Reclining Into Better Sleep: 6 Health Benefits of Sleeping in a Recliner for Seniors

Getting a good night's sleep is essential for good health, but an aging body can make slipping into Dreamland a challenge for some people. With a growing population of individuals over sixty-five, this problem will affect more and more Americans in the coming years. As you age, your body’s natural circadian rhythm can change, and ongoing health conditions make sleep harder to come by.

Many people have chosen to forgo the traditional bed for a comfortable night's sleep and instead choose to sleep in a recliner or sleeping chair. Here are a few of the health benefits of these alternative sleeping arrangements. 

Breathe easier

The unique sleeping position offered by a recliner can make it much easier to breathe as you sleep with the head slightly raised. Easier breathing will make for a more restful night for anyone, but this change in sleeping position can be life-changing for those suffering from conditions like sleep apnea or COPD. 

Relief for back pain

A sleeping chair can make you much more comfortable than a flat mattress for millions of Americans who have arthritis in their back or other back problems. Reclining the torso and elevating the feet takes the pressure off the spine and allows those hard-working back muscles to take a well-deserved rest. 

Improved digestion

Many seniors suffer from poor digestion, particularly after eating a large meal. Sleeping in a recliner keeps the body in a more upright position, helping the stomach digest food by allowing it to remain in its natural place in the abdomen. This positioning makes indigestion and heartburn far less likely to leave you tossing and turning.  

Sleep chairs are also beneficial to seniors suffering from acid reflux. These chairs work well for those experiencing gastroesophageal symptoms because food has difficulty going against gravity to return to the esophagus.

Helps with blood circulation

Sleeping in a fully reclined sleep chair can be very beneficial for those spending a lot of time on their feet. A recliner slightly raises the head, improving circulation for the legs and feet. Enhanced circulation lessens bodywide inflammation and improves blood pressure.

Specialized symptom comfort

The user can customize a recliner to provide individualized support and care for those recovering from surgical procedures or who have other specialized restrictions. For seniors recovering from abdominal surgery or who have mobility concerns with the trunk or lower back, the chair’s ability to cradle this area during sitting and rising can be a relieving source of comfort. 

Sciatica pain relief

For those suffering from the radiating pain of sciatica, a sleep chair can provide much-needed comfort for this debilitating condition. While a physical therapist can help find a comfortable sleep position, a recliner can be beneficial by helping to align the spine. Adjusting the sleeping position supports the compression or injury that causes nerve pain to the sciatic nerve. 

Wrap up

The body’s immune system benefits from good quality sleep, which helps fight off disease. When the body sleeps, the brain repairs both itself and the body that cannot occur while awake. These maintenance tasks are essential for ridding the brain of waste products improving the clarity of thought and reaction time.