Sleeplessness and night-time wandering
Sleeping problems and experiencing a disturbed sleep pattern is common for people with dementia. The person might wake up several times during the night or change the pattern for waking up or going to bed. It’s not unusual that persons with dementia lose the ability to distinguish between night and day, and night-time wandering may occur if the person doesn’t manage to fall back to sleep. You might be able to avoid their confusion by making sure the bedroom is dark at night. It can also help to remove daytime clothing from the room so that the person doesn’t think they have to get dressed. Sleep deprivation can affect the quality of life for the person with dementia, but also for you as the caregiver. Here are some suggestions to reduce the sleeplessness and night time wandering of the person with dementia. Limit sleeping during the day. Daytime sleeping might make it difficult to fall asleep at night. Sometimes they might fall asleep during the day because of boredom or inactivity, but also because they didn’t sleep the previous night. Maintain a daily routine. A regular routine might help the person maintain their sleep pattern and get more restful sleep at night. Avoid caffeine and other stimulants in the evening. Caffeine, alcohol and nicotine can affect the persons ability to sleep. Use the bedroom for sleeping only. This way the bedroom is associated with sleeping and not confused with other activities. Make sure the temperature and lighting in the room is appropriate for the person.Create a safe environment. If necessary, provide the stairs with a safety gate and lock the doors to the kitchen and the doors leading outside. Various sensors can help you to know when the person is out of bed or has left the room. Be active during the day. Activities during the day can make the person sleep better during the night. Visit the doctor about medication. Sometimes medication might help but beware of side effects.
Limit sleeping during the day
Maintain a daily routine
Aviod coffeine and other stimulants in the evening
Use the bedroom for sleeping only
Create a safe environment
Be active during the day
Visit the doctor about medication
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