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My mom wakes early very rudely and loudly. I guess believes I need to be awake as well. She turns on all the lights in the kitchen and screams "Get up," pounds/bangs on the counter tops, this morning she even opened the door so the alarm would go off! This continues until I get up and stop her. Today I led her back to bed, but it didn't last long. I am so exhausted!!! What can I do about this?

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The main problem is damage to the brain that controls circadian rythms and sleep, the preoptic area of hypothalamus. Sleep disruption is common in mid stage AD, stage 5, and usually passes. Melatonin didn't work for my family members nor did "keeping them busy". My Aunt could be up for DAYS. We had to deal with it because tranqulizers made her loopy and she was a fall risk. The bad news is after that phase, they more on to urinary and bowel incontinence. It really goes downhill from there.
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marymember; I started giving my mom a 3 mg melatonin at the beginning of this week. She does go to sleep well, but still wakes up early. We had a Dr's appointment last night and she said it was perfectly fine to give even with the other meds mom is on. We need to do this for about 2 weeks before she said we could see better results. She also told us that we can up the dosage after our court date with my brother who petitioned to get guardianship. Right now we want to leave things as they are until we get through that. Melatonin is natural and non harmful ~ although I suppose it could be if it was over done!
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My husbans's neurologist reccomended Melatonin to take each night to help sleep.
I would like to know how this has or has not worked for caregivers on this site.

Is it safe to take on a long term basis?

Since I only will start tonight, I am interested with agrees and don't agrees from caregivers concerning this product.marymember
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Thanks everyone! Right now as I said I've added the melatonin, and then I try to wear her out when we get home. I can put her in front of a sink of dirty dishes and she will be there for at least an hour! She is still waking up early but has learned to just lay there all cozy. Right now it's hard because of what my brothers are putting us through; she said when she sits still she starts thinking about that and it upsets her; which is why she gets up and moving! We have a court date 10/6, so hopefully that will put some of her fears aside too.
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Deborah7: I am familiar with the lists. My mom turned it down when her name came to the top of the list for senior housing. She didn't inform me! UGH!
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Hi there..I just had to respond to this. My mother lived with us for 19 months..which doesn't sound like a long time, but near this end of those months they were an eternity. My mother got to where I would swear she would stay awake for 6 days at a time. I'm thinking she would dose with her eyes open. At about 15 months in, she started banging on our bedroom door at 3:00 a.m. in the morning wanting to know where the cat food was to feed the cats. After the weeks turned into months, the lack of sleep even had my very patient husband saying, "We are going to have to do something". She went to assisted living last year. The aides tell me that she gets up in the night, they will tell her that she can stay up, watch TV, etc..but she gets upset that nobody else is in the dining room. They show her that it is dark outside, and her concept of time is so off that she believes them to be lying to her that it is night, when they can show her the proof. I visit almost everyday...I was lucky to find a place just 1 mile from my home, and I take her cat to visit. My nights are mine again. We tried 2 different sleeping pills, but due to all the other medications she was on the dosage was low. They would work for about 3 nights, then she would be up hopping again. The Dr. said that she was literally burning them out of her system, not allowing them time to work since her anxiety level never gave her a chance to calm down. We made sure that her food and drinks would not keep her up. We tried everything we could think of. My initial intent was to keep her here with me until the end. Things were so much easier when she first moved in, but after that first year, she started going downhill mentally. If you don't get your rest, it will destroy you. I started snapping at my mom, which was out of character, and I came to realize that it wasn't good for her or myself. Good Luck and keep us all posted on how you are doing. If you find the sleep secret..please share!!!
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I was a caregiver for a 78 year old woman who had Alzheimer's...for 3 years, 5 nights a week. Not sleeping at night or up frequently is common in middle stage (5). Honestly, we tried everything and I don't know how either one of us is still alive. This woman honestly slept no more than 3 hours A DAY. I know because I was there 24 hr. shifts. When her family had to finally fill in one 24 hr. shift a week so I could rest...they couldn't take it and put her in assisted living. The good news is the stage passed--she now sleeps at night. The bad news is, after that stage 5, they more to progressive stage 6-7, which involves bladder and bowel incontinence, then they usually cannot feed themselves at all without help (feeding with spoon, fork, etc). Sad.
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Make sure her coffee, tea and or pop is decaf. Every little thing you can do helps. I also found that if I kept my mom busy several hours before bed time with a wind down of an hour before bed, she was tired and slept better. As my mom was disoriented when she woke up at night, I slept in the same room with her so I could calm her down before she got rolling. Not ideal situation, but like you, I had to wait for placement.
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llamalover47; I have her on a waiting list at an AL place but they won't have anything for at least 3 months and it is the place I want for her as it is near by home (selfishly I can visit her more and take her on outings). She just started living with me and we are still working out the kinks. I have a talk with her every night about not waking me up or if she needs to, to be nice and gentle about it. So far so good ~ knock on wood! I've also added melatonin to her nighttime meds to see if that helps - will need to wait a few weeks to see if there are any positive results. We also go to the Dr. tomorrow after work!
So happy to have this site to ask questions and learn, thank you everyone :-)
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At this point, you should be considering an AL or SNH. You can't go on like this. It's called. caregiving burnout.
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No sleep for either her or me was the reason I had to move Mom to Assisted Living.
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My mom is now in a NH however when she was living with me, the Dr. prescribed a mild sleeping pill which I gave her just before she went to sleep. She also does not get any caffeine. I still bring her home sometimes and although she awakens to go to the bathroom, she sleeps pretty good from about 10 - 4 am. 6 hours of relatively decent sleeps helps both of us! 😊
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Sometimes my Mom will ring the remote doorbell I have so she can call if she needs help...and then doesn't know what it is or why. Every couple of weeks or so she will yell or babble in the middle of the night until I tell her all is ok and that it is time to sleep. She usually calms down then, but I fear this is only going to escalate as time goes on. She is completely bedridden and has not tried to get out of the bed, but I fear that too as she cannot walk and would fall right down. I have mats to put around her bed and keep the hospital bed as low as it goes at night. Her friend's husband wanders all night and the husband got outside one night and fell down the steps. It was Winter and he would have frozen if neighbor's dogs would not have found him and began barking and alerted the neighbor! It is good you do have alarms for this reason.
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My mom will wake up during the night and come to check if I am there (I have been sleeping on the couch in the living room). She will ask me if I am going anywhere - that's all she wants to do is ride in the car. She will ask if I am going to take her to feed the ducks - her favorite thing. There have been nights when she has waken me up at 4, 5, 6 etc until I get up. From what I understand, sleep is affected by the dementia. Sometimes people sleep more during day and not at night and others just stop sleeping soundly altogether. It's not good for them or us. I did notice if I say anything about the next day - refer to anything we will be doing, anyplace we are going - then it is 100 times worse. It's like she can't stop thinking about that to rest. I found it helped to also keep her on a strict bedtime regime going to bed early and lights out. She still gets up to go to the bathroom and I wake up every time she gets up. Can the door be set so she can't open it to set off alarm? Is she safe if you sleep in a room that won't be disturbed? Let her doctor know. From what my moms doctor said it is an indicator of the stage of alzheimer's. Most of all try to get rest. You need it whether she is able to sleep or not. I know from experience that is easier said than done. I worked in a hospital where we had to use soft posy on some elderly clients at night to keep them in bed. This was a last resort and we had to check on them very frequently to make sure they weren't tangled in them.
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