POTS, dysautonomia & orthostatic intolerance symptoms are often worse first thing in the morning. Here is my 7 step morning routine, which helps minimise my symptoms and help me get out of bed easier.
Disclaimer: This post is intended for informational purposes only. I’m not encouraging anyone else to do these things. Please consult a qualified practitioner before implementing these things or changing your current treatment plan. This post contains affiliate links, meaning at no additional cost to you I earn commission if you click on a link and make a purchase. As an Amazon Associate I earn from qualifying purchases. See my full disclaimer here.
Why is POTS worse in the morning?
After being laid down for hours over night and not consuming any fluids, morning is the time of day when my POTS, dysautonomia and orthostatic intolerance symptoms are worst. Over the months I’ve looked into natural treatment for dysautonomia and come up with an effective morning routine, comprising 7 steps, that minimises the dizziness, shakiness, nausea and other symptoms I experience and allows me to sit and stand up easier from bed.
Related Post: Dysautonomia & POTS Awareness: Facts, Symptoms, Diagnosis & Treatment
1). Put compression stockings on
Compression stockings reduce blood pooling in the lower limbs by helping to pump blood back up to the heart. I’ve found waist high stockings are most effective at reducing the increase in heart rate compared to knee or thigh high. I find a compression level of 30-40 mmHg most beneficial (UK Link/US Link).
2). Drink 500ml/2 cups of homemade electrolyte drink
For POTS fluid intake is crucial. Consuming fluids increases blood volume, which minimises the increase in my heart rate and stabilises my blood pressure when I stand. However, the best hydration drink for POTS contains electrolytes to help the body retain the water consumed. Freshly squeezed lemon and lime juice and coconut water contains these vital electrolytes to maintain hydration levels and also helps remove toxins from the body.
Related Post: Best Electrolyte Drink For POTS (Easy Homemade Recipe)
For POTS salt intake is recommended with your water if you suffer from low blood pressure, as this increases blood pressure (1). However, the type of salt is important. Table salt is refined, meaning it is stripped of vital minerals and other important electrolytes like magnesium, potassium and calcium. Instead, it’s recommended to add either:-
These are unrefined and contain not only sodium but other trace minerals and electrolytes to help keep you hydrated (2). I have hyperadrenic POTS, where my blood pressure goes up as well as my heart rate, so I’m advised to avoid salt to prevent symptoms worsening.
Related Post: POTS Hydration – 9 Tips To Stay Hydrated
3). Perform Buteyko Breathing exercise in a Restorative Yoga Pose
Slow, diaphragmatic belly breathing, in and out through the nose, with the exhale lasting longer than the inhale and restorative yoga have numerous benefits: –
- Activates the vagus nerve, which calms the nervous system helping to lower heart rates, ease anxiety and optimise digestion.
- Increases the amount of oxygen taken in and transported around the body, which is critical for it to function and heal.
- Increases lymph flow, which helps eliminate toxins from the body (1; 2; 3; 4; 5; 6).
Related Post: 12 Vagus Nerve Exercises To Improve Physical & Mental Health
instructions for buteyko breathing exercise
- Begin breathing normally, paying attention to how much air you’re inhaling and exhaling,
- When you’re ready to start, with each inhale, take a shorter smaller breath in, reducing the amount of air taken in,
- Then take a slow relaxed breath out, allowing the body and diaphragm to naturally relax, deflating like a balloon, reducing the amount of air exhaled,
- As you reduce and slow your breathing like this you should feel a slight need to take in more air that is noticeable but not uncomfortable,
- Continue the above exercise for 4 minutes, maintaining this slight need for air throughout,
- Rest and breathe normally for 1-2 minutes, then repeat the above exercise 1-3 more times.
The below video has a detailed explanation of how to perform the exercise
Related Post: Breath Retraining – 6 Tips To Maximise The Benefit Of Breathing Exercises
4). Muscle activation exercises
I perform the below muscle activation exercises laying down in bed. They: –
- Increase blood flow, increasing the blood returned to the heart and brain. This minimises the increase in my heart rate and dizziness, shakiness and other symptoms when I sit and stand up.
- Increases lymph flow. Lymph is part of our immune system, which helps fight and prevent infections and removes toxins. The lymphatic system doesn’t have a pump so relies on muscle contraction to flow. Performing these exercises increases lymph flow and aids the removal of toxins.
5). Slowly go from laying down to sitting. Perform seated muscle activation exercises.
