Follow
Share

Mom is 85 with dementia and she is currently taking 13 mg of Melatonin every night but only sleeps an hour or so, gets back up, and thinks it's morning again! She will get fully dressed and expect my dad to take her to Waffle House for breakfast plus she has tried to take her morning meds all over again but it's really night time. Help!! This cycle is killing my 86 year old father. I help as much as I can with her but I'm not there at night. He doesn't like to drive at night because he doesn't see well...

My best friend in college had a grandmother who was from Scotland. At bedtime grandma insisted on a “hot toddy”. Not knowing what that was I asked my friend who told me her grandmother had this every night as it helped her sleep. It is warm milk and a shot of something alcoholic (brandy?).
Grandma lived to be 93.

Don’t throw shade on me, lol but it worked.

Speak with her doctor first of course but it’s just a suggestion.
Helpful Answer (11)
Reply to Shane1124
Report
graygrammie Sep 10, 2020
Hot toddy -- now there's a phrase I haven't had in years! My mom used to have her hot toddy every night when I was kid. Sadly, when I went away to college mom became an alcoholic and was finally forced into stopping by a hospitalization for a seizure forty years later. No access to alcohol forced her body into DTs. It was horrible to see. But I cleaned out her house while she was in the hospital and dad watched her carefully and I don't think she ever went back to heavy drinking (I do suspect her hairdresser was supplying her with some alcohol though, but very small quantities). I wish I had known that sleeping was the purpose of the hot toddy, I would have gladly let her have them in her final years when she couldn't drive and couldn't leave the house unassisted if it would have meant dad would have gotten sleep at night.
(4)
Report
See 1 more reply
This problem could be caused by overmedication.

Dad kept passionately telling healthcare providers that Mom was on too much medication. No one listened to him, in fact, her medical records made no mention of his concerns, but stated Instead that he was ranting, and suffering from the beginnings of dementia (which was not true).

Take a look at all prescribed medications and supplements. Chart out medical purpose, negative side effects, dangerous interactions and proper dosages (for someone with your mother’s weight). You can start with the printouts provided by the pharmacy and augment your chart with information available online.

Mom was prescribed so many medications (incrementally slowly, most added during hospitalizations) that she could not function well. She had one of those pill boxes with many compartments and so many pills that the boxes could not even snap shut. She was waking at night ready to go out too. The sheer number of different medications were ridiculous and the dosages were only appropriate for a much larger person to begin with.

After refusals by several doctors (who told me I was in denial regarding the aging process) I found a doctor who was willing to listen to me regarding dad’s concerns and helped slowly wean mom down to dosages that were manageable for her body (which it turns out were lower than even what was recommended for her weight). Do not attempt weaning anyone off medication without a doctor’s supervision, as this could be very dangerous if not done correctly. It turned out that about 3 of Mom’s medications were not needed at all.

She completely bounced back! She felt so much better, sleep returned to normal cycles, she was happier, her memory sharpened, she stopped falling/regained balance, and even was able to exercise (and take fairly long walks) again. As Dad, at that time, was her primary caretaker too, his health and lifestyle improved significantly also.

A visiting nurse told me many of her other patients were in the same boat - when she told them our story and they were weaned, they also experienced a miracle.
Helpful Answer (10)
Reply to ACaringDaughter
Report
sunshinelife Sep 10, 2020
Its called toxicity due to polypharmacy...you are 100% correct. Older people cannot metabolize drugs (poisons by definition) like a younger body. So they end up with very high levels of multiple drugs in the body. Many die from the compound side effects of the drugs, Not any disease. You were strong to stand up to the medical system. I admire you for doing so. Allowing someone else to decide what they will do to ones own body is crazy to me.
I took my grandfather slowly but surely off all the drugs he was on...and replaced them with healthy foods & herbs. He smoked from 15 to 75 yoa, so his body is not ever going to be as good as someone who didn't...However, he rides his bicycle around the area, swims in summer & sleeps well at night. He does get depressed, & irrational, & imagine all sorts of things. And generally give me a hard time. I hang in their because he's my Grandpa, and I love him
However, he is for all intents & purposes a healthy man at 85
Watch "Death by Medicine" by Gary Null sometime on YT it is very enlightening
(1)
Report
See 1 more reply
Don’t be afraid to try CBD without THC. it helps my mom relax. They come in gummies, easy to take. Try it.
Helpful Answer (5)
Reply to Terrisue
Report
Screennamed Sep 10, 2020
PLEASE STOP, CBD dangerously inhibits the CYP450 system.
(2)
Report
See 2 more replies
If you use Melatonin all the time, your body stops producing it, itself. Not good. Try Unisom with doxylamine succinate. Doesn't cause dementia like Benadryl. CBD is also a really great idea!
Helpful Answer (5)
Reply to geevesnc
Report
onions Sep 10, 2020
I agree 100% with geevesnc. CBD!!! No god awful side effects like Unisom, or any over the counter drug medications. They're ALL TERRIBLE.
(5)
Report
See 2 more replies
Hello redsnappa,
mom definitely needs to attend a adult day care for about 8 hours a day which will help with sleeping at night. Dad could sleep while she is there so by the time she gets back he would have had some rest. Melatonin is great but does not work for everyone. A hot totty is a good idea if she does not have other health issues or meds that alcohol would interact with. Be careful of meds that a doc may prescribe, it can do more harm than good. Doctors are not always correct. It’s not a one size fit all. Parents are very stubborn but you have to be more aggressive in making a decision. Good luck and we are here for you....
Helpful Answer (4)
Reply to Pumpkin7
Report

