well is improve circulation – and it can even help your heart. As well as taking pressure off your muscles and bones, lying this way till take pressure off your heart too. Not just weight - because of the way your limbs and torso are positioned, the heart doesn’t have to work as hard to pump blood through your body.

Elevating the legs also means that blood circulates more easily, which is good for you overall, but specifically reduces swelling and the risk of clots. So anyone suffering from diabetes, high blood pressure, or weight-related troubles can find the zero gravity position extremely helpful.

If you’re not getting good circulation, you could have reduced oxygen to your brain, which can cause all kinds of problems. This also goes back to breathing better (and you should make sure to get exercise and eat a healthy diet).

Last – the zero gravity position feels great. While you’re not actually weightless, because of the weight distribution it’s the closest thing this side of the sudden drop on a roller coaster. And a lot more relaxing.