Sleep Tips for People With Mobility Difficulties

Are you struggling to get a good night's sleep due to a mobility difficulty? You may find that you:

  • Find it difficult to get in and out of bed
  • Have trouble sitting up in bed, or lying back down
  • Find it hard to fall asleep at night
  • Suffer from pain or discomfort as you sleep

Unfortunately, many people with a mobility difficulty may find it difficult to sleep well at night. Whilst we can all find it difficult to enjoy a good night's sleep from time to time, those with limited mobility may face additional challenges and require extra support to ensure that the sleeping environment is safe and comfortable.

In this guide, we will focus on ways that you can improve your sleeping environment and sleep quality if you have a mobility difficulty. As with all our guides, this information should not replace medical advice. Please do seek the advice and support of your doctor or other healthcare provider if you need to.

An older woman using a walker
Read on to find out how you can get a better night's sleep

Choose a comfortable mattress

Your mattress should be comfortable and supportive, particularly if you have a mobility difficulty. It should relieve pressure point build-up and correctly support your spine. Your mattress should also be of the right firmness for you.

If you can answer "yes" to the following questions, it's time to think about replacing your mattress:

  • Is your mattress more than seven years old?
  • Does your mattress dip or sag in places?
  • Do you wake up with back pain, or do you wake up feeling stiff and sore?
  • Is your mattress generally uncomfortable?
A woman using a tablet
The National Bed Federation recommends changing your mattress once every seven years for optimum comfort and support

Browse all mattresses

Back to the top

Consider an adjustable bed

Do you find it difficult to get in and out of bed? Perhaps it's hard to sit up in bed or lie back down again. Maybe you suffer from pain or discomfort in bed. An adjustable bed is particularly beneficial if you have a mobility difficulty, since you can:

  • Safely sit up or get in and out of bed
  • Use a hand-held remote control to raise or lower sections of your bed
  • Alleviate painful pressure points

We offer a wide range of adjustable mattresses, complete with free delivery, installation and demonstration by our trained delivery team. Additionally, if you are registered disabled, you may be able to claim the VAT back on your adjustable bed. This can help make your new bed purchase more affordable.

For more information, please read our guide, 'What is an Adjustable Bed?' Alternatively, why not give us a call? We'll happily help you to find the best bed and mattress that matches all your requirements and budget.

View our adjustable mattresses

Back to the top

Add a little extra comfort

Perhaps you simply need a little more comfort in bed. A mattress topper is a good option if you're looking for an additional layer of support without resorting to buying a new mattress, if you don't need one just yet.

Luna Gel Memory Topper
For extra comfort and support: the Luna Gel Memory Topper is the ideal addition for a good night's sleep

Check out our mattress topper collection

Back to the top

Change your pillows regularly

Does your pillow offer adequate support for your head and neck? If you wake with a stiff neck, you may need to change your pillow. Pillow depth is also important to consider:

  • If your pillow is too deep, your head and neck could be bent upwards
  • If your pillow is too shallow, you won't get the correct level of support you need

We offer a wide range of pillows, including memory foam and latex pillows, in a variety of firmness ratings and depths, that could help alleviate your discomfort.

Shop all pillows today

If you'd like more information, please take a look at our pillow buying guide.

Back to the top

Sleep in a good position

Do you prefer to sleep on your side? Maybe you sleep on your back, or your front. Whatever your preferred sleeping position, if you have a mobility difficulty, consider whether this could actually contribute to any pain and discomfort. For instance, if you have sore shoulders or hips, sleeping on your side may worsen this. Sleep in a position that is most comfortable for you, and that helps to minimise any aches and pains.

Back to the top

Keep warm

Your bedroom should be warm enough, but not too hot that you find it difficult to get to sleep. The ideal room temperature for sleep is between 16-18°C, however, this varies from person to person. Try keeping a thermometer in your room to help you find the ideal temperature for you.

Do you feel too cold at night? Set a minimum temperature for your central heating so that it never falls too low. You could also set the heating to come on an hour before you wake up, so that you're not cold in the morning.

Choose a duvet in tog ratings 10.5 or 13.5 for a warmer, cosier feel. Keep spare blankets or quilts within easy reach, so that you can layer these over your duvet if you are cold during the night.

Browse all duvets

For more information, please visit our duvet guide.

Choose bedding fabrics made from natural fibres, such as cotton. Ensure that your bedclothes are loosely fitting and comfortable. Bed socks and warmer bedclothes can really help to keep you warm throughout the night, especially if you suffer from poor circulation.

The Silentnight Deep Sleep 13.5 tog duvet in a blue bedroom on a grey velevt divan bed
The Silentnight Deep Sleep 13.5 Tog Duvet: extra warm and soft, perfect if you feel cold in bed

Back to the top

Keep your bedroom tidy and safe

Tidying excess items away can make a big difference to your safety in the bedroom, particularly if you have a mobility difficulty. Removing unnecessary items of furniture and ensuring there's a clear pathway from the bed to the door will all help you to move more freely around the room, especially if you require a walking aid.

Keep your most important items, such as your phone, within easy reach when you're in bed. This can provide the reassurance you need if you want to get in contact with a relative or carer. If you struggle to reach a bedside table, an over-bed table could be a safer, more practical alternative for your important items.

Back to the top

Ensure your bedroom is well lit

Is your bedroom adequately lit? Ensure that you can easily use your main light switch, and that you have a bedside lamp. Installing an extra main light switch next to your bed enables you to get up in the night easily and safely, if you need to. Additionally, you may find a bedside touch-lamp easier to use than a standard lamp with a switch.

Back to the top

Improve your sleep quality

If you have a mobility difficulty, you may find that your quality of sleep is reduced. Consistently poor quality sleep can negatively impact health and wellbeing, so in this next section, we take a look at how you can improve your quality of sleep.

1. Stick to a schedule

Try to keep daytime napping to a minimum, as this can disrupt your sleep in the night. The recommended amount of sleep for an adult is between seven and nine hours, so aim for this as a starting point, and adjust to suit your individual needs. Waking up and going to sleep at the same time every day can help your body to learn when you are tired, and when it's time to wake up.

A traditional alarm clock on a bedside table, a helpful way to stick to a good sleep routine
Getting up and going to bed at the same time every day can help improve your sleep routine

2. Move regularly

Gentle, daily physical activity can help improve sleep quality, so long as it's not too close to bedtime. Find out how exercise can improve sleep in our guide.

If you have a mobility difficulty, please do discuss suitable exercises with your doctor first, who will be able to advise you further.

3. Get some exposure to natural light

If you have a mobility difficulty, it can be difficult to get enough exposure to daylight. However, daylight is an important regulator of our natural sleep-wake cycle. Also known as the circadian rhythm, it helps us understand when we should feel sleepy, and when we should feel awake and alert. Try to spend at least 30 minutes outside each day, if you can, to ensure that you are getting some natural light. You may find that this helps to improve your quality of sleep.

Back to the top

We hope that this guide has helped you to improve your sleeping environment and sleep quality.

You may find our advice page, tips for getting a good night's sleep and our Sleep Better Blog, useful accompaniments to this guide.

If you are an older customer or are buying for an older member of your family, you may also find our 'Mattress Buying Advice for the Older Customer' guide helpful.