Seven Tips for Safe Sleeping for Older Women and Men

We all spend a considerable portion of our life sleeping. Ideally, an individual – including a man or woman in his or her Golden Years – spends at least a fourth of their time in bed sleeping. What many individuals fail to think about is the importance of making sure you are safe when sleeping. This can be particularly important for older individuals. In this article, we present to you seven useful (and important) tips for safe sleeping for older individuals:

  • Keep telephone handy
  • Keep light within reach
  • Eliminate potential bedroom hazards
  • Do not smoke in bed
  • Keep pets at bay
  • Keep fire and carbon monoxide alarms charged
  • Use tools to permit quick movement out of bed in an emergency

Keep Telephone Handy

Some of the tips recommended in this article do have both pros and cons. Keeping a telephone handy when you are in bed at night is one such recommendation. With that said, the positive protections provided by a phone near you when you sleep at night outweigh the potential negative aspects.

If you are like many people, your only type of phone at this juncture in time is a mobile one. A majority of mobile phones are smartphones in this day and age. There is strong school of thought that recommends keeping your mobile phone away from where you sleep at night. The tendency to use apps on the phone after you crawl into bed can be powerful. Doing this is said to negatively impact your sleep. 

With that in mind, if your mobile is the only type of phone you have – and, again, you are not alone in this regard – safety trumps the prospect of using the device in a manner that can disrupt your sleep. You will need to be diligent in forbidding yourself from fiddling with your smartphone and viewing things or using apps when you’re ready for sleep.

Keep Light Within Reach

Another item that you will want to keep in reach of your bed at night is a light (or light switch). You should never get out of bed in the dark. Whether you’re younger or older, it simply is never safe to wander about in the dark. This is a reality even for people who generally have a sharp idea of where things are in a room or in a residence. 

The reality is that every day older people fall and sustain what oftentimes prove to be serious injuries. Many of these falls occur because an older individual is trying to move around in his or her residence in the dark.

Eliminate Potential Bedroom Hazards

If you are like most individuals, there are potential hazards in your bedroom (and elsewhere in your home). You should strive to eliminate anything from your bedroom (and, really, anywhere else in your home) that presents a possible hazard. For example, certain decorative throw rugs can represent a hazard. They can slip, causing you to fall. You can stumble over them, causing you to fall. In fact, virtually anything that is not a piece of furniture left on a bedroom floor presents a hazard to a person in the night. 

Do Not Smoke in Bed

It seems odd that this statement needs to be made in the 21st century, but here it is: Do not smoke in bed. 

The thing is, many people still smoke in bed despite undoubtedly being warned time and again that this is a highly dangerous practice. Every year in the United States, including in California, people fall asleep in bed while smoking. When that happens, and with alarming regularity, bed linens catch on fire. Sadly, an alarming number of individuals in this predicament end up dying because of the smoke and fire or are severely injured. Older, and somewhat less mobile, individuals are more likely to die or be severely injured in this type of scenario.

Keep Pets at Bay

This is another of those damned if you do, damned if you don’t warnings. Pets are part of the family. Many people do allow their pets in bedrooms at night. There are pros and cons associated with that practice which are beyond the scope of this article, save one point. Across the country every year older people are injured getting up in the middle of the night (usually to use the bathroom). Out of bed, these individuals end up tripping over a pet in the bedroom, causing them to fall and sustain injuries.

Keep Fire and Carbon Monoxide Alarms Charged

Your home should have both a fire alarm and one that detects the presence of carbon monoxide. Both of these types of alarms need to be charged or connected to a home’s electricity. 

Use Tools to Permit Quick Movement Out of Bed in an Emergency

Finally, when it comes to tips for safe sleeping, if you are like many older individuals, crawling out of bed can be a bit of challenge sometimes. For this reason, you want to consider having appropriate tools, equipment, or related items that will permit you the ability to get out of bed quickly in the event of an emergency.