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My great-aunt Rose has Alzheimer's. Almost every night she talks in her sleep. A lot of the time she sounds very scared and upset. She yells out and says things like "No! Don't do that" and sometimes just lets out a very scary moan, almost like she is in pain. When I wake her up in the morning I always ask her how she slept. She says almost every morning that she slept well or "fairly good". I'm worried that this is disrupting her sleep and causing her to not get enough rest. When she talks a lot in her sleep I notice that the next morning she is very tired and spends most of the day asleep in her chair. Is there anything I could do to help her? I plan on bringing this up at her next doctors appointment. But I want to know if there is something I can do right now to help.

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Check with her neurologist for medication update/analysis.
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Aricept caused My Aunt Rose to have what she called 'weird, strange nightmares.' Check with her doc before making any changes, though.  Another relative found Ativan helpful, but again, it is prescription and not for all.  Let us know what works.  That is a positive assumption that something will.  Hugs!
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If your aunt is on a dementia medication and it is taken at nite, try taking it during the day instead. Did this with my dad and it seemed to help.
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Hello Monateru, may I begin by stating how incredibly Blessed Your aunt Rose is to have a wonderful kind Girl such as Yourself Caring for Her. My own Mother used to hallucinate quiet a lot at night, imagining rats hidden inside the curtains and some times I used to hear Mom cry out aloud in Her sleep always in fear. I mentioned this to my Mothers GP Who told me that the sleeping tablets Mom was taking to help Her sleep had one side effect ( hallucinations ).
Doctor prescribed no more sleeping tablets for Mom hence there was no more hallucinations. The answer to Your Question Monateru is in the Meds....bring this up with Your Aunty's Doctor and I bet You will get great results.
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Is she taking any kind of sleep meds at all? also, my mother was doing this a lot. but she was on sleep meds. Claimed she was sleeping fairly well. The caregiver who comes at night says she bangs on the walls and hollers.
Hospice has now prescribed ativan for this kind of thing. They tell me its anxiety manifesting itself. I kind of think its the subconscious thing going on. The ativan helps

Also, is there any way this could be terminal restlessness? I have been told by a friend of mine who is a hospice nurse that the older people do this
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I have a similar situation my mother is bipolar and won't sleep. Dr. told me its OK to give her Tylenol PM to relax her and get her to sleep. I tried Melatonin which was a joke. The Tylenol is not interfering with her other meds which has to be given consideration.
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Call her pharmacist and see if it could be a side effect of medication.

Ive had night terrors most of my life, they stay with you a few day and are usually accompanied by a paralysis.

Talk to her during the dreams, she will respond and find out the root of the dream.
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monateru Oct 2018
She is only on thyroid and blood pressure meds. I dont know if those could have these side-effects. I will do some research though! I didnt think of that.
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They are called night terrors. I would wake Mom up and tell her to open her eyes. I'd tell her she had a nightmare. I had her open her eyes because I have the ability to go back into a dream if I don't open my eyes. Once I did that she was OK the rest of the night. Moms doctor said if she had more than two a week he would prescribe something.
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monateru Oct 2018
I've woken her up before, when get very bad. She always laughs and says that she doesn't believe she was talking in her sleep. But she does stop after that. I will definitely mention this to her doctor.
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My FIL has the same problem. Always dreams that “the baddies” are after him. His neurologist prescribed a very low dose of Seroquel. It’s like magic for him! Definitely talk to your Aunt Rose’s doctor. There may be something he can do for her.
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I think it's a good idea to mention this to her doctor, and if the appointment isn't reasonably soon I'd try to bring it forward, maybe.

Meanwhile... what your great aunt's bedtime routine? If you help her prepare for bed, what about spending an extra few minutes talking to her about "happy thoughts" before she settles down. By happy thoughts I just mean anything she'll find agreeable and familiar, that might expose nicer layers of memory for her to sleep on. It's only an idea, I haven't tried this out on a live subject.

My mother did go through a phase of being upset and anxious about long, long-buried memories, but not to the extent of having audible nightmares about them. It must be very distressing. Have you tried holding your aunt's hand if she wakes you during the night? This is the kind of thing I'd take advice on, though - I honestly don't know if it's to be recommended or not.
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I did actually do the 'happy thoughts' thing with my 8 year old daughter who had nightmares. We talked at bed time about what she would think about if she woke in the night. It was really helpful.
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