A good night's sleep is essential for the good health and well-being of seniors. The National Sleep Foundation recommends seniors aged 65 and older need 7-8 hours of sleep per day. But on a practical aspect, many elderly people suffer from sleep disturbances. With growing age, seniors experience poor sleep quality, daytime sleeping and insomnia due to changes in sleeping patterns.
As older people struggle to sleep better, there are a lot of well-meaning suggestions that flow in. While intentions are good, usually such advice is not rooted in research or practical experience.
As a company working in the mattress business for over 60 years, we have dealt with such common queries and suggestions. We have even tried to bust some myths associated with mattresses.
In today’s blog post, we are looking at some of the common causes of sleep problems among older people. We will also look at some myths associated with the mattresses for older people. We have tried to cumulate our experience and research over the past many years, in this blog post.
Read the post to know more.
Causes of sleep problems during old age
Though normal ageing does not have a direct impact on sleep quality, various other reasons can lead to sleep problems during old age.
Here are some common causes that lead to sleep problems during old age.
Change in the natural circadian rhythm of the body
In old age, there is a change in the body’s internal clock (circadian rhythm) which leads to sleepiness during the evening time and causes disturbed sleep during nighttime.
Chronic pain issues (arthritis, back pain, fibromyalgia etc.)
Chronic pain issues like arthritis and fibromyalgia are common during old age. As per research, a large number of older populations suffer from chronic pain ailments. These ailments not only cause pain and discomfort but disturb sleep during the night as well.
Secondary sleep disorders
When any sleep disorders are caused due to other primary diseases like heart diseases, they are called secondary sleep disorders. Secondary sleep disorders are common during old age. Old people often suffer from urinary problems like poor bladder control, which may disturb sleep and cause secondary sleep disorders during the old age.
Mental health issues
Anxiety and depression are common during old age and these may lead to sleep disorders.
Sleep disorders (sleep apnea etc.)
Sleep disorders like apnea and snoring are also common during old age and lead to disturbed sleep or sleep troubles during old age.
Old people require various medications due to several health problems. Some medications like anti-hypertensive drugs cause sleep problems as a side effect.
Lifestyle factors like lack of physical activity may also cause disturbed sleep in old people. Alcohol consumption and increased intake of caffeine also leads to sleeping disturbances in old age.
Common myths associated with mattresses for older people
Older people do not need to buy a new mattress
Purchasing a mattress is an expensive investment. So, many people assume that they do not need to buy a new mattress when they get older. This thing is a complete myth.
Sleep is an important aspect of our well-being, and it is equally important for seniors as it is for young adults. Old people suffer from back pain and other orthopedic health issues. Sleeping on an old or saggy mattress can worsen their health problems. A good quality mattress provides good support and can offer significant relief in chronic pain and orthopedic health issues.
Older people should not buy an expensive mattress
This is the second common myth associated with mattresses for older people. As older people often have fixed and limited income, they prefer to go for a cheaper mattress, without considering the added cost that it might have in the long run. A mattress that is cheap will most probably last around 5 years or fewer. Instead of that, if they choose a mattress with at least 10 years warranty they can be assured of mattress life of around 10 to 15 years. This makes a huge difference in terms of returns on investment.
Apart from this while it is true that seniors have a limited budget, but they can buy a good quality mattress if they plan properly. They can take advantage of online shopping options and can grab a good deal for buying a quality mattress on a limited budget, especially during festive sales.
The memory foam mattress is best for seniors
This is another common myth associated with mattresses for older people. Yes, a larger number of older populations suffer from chronic pain issues, and they need a mattress like memory foam which can provide good pressure relief and can help in dealing with chronic pain issues.
However, if you want firm support from your mattress, then a memory foam mattress will not be the best option for you.
Also, if you are a hot sleeper then you should avoid buying a memory foam mattress. Memory foam tends to retain body heat and can make you sleep hot at night.
Do older people need softer mattresses?
The answer is it depends. Selecting a good quality mattress depends upon various factors like your sleeping position, body weight and existing health problems. Different seniors may have different preferences for mattress firmness as per their body weight and sleeping position. You can select any level of mattress firmness as per your individual preferences.
If you suffer from chronic pain issues like arthritis and fibromyalgia, then a medium-firm mattress can be a good option for you. A medium-firm mattress provides good pressure relief and helps in dealing with existing problems while providing neutral spinal alignment.
In conclusion, no one mattress fits all. You can select any firmness of mattress as per your unique sleeping needs.
Mattresses from MM Foam that seniors have come to love
Pincore Mattress -
This mattress is a preferred choice of seniors who suffer from numbness or joint-pain. Made from organic, natural latex, the pincore mattress boosts blood circulation and offers high resilience to movement - providing the user with exceptionally restful and supportive sleep. In addition, its unique technology allows for thermoregulation - a process in which the mattress maintains a stable temperature without trapping any heat from the body or the surrounding environment, ushering a cool and comfortable sleep through the night. This property is specially important for those who are hot sleepers or those who sweat a lot at night.
- 17 Year warranty
- Zero motion transfer
- Snugs your body
- Alleviates numbness and joint pain
- Cool in summer, warm in winter
- Hypoallergenic, antibacterial & dust-mite resistant
- No harmful chemicals
For those who are looking for a firm mattress, can also take a look at our mattress – Hardcore Mattress. It is a mattress made of 100% natural latex and uses Pincore technology. The only difference between both the mattresses are the firmness levels.
So if you are a senior looking for a mattress or if you are looking to gift a mattress to your parents, then make a note of their health condition, sleep preferences and then gift a mattress that will help them sleep better.