I’ve brought my mom with moderate Alzheimer’s to live with me. About every two or three nights she has bouts of screaming and talking in her sleep. Do I wake her? - AgingCare.com

I’ve brought my mom with moderate Alzheimer’s to live with me. About every two or three nights she has bouts of screaming and talking in her sleep. Do I wake her?

Follow
Share

Should I let these episodes run their course or try and console her and or wake her? She calls out to her mom who died in 1973 to help her.

37

Answers

Show:
My mom has these at times. I go in... Sometimes just softly saying sh..sh..sh is enough. Other times I give gentle pressure to her shoulder and it will calm her. Sometimes I sing a soft song or turn on a soft light, not the big overhead one. Some nights I sleep on a recliner in her room... It helps if I can her when she first gets a bit restless.
Good  luck... It is scary for both of you. It also breaks my heart that mom is so upset.
Helpful Answer (10)
Reply to Grammyteacher
Report

Is it possible for you to play music at night in her bedroom while she is asleep? Calming Alpha Wave Music will be heard by her brain and possibly alleviate the nightmares. My Mother has difficulty staying asleep. She would often jolt awake after a couple hours and not be able to return to sleep immediately. I tried music therapy and now she sleeps a full 5-6 hours at a time.
Helpful Answer (10)
Reply to IMBabci2
Report

How awful! Sorry you are both suffering with this. Terrible for your mom of course, and to be jolted out of sleep with screaming on a regular basis has to be ghastly for you as well. Have you talked to her doctor? There may be meds that could be adjusted, changed or added. Hoping others will have some ideas and that you both can get some relief from this situation soon!
Helpful Answer (8)
Reply to SnoopyLove
Report

Search the Internet/YouTube for "Calming night terrors through Alpha Wave Music." It worked for my Mom.
Helpful Answer (8)
Reply to IMBabci2
Report

My Mom would do this at times and tell me someone rang the doorbell, or that a man was looking in her window, which was impossible. It was 3 am and pretty terrifying to me as well. I used to lie awake listening for her, just hoping she would sleep calmly through the night. What helped her was a very dim nightlight so she knew where she was, in a room in my home and safe. I would go in, turn on a light and gently speak to her letting her know she was safe in my house. The music idea is good too. I used music in the mornings.
My Mom's episodes seemed to worsen when she had a UTI so I recommend testing for that too.
Helpful Answer (8)
Reply to Katie22
Report

Thank you all. Although quite terrifying for both of us, I do think it’s a learning experience. Since I’ve tried letting the dreams( nightmares) run their course at times, have tried to physically stroke her gently( won’t be doing that again anytime soon as she struck out at me in her sleep while screaming leave me alone, get off me) and also did the shh it’s me Mom you’re safe as I put on the lights. ( apparently a night light just casts scary shadows). Most times the episodes are gibberish sprinkled with screams of terror, but lately, the sentences are clear as a bell and are terrifying in nature along with blood curtling screams of help. I can’t let those run their course as no matter what is causing it, she is terrified.
Helpful Answer (6)
Reply to Alzh101
Report

These r called night terrors. My Mom had these in early stages. Her neurologist said if they occurred more than twice a week he would give her Medicine for it. The one time her screaming went long I woke her up and had her open her eyes. Then she went back to sleep.
Helpful Answer (6)
Reply to JoAnn29
Report

My Mom had Parkinson's Disease. A few years before her 'official' diagnosis of PD, every now and again Mom would scream in her sleep. My brother would wake her when this would happen, as he believed she was having a nightmare. Being woken up like that was always terrifying to her. As her disease progressed, these night terrors would become more frequent. My brother moved into his own home, and I moved in with Mom. I would also try to wake Mom gently when this happened, but didn't want to scare her, either. I also wanted to find out the root cause. Her doctor said he would give her some medication (Seroquel); we tried it, and it did not work for Mom. Then one day, when I woke Mom from her 'nightmare,' she didn't know who she was, where she was, or who I was....so off to the ER we went. A few hours later (with no diagnosis or treatment at that point), Mom began to regain her awareness. The ER doc said 'Total Global Amnesia' and sent us home. Mom's primary care doctor called us to recommend Mom take one aspirin a day (325 mg). He was worried the TGA episode could be a precursor to a stroke. That night, Mom took an aspirin as part of her daily meds. It was like a switch -- Mom had NO MORE night terrors when she took the aspirin. This makes me believe her terrors were due to a blood flow issue in her brain.

If your Mom can tolerate aspirin, it is worth a try. Please clear it with her doctor first. I hope you and your Mom can find a solution to this issue.
Helpful Answer (6)
Reply to Gardengrrl
Report

Two things. Trazadone as a sleep aid can cause dramatic nightmares. Something to know. Also, I have terrifying dreams often...which I have come to view as horror movies. BUT before I got used to them...I wold have loved for someone to get me out of there by waking me. I fall back to sleep easily. I like the idea of helping someone in distress....real or imagined. Wake her gently. Give her a kiss. Say I love you.
Helpful Answer (6)
Reply to JohnandMom
Report

My Aunt had these all the time when I first began to care for her. It is quite alarming and also disorienting for me and difficult for me to fall back asleep. I moved her Donepezil to the AM even though supposed to cause drowsiness. I began a 10mg time-release melatonin at night just prior to sleep or 30 minutes prior. I recently added in aroma therapy with lavender, vetiver and eucalypsis oils and start the diffuser an hour before bed in her room. Once settled in bed she gets grapeseed oil mixed with lavender and vetiver on the bottom of her feet and I let soak in and then put on socks. She seldom gets the night screaming anymore but if she does I normally just take her to the restroom as she has to go pretty bad and I think is disoriented. She has talked in her sleep most nights and continues to do so but with seldom frightening screaming sessions.
Helpful Answer (5)
Reply to LauraJeanette
Report

See All Answers
Related
Questions