I perform the below muscle activation exercises in a seated position. Like the above exercises done laying down, they increase blood and lymph flow, allowing me to stand up easier.
6). Drink a green juice
As it’s liquid, juices are digested easier than whole fruits and vegetables, flooding the body with a concentrated high dose of nutrients that are easily absorbed without the body having to expend any energy digesting it. Drinking a green juice on an empty stomach maximises the absorption of vitamins and minerals.
This Fennel Juice Recipe With Cucumber & Mint is my favourite as it’s not only packed full of electrolytes to keep me hydrated but it’s great for digestion. I leave a 20-minute gap between finishing my juice and having breakfast to prevent the digestion of my breakfast being impaired.
7). Eat a light breakfast
As POTS symptoms after eating can worsen, smoothies or smoothie bowls, like this Immune Boosting Chaga Berry Thick Smoothie Bowl, are my go to breakfast. Fruit is the easiest to digest of all foods and blending does the first part of digestion for you, making it even easier to digest. I find this especially beneficial when my nausea is worse in the morning. I vary the specific foods included in the smoothie each day to ensure I eat 30 plants a week as recommended to optimise gut health, where 80% of our immune system is located.
Related Post: 10 Tips To Improve Digestion
related blog posts
Click to read my other blog posts with more tips and strategies that are helping me improve my health and manage my POTS, dysautonomia & orthostatic intolerance:-
- Managing Symptoms & Flares – 6 Things To Do In Bed
- 10 Free Ways To Improve Your Health
- 15 Things To Do In Bed To Ease Anxiety & Stress During Flares
- Elimination Diet Phase 1 That Eased My Symptoms
- 12 Vagus Nerve Exercises To Improve Physical & Mental Health
- 6 Free Ways To Start A Toxin Free Lifestyle (& Why It’s Important To Ease Symptoms)
- 6 Detox Pathways To Support To Remove Toxins & Help Ease Symptoms
- 15 Easy Ways To Detox Your Home (& How It Can Help Ease Symptoms)
- POTS Heat Intolerance – 10 Tips To Stay Cool & Survive The Summer Heat
- Rest Well – 7 Types Of Rest We Need
- 5 Step Nighttime Routine To Sleep Better (That Doesn’t Cost Anything!)
POTS Syndrome Exercises
Exercise therapy is one natural treatment for POTS. Below are an example POTS exercise program I perform:-
contact me and follow me on social media
I hope these tips are helpful. Have you got a morning routine that you follow? What have you found helps minimise symptoms in the morning? I’d love to know what helps you. Leave me a comment below or message me on Instagram, Facebook, Twitter, Pinterest or YouTube.
If you found this post helpful, please share it on social media using the buttons at the bottom of this post!
8 thoughts on “POTS Management – Morning Routine”
These are some fantastic tips! I haven’t been diagnosed with POTS but I can see these suggestions being helpful for those with the condition. I do have low blood pressure though and I hadn’t realised that regular table salt isn’t a great option; I’ll have to put Himalayan salt on my shopping list!
Hi Caz, thanks so much for your comment and kind words. I hope the Himalayan salt helps! Take care. Lucy xx
Great tips! My POTS (and NMH, another form of dysautonomia) symptoms are actually at their BEST in the morning when I first wake up because I take my medication (a low-dose beta blocker) before bed. That way, I wake up with my heart rate and blood pressure stable, and I’m ready to go! But these are great management techniques for anyone with forms of OI.
Glad you’ve found a routine that helps you!
My Book: Finding a New Normal: Living Your Best Life with Chronic Illness
Thanks for your comment Sue! I’m so glad you’ve got a routine which helps you too. I’m not on any medication so had to find a morning routine which worked for me instead. Wishing you all the best. Take care. Lucy
Interesting tips and points, also learned a bit more about POTS here! It does make sense that it’d be worse in the mornings. Thanks for this insightful post!
You’re welcome Sheryl. Thank you for your comment, I’m glad you found it helpful.
These are great tips for people with POTS. But I actually think most of them could be helpful to anyone with a chronic illness or chronic pain. I am very slow in the morning . It takes a while for me to get going and I’m sure some of your suggestions like drinking lemon water, breathing and the exercises could help me too.
Thank you very much Elizabeth, I really appreciate your comment. I’ve never been a morning person but putting together this routine really helped make things easier. I really hope the tips help you too if you try them.