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My 95 year old mother with Alzheimer's is up all night talking to herself and then sleeps all day. Until recently, mom slept fitfully through the night. I would prefer not to medicate her, if possible. Mom continues to live at home with 24-hour care. I live nearby. So this change in her sleep pattern does not affect my sleep. Her aide is not complaining. So, should I even be that concerned?

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The suggestion that her meds be check is excellent, as well - medications can cause all kinds of issues. So, that's something to look into.

The aide is likely being paid night or day, so the care is still necessary. Sometimes a snack whenever your mother wakes up may help her get back to sleep, so you could suggest that to the aide. Some people find that melatonin helps, but it won't help everyone.

Aging people, in general, often have a harder time sleeping. Often it's pain from arthritis or other issues that interfere. So, trying to make a person with AD adhere to younger sleep patterns may not be realistic. I'm glad that you have someone to be with your mom so that you can sleep.

Take care,
Carol
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Im not sure this will help but I try to keep my mum occupied as much as I can during the day when this happens....it is quite time consuming though and will take time to make the shift. I also using lavender in her pillows and use a lavender air freshener. I give her chamomile tea (when she is amenable to it) ...failing that a warm milky drink in the evening - I find almond milk works best for some reason and I add a little honey for a change sometimes. I also leave a soft light on which is very low at night so that she isn't "alone" as my mum calls it. When my mum does wake at night she likes to watch tv so I record some animal programmes and play that for her - I find she dozes back off better that way.
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My 90 year old mom also does this. She has thyroid issues, and this has contributed to her sleeping throughout the day. She does however, sleep throughout the night now. If possible, try occupying her during the day... With something that will keep her interested- maybe the caregiver can talk with her, play dominoes, watch tv or look at magazines... And maybe help her walk around (or push her around in her wheelchair). Also, we've noticed that if my mom eats a good supper, she will sleep well. (because if she is not full, she tends to get up and want a snack.) If you can change her pattern to sleep at night & keep her awake & engaged during the day, this will make her sleep during the night.
Also at night, avoid bright lighting. I put a lamp beside her bed with a 15 watt bulb, which provides sufficient lighting for her to use her bedside commode. Bright light is needed to avoid falls, but it can be a sleep deterrent ... So maybe try dimming lights or smaller wattage to provide sufficient lights in the areas she's in, especially in the evenings. Hope that helps you!! Blessings to you!!
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My mom has lewy body. She never liked the light and slept all day and was up all night crying and screaming. It was horrible. They changed her meds and it helped a great deal. Finally she slept at night, so I could sleep and wake up ready to care for her the next day. She is in a home now.
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My terminally ill 85 year old mom who lives with us watches tv until around 4 am, and then sleep until around 4:30 pm. She says the best movies are on overnight. I just let her do whatever she likes. However, my mom does not go to adult daycare, so this is not a problem.
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You should check her meds. Something may be interacting that is keeping her awake. Or it could be something as simple as sugar, caffeine, desserts.... And if the caregiver is not complaining now, she may tire of this quickly. Or she really may not mind if she is paid a larger hourly rate if she has to be awake.
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I created a page to help people in this situation. Some of the references come right back here because Aging Care is such a valuable resource.
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I know some readers do not like to medicate but my husband who has Alz for three years now is taking celexa once a day and ativan twice a day( low dose .5 mg) it is the only thing that makes him sleep. I work full time and have to get my rest. Before taking these meds he use to yell and scream at me all the time. Remember this is a disease that is not going to get better so if medication works try it . Of course talk to your doctor. That is what I did and it seems to be working for now anyway. I also take him to adult day care three times a week and on the weekend I have him with me running errands so he gets tired and goes to bed at 8:00 and sleeps all night. I am a caregiver that has no help. I have to do everything so medicating him works for me.
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I am in your same situation. Close by and overseeing everything. Mom goes through spells where she is up and down throughout the night and wants to go home all the time. I took all caffeine away but there is no way I can take away dessert and treats. That is her pleasure she has left. I reduced some of the sugar and do sugar free as much as I can but nothing will make it normal sleep again. I do not want to medicate/sedate either.
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It says in your profile that Mom goes to an adult daycare. Is she falling asleep there? She really should be sleeping during the night so she can participate in there activities..
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