Poor sleep. Any hints?

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My 83 year old mum who has vascular dementia sleeps very little. Lucky if we get 3 hours a night. Her poor mind is racing and in another time warp. Any hints or help

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Play soft soothing music or chimes if she likes that sort of thing, make sure she is comfortable, not to hot or cold, coffee in am but not in pm, try to keep her active in the day time, go on sort walks several times a day even if it's in the house, do chair exercises, make sure she goes to the bathroom before bed, if all else fails, speak with her doctor regarding medications (a mild sedative etc. ). Keeping her active, moving around will burn up some energy but it may not take care of the entire problem.
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Is your mom in any pain? My mom is always in pain. She has trouble with pain medications too so we never have great coverage. At her PCP's suggestion, we now give her a Nucynta ER before bed. She is able to get up and use the bathroom without any issue but can go back to sleep easily. Since she has less pain, her sleep is better and her attitude tends to be better as well. Bonus is I also get to sleep better.
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Remeron has actually helped my mom even thought it's really for depression/anxiety. She takes it at night.
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If you're needing more suggestions, I have resource page on sleep. Many of my suggestions point right back here because this is such a wonderful resource. Since AgingCare won't allow us to post links for some reason, search for TogetherInThis Activities of Daily Living.
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I've had the same issue with my mom for quite some time. She has a wonderful doctor and when I asked about melatonin he had mixed feelings. He said works great for some but the problem is in some people it begins working in 30 minutes, in others it doesn't kick in for 8 hours, so could cause her to sleep all day. He suggested sunlight. Getting out in the sun at least 15-20min everyday will help her brain better produce it's own melatonin and reset her internal clock(I believe I'm explaining correctly). Now that the weather is pretty I've noticed it has made a major difference for her! She still doesn't sleep all night but typically wakes up only 2x versus every 30min like before. Lately she's becoming more agitated and scared, waking up more often so her doctor decided this week to try her on Zoloft. Hope these suggestions help.
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But wait--no one wants to believe me but coffee has a very long staying power in the body. I know lots of people who stop drinking coffee at 3;00 and still can't sleep. Of course, it all depends on how strong the coffee is but it is such an easy fix. And so often overlooked.
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I give my husband 10 mg. Of melatonin at night and he sleeps pretty much all evening. It's natural and can be purchased over the counter.
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Giving a cup of coffee in the morning is good! - it helps keep her awake during the daytime. Never in the evening though. Cut off would be 3 pm. However, if you have to use medications, be aware the risk for falling is much greater. but if they are wandering around at night that can also be a risk in itself.
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Silly question but are you checkcing to see how much caffeine she drinks? coffee? Coke, Pepsi.? Tea? Even diet drinks have a chemical called Phenylalanine that disturbs sleep.
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I don't know what your mom is like during the day, but my mom (and I) benefited greatly from mirtazapine, helped her sleep all night and made her more herself during the day.
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