Mom won't settle enough to sleep. How do I get her to stay in bed (w/o meds)? - AgingCare.com

Mom won't settle enough to sleep. How do I get her to stay in bed (w/o meds)?

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Mom is very restless these past few nights. She simply will not stay down long enough to doze off. She's started sleep talking and is certainly more confused than before. My main concern is that she gets some sleep which in turn, allows me to sleep. I hate the idea of sleeping pills but maybe this is the only way? She's very small framed and does not handle medications well. Any and all help/input is greatly appreciated. Thank God for this forum. I'm new to Caregiving. (Does it show?) Hugs to all ~

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No, Mom isn't on any Coumadin and I haven't even gone for the melatonin BUT...I liked the idea. Thanks for the tip. If she would just find a hobby, any hobby, to keep her mind active and fill a few hours each day, everyone would be better off. She just loves being difficult and stubborn. I think she does it for attention, I swear. Anywho, we just need to keep them comfortable and calm. Sending hugs too, RacehlA
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Hopefully your mom isn't on any blood thinners. I was going to try melatonin with my mom, who had trouble sleeping. But in researching that, she's on Warfarin/coumadin and it's not a good combo. It seems like there's always something to make our lives harder!
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Thanks everyone, for your input. BTW, Benadryl is REALLY BAD for people w/Dementia, per MD. So, rather she encouraged Mom to stay up and move around more during the day so then at night, she could sleep through. Thankfully she took this under advisement and our nights are much better. (Her recent sundowning episode happened b/c of an infection, which passed.) Her MD also suggested using natural remedies such as melatonin if need be. Luckily it hasn't gotten there yet but at least I know where to turn should she get restless again.
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I don't know why they (neurologist) don't mention that "first generation" antihistamines are anticholinergic or whatever the word is, and that they are not OK for people with dementia. As PS says, they are widely available, with no special warnings.
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Good to know Jeanne, thanks. I was more concerned about drug interaction.
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pstiegman, persons with Lewy Body Dementia should not take benadryl. His doctors advised that my husband could take Tylenol, but not Tylenol PM, and not any other products with benadryl. With dementia, and to some extent even with the aging process, some drugs that are helpful to most people become harmful. I was glad that you advised the poster to check with the MD before using it. That is always a good idea.

I wasn't criticizing your advice, pstiegman, just speaking from my own experience. With dementia in the picture it is especially important to check with a doctor who knows the full picture before trying over-the-counter-medications.

I also did not mean "experiment" in a derogatory way. Each person is unique and their reaction to drugs is unique. Taking a new drug, either prescription or otc, is a trial. If it works as expected, continue. If it doesn't, try something else.
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Let me say that benadryl is added to tylenol for Tylenol PM, a nighttime sleep aid. It is found in Sominex and Unisom. Read the labels. It is also used as a sedative for cats and dogs who are carried on airline flights. Look for "diphenhydramine" aka benadryl on the label. It is also used in children's allergy syrups. Is is also used for tremor in Parkinson's. This is not experimentation, it is standard use.
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As I understand it, she is napping during the day (which is when she sleep talks, right?) so it isn't that she isn't getting any sleep. But she is not sleeping when you need to sleep. That can become a very severe problem. When my husband (Lewy Body Dementia) got into this mode I could not have kept him at home without some relief. His doctors (a sleep psychiatrist and a behavioral neurologist) prescribed a drug to decrease the agitation. It was a godsend. We both slept through the night and husband was able to remain at home throughout the dementia journey.

I would caution against experimenting with over-the-counter drugs. Some of those ingredients may be harmful to folks with dementia.
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You can call the MD and get a prescription drug, or ask him if just giving her one benadryl at bedtime would be OK with her other meds. Benadryl is an over the counter medication at any drugstore.
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Sounds like sundowning. Your mom may indeed need meds from a doctor to calm her. With sundowning the patient seems not to need much sleep at all, doesn't sleep well or long, and has a need to wander around all day and night... Many a night I sat slumped in a chair like a zombie while my mom paced back and forth, back and forth... There is no such thing as sleep during this time. If they're up, you're up. I finally had to get my mom some meds...the first meds didn't do anything, so she ended up with something stronger and that worked much better. Get her to see a doctor, or talk to her primary doctor yourself and explain what's going on. There is help to be had for this stage... It might not seem like mom needs her sleep, but WE sure do...
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