There are some reasons why senior citizens face discomfort during the night. It can happen due to chronic pain, wrong alignment, or the less comfortable sleeping environment.
Explore our top 9 tips to improve the sleeping position and promote better support as well as better sleep in senior citizens.
Focus on comfortable body alignment.
Your overall focus should be of providing and maintaining perfect body alignment to the senior citizens. Also, for a younger adult, the spine needs to be straight, and the lower back should be in a natural, and slightly curved position to prevent back pain. In senior citizens, the back pain also can be a result of chronic health conditions and changing shape of their body, so a comfortable alignment according to their needs will help them cope with the pain.
For example, seniors with kyphosis or rounded back will not be able to lie flat on their back. So their comfortable alignment will be on the sides, and their spines will need to be supported to straighten it. You can use folded or rolled towels or blankets or comfortable pillows as support.
One can carry out different experiments according to the body shape and personal preferences. Also, to avoid any chance of injury, consult your doctor before trying anything new on yourself.
Here are nine tips regarding the specific sleeping problems which senior adults face.
1. For Side Sleepers
Some common tips which side sleepers should keep in mind are as follows.
- Use sufficient comfortable pillows under the head to maintain a neutral position, and to keep the spine aligned from neck to body.
- To reduce the pressure over the lower shoulder, add a pillow under the torso, to leave a space between arms
- You can also try keeping a cushion between the knees or lower legs so that the hips, pelvis, and spine are well aligned.
- If you are experiencing pressure on the upper shoulder, then adding a pillow under the arms will help in reducing it.
2. For Back Sleepers
The back sleepers should not use too many pillows under the head so that the neck is not forced to bend ahead. You can also add a pillow or a leg wedge under the knees to maintain a neutral position
3. For People Having Degenerative Disk Disease
People suffering from degenerative disk disease usually sleep on stomach. So here are some of the tips for the stomach sleepers.
- Use a very thin pillow to support the head.
- Keep a thin or medium pillow under the stomach or pelvis for support.
4. For People Suffering from Back Pain
To relieve back pain, it’s best that you sleep on your sides or back. This will help you in maintaining a perfect alignment and reducing the aching.
5. For Senior Citizens Who Prefer Falling Asleep in The Reclining Chair or For the Ones Who Are Suffering Through Spondylolisthesis
Some senior citizens prefer sleeping in the reclining chairs or might be suffering from isthmic spondylolisthesis. In this condition, the lower vertebra slips ahead on the and directly beneath it. So, sleeping in a reclined position with a pillow behind the back takes the pressure off the spine. These senior adults can also use a bed wedge or an adjustable bed.
6. For Senior Adults Suffering from A Herniated Disk
A helpful sleeping position to get rid of the back pain caused by a herniated disk is sleeping in the fetal position. Sleeping with your legs curled up opens the space between the vertebrae and reduces discomfort.
7. For Seniors Suffering from Neck Pain
The best sleeping positions for healing neck pain are the back or side as they keep the neck and spine in proper alignment with the body. You can use a comfortable pillow and sleep on your back.
You can avoid stomach sleeping as the head is twisted on the side, which inserts pressure on the nerves in the neck.
8. For Seniors Suffering from Hip Pain
For curing hip pain, you can sleep with your knees bent. You can also use the side sleeping tips to keep the hips, pelvis, and spine aligned.
9. For Seniors with Shoulder Pain
To relieve shoulder pain, senior adults can sleep on their backs and keep a small pillow under the painful shoulder. They can also rest on the side on the unpainful shoulder.
Hope these simple tips will help in relieving the sleeping problems in senior adults and help them get a sound sleep. To help them even further, you can also get some comfortable bedding and accessories for them. A Waikite, you can shop for premium quality pillows and bedding accessories which are suitable for all!