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My mother is 93 and has dementia. Even though she takes enough meds that should help her get a good night's sleep...anxiety and depression med at night and also risperidone during the day...at times she will not want to go to bed at night or may finally settle down middle of night or just before daylight. Sometimes she doesn't even nap during the day after not sleeping well at night. At times she will sleep all the next day and then will most certainly have a problem going to sleep at night. I am exhausted and that's an understatement during these times. Just wondering does anyone else have this issue and how do you handle encouraging your loved one to at least lay down. If I can get her to do this she will go to sleep. My mother is at a point where she doesn't understand hardly anything I ask her to do. I am not new to the forum but I mostly read others posts to help me on this difficult journey and it has helped tremendously...thank you all.

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Because of her health conditions and medications, I would be careful. She may have difficulty metabolizing these meds and they may in turn suppress respiration.
Does she receive physical therapy? Occupational therapy? My mom does and it really tires her out. it's also a part of good sleep hygiene. I would get her up at the same time daily, put her down at the same time, and no TV in the evening. Also, you can try reading to her in a rhythmical fashion, ocean wave tapes, etc. anything with a rhythm. I would stay away from anything not prescribed by a physician, but would inquire about something relaxing instead of a benzo or hypnotic, like gabapaenten or something that is simply calming.
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Reply to mikkimball0664
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My mom was staying up until 2 am, and I was exhausted all the time. Her doctor said we had to hire a night nurse, because I couldn't watch her 24/7 (she has Parkinson's with dementia). We never had to hire one, though, as it turns out she was over medicated and lowering her dose solved the problem
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Reply to kbuser
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I share care for my father and after he was released from a 3-week stint at rehab we found my father just didn't go to bed at night.  He was literally up ALL night.  Because he falls when he isn't assisted, one of us had to get up every time he decided to go for a stroll.  We had an alarm on the bed and his LR chair so we would know when he tried to get up, then go running.  After a couple weeks of being up all night it really took its toll.  Having to stay up all night then be on call during the day was exhausting.   I called Dad's doctor and said either you prescribe something to help Dad sleep or it will be the deciding factor in whether we can continue to care for him at home or his being placed in a home.  He was prescribed Risparadone .25mg and it allows us to get 5 hours of fairly undisturbed sleep a night.
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Reply to amilie
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Yes. I’m helping my mother care for my father, who has dementia. After 3 weeks of constantly getting up and down and talking and saying he had pee - literally all night long - we figured out it was a lot of anxiety about his sudden decline that was keeping him so “on.”

We reported it to his doctor b/c I was getting very concerned over how angry the lack of sleep was making my mother with him. The doctor prescribed Temazapam, which only aggravated the situation. I was desperate to try something else, and with his CHF and multiple other complicating health factors, my options were limited. I researched and found that valerian tea could help the anxiety, so I got “Sleepytime Extra” (with honey and lemon added for taste, of course). Also, I got som CBD oil to add to his tea. And some relaxing essential oils to put on his temples and wrist points at bedtime. I created a whole “sleepy ritual” around it. So I can’t actually say what was the determining factor, but he did start getting some rest AND his dementia symptoms were somehow lessened. Not resolved, but lessened. He could form complete sentences again the following day and was able to be helpful in his mobility, eating and generally communicating.

It’s been 6 weeks so far. He will still wake up a few times, but not in an agitated way. My mom sleeps through the night. He hasn’t tried getting out of bed anymore, and is just calmer at night.

The CBD oil I am using is by Lazarus Naturals - “Standard potency, full spectrum” in the “classic”/unflavored version. You start out with literally just a few drops (NOT dropperfulls - literal drops) in the tea, and you can get an idea of how she’s reacting. There are no side effects, although caution is advised for people who are on grapefruit sensitive meds. My father is, but there doesn’t appear any ill effects per his labs. These are very tiny doses. But the effect is bizarrely amazing. My mom tried some topically on an arthritis flare-up, and boom! Instantly the pain stopped. I tried a few drops on an exposed nerve, and boom! Pain stopped. I’ve also been taking small amounts for my own anxiety and am not needing sleeping pills. My dog is on their pet tincture, and she is less aggressive at playing. It’s bizarre!

I was against CBD oils at first because I thought they were Mary Jane, which I personally detest (too many pot-head boyfriends when I was younger...) - but it’s NOT Mary Jane. It has trace-to no THC (the psychoactive element that makes people get high). I don’t know exactly how to explain it - it’s “cannibidols” (or something) extracted from the hemp plant stems and flowers, and apparently we all gave receptors for pain and relaxation in our bodies that it goes to, and stuff happens. You can’t get “high,” and I think it’s legal everywhere, but I’m not sure. It is here in California. And Lazarus offers 60% discount to vets and disabled people and I think low income as well. I’ve tried a few other brands, but Lazarus is apparently the best for sleep.

Please research it if you’re curious. It hasn't changed my dad’s or my personality, and I can’t really feel it kicking in (it can take up to 2 hours) but it’s doing...something.

Anyway, so far, so good. And both my parents are feeling more understood about things. It’s made weird, wild improvements - literally overnight. 🤷🏼‍♀️
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Reply to Slekker
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We have the same issue with sleeping. Sometimes warm milk seems to calm her a little or a piece of cheese. Last night I heated up some mushroom soup and settled her for a bit where she stayed in bed for awhile. It is tough.
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Reply to SKgirl
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Is there any way you could place her in Medical Day Care for a few days a week? The day care will come and pick her up, keep her from about 9-3, give her lunch/meds, the MD can even visit, eliminating your need to bring her to her PCP.  Medical Day care also encourages activities, i.e. painting, singing, that keep her interested and awake.  Then when she comes home in the evening, she will be exhausted and sleep.  This would give you a huge break!

Also, you may try a calming herbal tea after dinner; I use Cup of Calm or Nighty Night with chamomile, passionflower, etc.
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Reply to ChasingJoy1
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Being exhausted makes a difficult situation that much worse. We all need sleep to function well!

Agree with suggestion to talk to doc about the meds not working properly. For both of you, it would be great if she would settle down at night so you can both get some needed rest.
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Reply to againx100
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I'd start by talking with her doctor about the fact that the meds that she's on are not "doing the job". She may need a higher dosage, or different meds.

Has she ever been on Melatonin?
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Reply to BarbBrooklyn
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Countrygal55 May 21, 2019
No haven't tried Melatonin. Thank you for your response.
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