As we get older, all sorts of tasks and daily routines that we used to take for granted can start to become unexpectedly difficult. Whilst most people with limited mobility can confidently adjust to their decreasing dexterity, developing trouble sleeping is undoubtedly one of the most distressing and exhausting issues any of us can go through.
If you are desperate to get back to enjoying a decent amount of sleep every night, read on: we have put together a few snooze-inducing tips below which you may not have thought of before.
Stay comfortable all day
Rise and recline chairs are now incredibly sophisticated and very popular amongst people of all ages who have mobility difficulties – and investing in one may just provide an answer to your sleep woes. Whilst most reclining chairs are bought with daytime comfort in mind, allowing the user to sit back and relax whilst watching TV or chatting with their friends and family, the benefits of owning a high-quality product of this kind can extend beyond the living room.
Even young people can feel stiff and uncomfortable the day after sleeping in an awkward position but, as we grow older, the reverse situation can also become an issue. As the years advance, the amount of stress we put on our bodies during the day can start to have a big impact on how well we sleep that night. Ensuring that we maintain comfort during our waking hours, therefore, is essential.
Buying a high-quality rise and recline chair will allow you to adjust your seating position to whichever you find most comfortable and can also take all the hassle out of getting up from your chair and sitting back down. So, before you rule out buying one of these high-tech items as too much of a financial commitment, bear in mind how much it could help you at night as well.
Block out the light
You don’t need us to tell you that intrusive street lights and the early morning sunlight of summer are not exactly conducive to sleeping through until 7 AM, or whatever time you would ideally like to wake up. What you may not know, however, is that there are products available that can help you overcome these irritations that become more noticeable as we get older or if you are already living with a degree of discomfort.
Sleep masks can be obtained from any supermarket or major online retailer from as little as a few pounds but do vary widely in terms of both quality and price – and, of course, they simply aren’t comfortable for a lot of people.
One alternative to a mask is so-called ‘blackout’ curtains, which are available at all sizeable homeware shops. As well as completely blocking out all light from the outside world, these items also have two major additional benefits: they are so thick that they can even block out unwanted noise, and the better ranges are usually made with intelligent climate-controlled material, meaning that they can help your bedroom stay at an ambient temperature that is ideal for sleep all-year round.
Get a new mattress
Buying a new mattress is one of those things that we all know we should do on a semi-regular basis, but which most of us never seem to get around to until we need a new bed! Nevertheless, ensuring that we settle down on a good-quality mattress gets more and more important as the years go by and can make literally all the difference when it comes to getting a good night’s sleep.
The next time you get into bed, ask yourself how comfortable your mattress really feels. If it is at all lumpy, hard or uncomfortable in any way, it may be time to consider investing in a new model. And, if you do decide to go down this route, you may as well set yourself up for years of comfort by looking into getting a state-of-the-art memory foam mattress which will mould itself to your shape and ease any strain on your back. These ingenious products have now been around for several years and are becoming more mainstream, meaning they are available at a much lower price than you may have expected.
Stick to a routine
Our next tip may seem somewhat patronising, but it is arguably one of the most important we could share. Although they say that variety is the spice of life, creating a solid routine to help us get into a good sleep pattern could prove to be as effective as it is easy.
Trying to make sure you’re in bed at roughly the same time each night should form just one aspect of the sleep routine you could try to develop. Just as important – or even more so – is deciding upon and repeating a host of other actions that could be beneficial to your sleep pattern, such as committing to only using your bedroom for sleep. We all know how tempting and relaxing it can be to watch TV or curl up with a good book as we’re reclining in bed, but this could effectively leave your brain confused as to whether you should be asleep or awake when you try to settle down for the night!
Another well-known tip for getting a good night’s sleep, and which becomes even more important for those who regularly struggle with pain or discomfort, is quite literally ‘switching off’ for at least an hour before we turn in. This means that you should ban yourself from watching television or going on your laptop or tablet before you try to get to sleep, thereby giving your brain a decent amount of time to wind down from all that visual stimulation.
Invest in mobility aids
As much as all the above tips should be useful for most people, we know that there are many – either due to advancing years or severe disability – who will always need more tangible forms of help to enjoy a full night of sleep, or just to get in and out of bed in the first place. If you fall into this category, be sure to explore the wide range of mobility equipment products that have been developed specifically for these purposes.
There are literally dozens of products out there designed to improve the bedtime experience for older and disabled people but, to give you a flavour of what’s out there, a few of the most popular include:
- Overbed lifting poles – Particularly useful for getting out of bed, these poles (which can be free-standing or attached to beds) consist of a handle and strap that can be reached and pulled to help you move around on your mattress or into a seated position.
- Variable posture beds – Working in a similar way to rise and recline chairs, variable posture beds are made up of hinged sections that can be raised up or lowered down (either manually or electrically, depending on the price point) to suit the user’s needs.
- Floor pads – These are simple but invaluable objects that can be placed on the floor to help you get out of bed without any pain. These soft pads would be great for anyone with weak joints who worries about causing themselves discomfort when they get up in the morning.