A comfortable reclining chair screams, “C’mon over, relax, and take a nap!” They’re inviting, and many people fall asleep in them. But for some seniors, a recliner can become more of a bed than a chair. And while it may be a short-term solution for rest, overnights in a recliner can bring on health problems, notably for people with mobility issues.
Sitting in a relatively small space overnight does not bring the relief bodies are anatomically designed to attain by lying down. Consider some of the issues that come with spending nights in a recliner:
Tossing and Turning
Bodies shift and turn during sleep to reach comfortable positions; an average sleeper may move 13-to-100 times/night those shifts can’t be done in a recliner, and cause people to wake up with sore necks or limbs.
When the upper back is hunched over during sleep it can block airflow into the lungs. Sleeping reclined could cause blood congestion in lungs and reduce available oxygen.
A recliner keeps knees and hips bent through the night; that can lead to tight hips, calves, and hamstrings, and posture problems. Additionally, tight muscles can increase risks for falls.
Impaired Circulation and Deep Vein Thrombosis
Sleeping with knees bent for long periods can weaken blood vessels in the lower body. It may block blood flow in arteries behind knees. Joints bent and motionless for hours could increase risk for deep vein thrombosis (DVT), a serious blood clot that can develop in leg veins and be life threatening.
Lack of REM Sleep
During rapid eye movement sleep (REM), the deep sleep that refreshes us, heart rate/blood pressure lowers, and muscles relax. Lack of space to move in a recliner makes REM sleep elusive. That translates into lighter sleep, fewer hours slept, a lack of feeling refreshed, and potentially unpredictable/irritable behavior.
Sleeping flat tends to uniformly distribute weight throughout the body. Sleeping on a recliner puts more weight on the back/buttocks/shoulders. These pressure points, notably for overweight people, may turn into pressure sores and pain.
Why are Seniors Spending Nights in Recliners?
It’s common for seniors, even ones without mobility issues, to have limited amounts of energy. Some may think getting out of a recliner at night, and then dragging upstairs to get back into bed, isn’t worth it. What could it hurt to stay asleep in the recliner? This is only so, if it’s a power lift recliner built for safety!
Power lift chairs can have the design and functionality of a recliner but have patented positioning technology and add assistance to help people stand easily.
Angelion Mobility can provide a power lift chair that can help a senior sleep safely in their chair with its twilight technology! These chairs are not only built for relaxing, but also for safety! We are proud to be a licensed dealer of Golden Technologies. Our chairs have high quality components and are engineered for maximum service with minimum maintenance.
Reach out to your mobility concierge at Angelion Mobility today to find the right chair for you or your loved one.