A double tea bag, mug of Chamomile Tea. Knocks you out ...
Helpful Answer (4)
Reply to Chemoangel1967
Report
Sarah3 Sep 13, 2020
A great twist on that is adding a tablespoon of raw honey 1-2 hours before bedtime
(0)
Report
My grandmother died of Alzheimer’s- her doc told my grandpa to have her drink a shot of captain Morgan every night. Grandpa said it worked pretty well. Apparently it did because when my cousin and I went to help Grandpa by cleaning out her things there was about 50 empty Captain Morgan bottles in one of the kitchen cupboards!
Helpful Answer (4)
Reply to Terrisue
Report
sunshinelife Sep 10, 2020
Grandma & Grandpa were busy :)) Alcohol is initially a sedative , then a few hours later becomes a stimulant. Hence people who drink waking in the small hours of the morning. The Doctor was uninformed. However, Im glad your Grandpa stuck by your Grandma all the way to the end. Special kind of man. Not too many like that ...bless his heart
(0)
Report
That dose seems high.
If you have the urge to try one of the "night time sleep aids" that contain the medication that is in Benedryl it is not without problems. The medication in benedryl can cause what I call a Foggy Brain. I tried it once and realized that I should stop giving it to my Husband. I figure if I woke up with a foggy brain what the heck is it doing to someone that already has dementia!
Check with her doctor, there are medications that can help. (keep in mind all medications come with a risk of side effects)
If possible keep her as active as possible during the day so she is tired and will be more apt to stay asleep.
Larger meal in the morning smallest meal at night might make it easier to sleep.
Limit liquids prior to going to bed. Eliminate stimulants before going to bed (anything with caffeine)
Try to eliminate the TV prior to going to bed, at least 30 minutes.
And maybe a sound machine of night time sounds, crickets might help.

By the way from what I have been told if there is light on it does limit the effectiveness of Melatonin so if a light is kept on for her that might also be contributing to the problem
Helpful Answer (4)
Reply to Grandma1954
Report

To help your mom sleep, ask Dr. If Trazadone in a low dose would help? My mom wouldn't sleep till very late at night & she didn't nap, even with walks during the day.
Dr. Gave Gabapenten, made her so hyper & psychotic, trying to run away every day!
We got a bottle of Kava (herbal) pills 500mg, 2x/day. Stopped the Gabapenten. Now Mom is very calm and goes to bed by 9:30.
I feel your pain, sending hugs.
Helpful Answer (4)
Reply to naia2077
Report

My dad’s 90 and has Alzheimer’s and many other conditions including rheumatoid arthritis and cancer. His sleep cycle had been screwed up for past 5 years. We decided to try medical marijuana with equal parts CBD and THC in capsule form twice a day. It’s been great! It helps his mood and lessens anxiety (we dumped his antidepressant), helps with pain, encourages appetite and helps him sleep as he comes off about 4 hours of focus and whole body relaxation. IDK if legal there, but you might consider it. Amazing what nights of 5-7 hours sleep can do for a guy!
Helpful Answer (3)
Reply to DadsGurl
Report
Shane1124 Sep 11, 2020
Great idea. THC/CBD comes in drops that can be given under the tongue as well.
(2)
Report
See All Answers
Ask a Question
Subscribe to
Our Newsletter