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September 19, 2018

The Best Night’s Sleep

The Best Night’s Sleep

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From snoring and sleep deprivation, to pillow height and mattress price, Alpine HC have the answers

How much sleep should the average person get a night?

Research suggests that the older we get, the less sleep we should need. The table below shows the amount of sleep recommended per age group and takes into account the average physical excursion for each age group when not asleep. These are guidelines and vary from person to person.

Age

Sleep Required

0-12 months old

14-15 hours per day

1-3 years old

12-14 hours per day

3-6 years old

10-12 hours per day

7-12 years old

10-11 hours per day

12-18 years old

8-9 hours per day

18-65 years old

7-9 hours per day

65+ years

7-8 hours per day

How can the position we sleep in help improve the quality of our sleep?

There are many different positions that we sleep in. Some are considered better for a good night’s sleep, but again, it’s a personal thing. There are six main sleeping positions, which are all either side, back or belly sleeping positions.

  1. The most preferred is the fetal position, which is a side sleeping position where the legs and arms are curled up. It is more favoured by women than men.
  2. Another common sleeping position is the freefall position—a belly position with the head turned to one side and the arms either under the pillow, or to the side.
  3. The Yearner position consists of lying on the side with both arms out in front of the body.
  4. The forth most common sleeping position consists of lying on the back with the arms down close to the body. It is also known as the soldier position.
  5. The starfish position is also on the back, with the arms up near the head or pillow.
  6. Last but not least, the log position is as it sounds—on the side in a straight position and the arms either side of the body.

As we get older, does our sleep quality decline?

Our sleep quality does decline as we age because we have more mental distractions and become more prone to sleeping conditions, such as insomnia. This results in us taking longer to get to sleep and also experiencing reduced sleep length and quality. Many medical conditions can hamper sleep and the side effects of medication can cause sleep disorders. The elderly are also more likely to have weakened airway muscles, another factor that affects sleep.

Does sleep deprivation have a negative impact on our daily lives?

Sleep deprivation is when someone doesn’t get enough sleep at night to feel rested and alert. Unfortunately, this can have several negative impacts such as memory loss, weight increase, excessive daytime sleepiness, an increased risk of Type 2 diabetes, stress hormones and cardiovascular disease.

What causes snoring and can we prevent it?

Snoring is a diagnosed parasomnia disorder. It is caused by vibrations of tissue in narrow airways between the nose and mouth due to turbulent airflow. There are many ways to help prevent snoring, such as sleeping on your side. If you are overweight, adopt a healthier diet and reduce alcohol consumption. We’ve written a guide on how you can reduce snoring: https://alpinehc.co.uk/blog/why-do-i-snore-and-what-can-i-do-about-it/.

Is it true that a more expensive mattress provides a better night’s sleep?

Mattresses that use quality composition and cover materials will definitely provide you with a better night’s sleep. The fillings will last longer, support you more and the cover will keep your body temperature regulated. This does not necessarily mean that the mattress has to be really expensive. We recommend you should pay around £300 for a good quality single width mattress.

There are other factors to consider when buying a mattress, as well as the cost. What firmness do you prefer? Is the mattress made of a material that will make you sweat? Do you need firmer edges to support you getting on and off of the mattress?

What are the long-term effects of sleeping on an inappropriate bed?

The list of long-term effects of sleeping on an inappropriate bed is extensive. A few of the most common include:

  • Daytime drowsiness due to a lack of quality sleep
  • Muscular and joint pain, especially in areas such as your neck and back
  • Disturbed immune system due to poor posture
  • Premature ageing as result of poor sleep and lack of support

Does the firmness and quantity of our pillows affect the way that we sleep?

The firmness and quantity of your pillows does affect your sleep. The right pillow will keep your neck well supported and correctly aligned. Unsupportive pillows will lead to muscle tension and back ache. If you are a back sleeper, it is suggested to have a low, firm pillow. If you are a side sleeper, you should use a firm pillow, or multiple pillows, to align the head with your shoulder when laid down.

How can a bed be tailored to help backache?

On a conventional divan bed, manipulating the mattress and pillows are the best way to create a sleeping position that supports you. For example, if you need to raise your legs to reduce feet swelling, pillows can be placed beneath your feet to enable this.

However, an electric bed is the best way to tailor your sleep to reduce backache. Adjustable beds allow you to raise the backrest and legrest of your lying surface at the push of a button, ensuring proper comfort and support.

What are orthopaedic beds and how do they benefit sleep?

Orthopaedic beds are also known as adjustable beds and are divan-style beds with a head and foot section that raise and lower to provide different sleeping positions. These beds properly support you and can be positioned to suit your sleeping style. They are especially beneficial for your spinal cord and also help to improve blood circulation and airflow. Find out more benefits in our guide: https://alpinehc.co.uk/blog/orthopaedic-benefits-electric-bed/.

Alpine HC Group is a leading UK provider of care equipment and furniture to both nursing and residential care homes and home care environments.

Discover their Opera® adjustable beds on their website: aplinehc.co.uk