Dementia Care: Sleeping Patterns

So, your loved one does not want to sleep and your exhausted!

Unfortunately, individuals with dementia can and many times do suffer from sleep disturbance. Their days become night and nights become days. If your family member starts wandering throughout the night let them! Just make certain to keep them safe. Remove tripping hazards. Keep the pets away whenever possible. Easier said then done. I myself love my pets and chances are so does your loved one. 

We as caregivers want to understand why? Well its not so cut and dry. Remember the brain is challenged with the Dementia patient. They at times are unable to articulate why. They do not however, wander for no reason. Disturbed sleeping patterns can place them at risk for trips and falls.

We might ask are they hearing noises, have nightmares, hallucinations and even perhaps delusions. You should ask and attempt to get an answer.

Some suggestions for our sleepy loved ones are:

  1. Be consistent with their routine.

  2. Remain calm no matter how frustrating the situation.

  3. Use medium light.

  4. Soft music is helpful.

  5. Keep bedtime as peaceful as possible.

  6. Warm baths or a warm shower.

  7. Allow them to be repetitive in conversation.

  8. If medically safe and ok’d by an MD, some suggest a small glass of wine or beer.

  9. Avoid caffeine at or near bedtime.

  10. Limit fluids. This can make them have the need to go to the bathroom.