sarah12 Asked March 2012

How do you get an Alzheimer and Dementia patient to stay asleep at night?

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3pinkroses Mar 2012
I would talk to the doctor and discuss medication at this point. A patient with alzheimers/dementia have a lot of anxiety. It has been my experience that anti-anxiety medication can help with sleep. It helps my mother in a nursing home and helped my MIL when she lived with us. It is worth a try. Hope you find something that works. Sleep for everyone is a must.
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Poppie1924 Mar 2012
My dad passed away june, 2011. This was our biggest problem. Five of us daughters are RNs. We tried eveything you could imagine. We followed every suggestion given to us from the professionals. We tried every medication that indicated it would help with sleep. We went to the famous Rush Memory Clinic in Chicago. We had appointments with a highly recommended geriatric psychiatrist. You name it, we tried it. Our goal was to keep Dad comfortable, safe, and happy. When there is no sleep at night, it turns into a vicious circle.
My only advice is attemt to get as many loved ones involved and take shifts every night/day. Accept the fact that your mother is not going to sleep at night. It is a demanding and draining(physically and mentally) job but I have NO regrets! I also have to say that I found strength in prayer, something that I had not been utilizing much until those difficult times. Dig deep within yourself and try to stay strong to deal with this horrible time in your life.
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jeannegibbs Mar 2012
All of the general tips and hints for getting a good night's sleep can apply here. But in addition a person with a chronic condition such as dementia can have other issues that interfere with sleep.

What does your mother do when she wakes up at night? I suggest keeping a careful log of the times she wakes, what she does, and when she returns to bed. (This assumes you live with her.) Then discuss the log with the doctor who treats her dementia.

I don't generally think drugs are a good first choice for insomnia in otherwise healthy people. But my husband takes 2 different drugs to help ensure a good night's sleep. He has dementia. He would have a very hard time learning new behaviors, and the general tips are not enough to get him through the night. Lack of sleep makes everything else worse. I am glad his neurologist prescribed these drugs.

I hope your mother's doctor can make some helpful suggestions.
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AgingCareCM Mar 2012
sarah12 ,

Sleep problems is a common issue in many elders today. Insomnia is the most common sleep complaint at any age. It affects almost half of adults 60 and older.

Here is an article on ways to get your patient to stay asleep at night.

How to Help Cure Insomnia

And, this next article talk about sleep patterns in seniors.

Do People Need Less Sleep As They Age?

Hope you are able to figure out ways to get your elderly patient to sleep at night.

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