Person with Alzheimer's going to bed at 3am and rising at 2pm. He's very agitated and confused at 6pm in the evening. Any suggestions?


Drinking coffee at 2pm and eating his breakfast around 5pm, then eating his dinner 12 midnight. Very disoriented when trying to get to bed. He is 65 yrs. of age and has been diagnosed with severe Alzheimers.

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Can you sit down with your partner and both eat together at a more agreeable time? I know when my mother suffered from Alzheimer’s she had absolutely no concept of what time of day it was. Even clocks didn't help. But she ate with the group in the facility when they ate. I would ask his doctor about medications that might help him with his wakefulness.
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Reply to Ahmijoy

Another thought; make sure his last meal of the day isn't one with higher sugar foods that could keep him awake, and possibly restless if he can't get to sleep.
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Reply to GardenArtist

I agree. I think this person needs to get their days and nights straightened out. I'm a night person and my schedule will automatically gravitate towards staying up late but if I indulge this I get all out of sync in my life and it's very uncomfortable. And the 1 or 2 days it takes to get myself back on a more normal schedule can be very uncomfortable.

GardenArtist used the word "gradually" and that's the best bet. Gradually get this person back on a regular schedule. No coffee at 2pm. I think this might be a lot of work for you for several days but even for me when I'm up at 3am I feel somewhat disoriented because everyone else is asleep. I would imagine it must wreak havoc on someone who has Alzheimer's.
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Reply to Eyerishlass

I would be too if I was drinking either decaf or caffeinated coffee in the afternoon and eating breakfast around 5 and dinner at midnight. But actually, breakfast food can be eaten at any meal; it's the issue of whether it's the first meal of the day, and apparently it's not.

I think you need to try to get this person on a more regular meal schedule. Is this your father? Is he living at home?

Gradually start moving meal times back until he's eating breakfast at an earlier time and dinner earlier as well.

If he's sundowning, that's contributing to the confusion.

If you have to, make the meals as pleasant as you can - his favorite music, maybe aromatherapy to relax and soothe him.

I don't know what meds might be appropriate; others here are much more knowledgeable than I in that area, but I think that might a consideration as well.
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Reply to GardenArtist