My 92-year-old dad resists going to bed because he thinks it is daytime. He believes he has already slept and gotten up. How do I get him to go to bed at the right time?

Follow
Share

What things can I do to help him "reset" his internal clock to help him go to bed and not sit up all night in his recliner reading?

This question has been closed for answers. Ask a New Question.
Find Care & Housing
6

Answers

Show:
Oh, that's my problem this week. No wonder I'm having so many sleep issues. The sun is boycotting this part of the country!
Helpful Answer (0)
Report

I would have your dad taking a walk outside in the sunshine first thing in the morning, if possible. You would probably have to walk with him. Sunshine will reset the internal clock.
Helpful Answer (0)
Report

This a problem with the elderly sometimes they like to take a long afternoon nap and are not tired at nighttime. Make the area as dark as you are able to at bedtime aometimes a ritual like maybe a walk outside will help them get ready for bed maybe you need to extend their day by 1 hr. or have a glass of warm milk before bed -if you can get someone to come in for maybe 2 hrs. before bedtime to stay with then so you can get to bed and not worry like a babysitter might help-remember you are only one person and you can not be going 24 hrs. it might be that the elder needs more help than you can provide-I remember how I hated nights because my late husband would give himself too much insulin so he could wake me up every night with low blood sugar which got me up for hours-he knew what he was doibg he thought I was his slave and he was entilted to treat me badly. Your may have to at first stay p 3-4 hrs later and then slowly decrease the time. Maybe he or she needs a mild seditive to help them calm down if you have family insist they get involved and do not be proud and think you can do it all-I wish I had insisted others help me in the past - I remember being so tired all the time.
Helpful Answer (2)
Report

What is your father's diagnosis, Susan? Does he have dementia? Are you his caregiver? Do you live together?

Does he get agitated in the evening? Does he pace or act anxious? Or does he simply say Go to bed? What do you mean, I just got up? People with dementia often have very poor orientation as to time, and also very limited short term memory. A common problem, for example, is eating, getting up from the table, then coming back into the kitchen or dining room and asking whether it is time to eat now.

If he sits in his recliner and reads for a while, is he likely to fall asleep? Would there be a problem for him to get his sleep this way? If my husband falls in asleep in his recliner I gently push it back and drape a blanket over him. I worry that if he wakes up disoriented he'll fall getting out of the chair, so I leave the lights on to help him understand where he is.

Is there some nightly event that can signal bedtime? "Well, now that the evening news is over, let's get ready for bed." Increasing his daytime activities might help.

Let us know a little more about the situation.
Helpful Answer (2)
Report

Helpful Answer (1)
Report

Does your father have dementia/alzheimers? Is he confused about other things during the day?
If not, he might be experiencing "sundowner's syndrome." If this is the case, it isn't a matter of "resetting" a clock. What they are experiencing makes them fearful of the evening and of sleeping. I think my Mom fears that she will go to sleep and not wake up. She has had these episodes for years and sleeps in a recliner. They only occur after the sun has set. Researchers think it may have something to do with the loss of melatonin as we age.
I try to keep Mom active during the day. I notice that she sleeps better if she has been on an outing to her doctor's office, etc. Her episodes also include panic attacks. So I have her drink warm milk or hot chocolate and take an excedrin tension headache (I think these mostly have a placebo effect). She does not like to take sedatives, and I am not a big fan of prescription sedatives for seniors, but she will sometimes take an excedrin pm.
The downside of staying up all night is constant exhaustion, sleeping through the day, and irratability. I really think it takes a mental toll. You must be exhausted too.
Helpful Answer (2)
Report

This question has been closed for answers. Ask a New Question.
Related
Questions