Sleep issues and Alzheimer’s sickness usually go hand in hand. Comprehend what contributes to rest issues in people today with Alzheimer’s or other dementia — and what you can do to enable.

Widespread rest issues linked to dementia

Many more mature grown ups have issues sleeping, but people today with dementia usually have an even more challenging time. Sleep disturbance may well affect up to 25&percnt of people today with gentle to reasonable dementia and 50&percnt of people today with severe dementia. Sleep disturbances have a tendency to get even worse as dementia progresses in severity.

Attainable rest issues consist of too much sleepiness in the course of the day and sleeplessness with problem slipping asleep and remaining asleep. Recurrent awakenings in the course of the night time and untimely early morning awakenings are also frequent.

People with dementia may also encounter a phenomenon in the night or in the course of the night time known as sundowning. They may sense baffled, agitated, anxious and intense. Night wandering in this state of intellect can be unsafe.

Obstructive rest apnea is also a lot more frequent in people today with Alzheimer’s sickness. This most likely serious rest problem causes breathing to continuously prevent and start out in the course of rest.

Components that may contribute to rest disturbances and sundowning consist of:

  • Psychological and actual physical exhaustion at the conclude of the day
  • Changes in the body clock
  • A want for fewer rest, which is frequent between more mature grown ups
  • Disorientation
  • Minimized lighting and improved shadows, which can bring about people today with dementia to grow to be baffled and fearful

Supporting a good night’s rest

Sleep disturbances can acquire a toll on both of those you and the human being with dementia. To advertise superior rest:

  • Address underlying problems. In some cases problems these kinds of as melancholy, rest apnea or restless legs syndrome bring about rest issues.
  • Build a routine. Sustain normal times for feeding on, waking up and likely to mattress.
  • Steer clear of stimulants. Alcoholic beverages, caffeine and nicotine can interfere with rest. Limit use of these substances, especially at night time. Also, steer clear of Television set in the course of intervals of wakefulness at night time.
  • Really encourage actual physical activity. Walks and other actual physical actions can enable advertise superior rest at night time.
  • Limit daytime rest. Discourage afternoon napping.
  • Set a tranquil temper in the night. Support the human being rest by examining out loud or enjoying comforting audio. A comfortable bedroom temperature can enable the human being with dementia rest perfectly.
  • Control remedies. Some antidepressant remedies, these kinds of as bupropion and venlafaxine, can guide to sleeplessness. Cholinesterase inhibitors, these kinds of as donepezil, can improve cognitive and behavioral signs or symptoms in people today with Alzheimer’s but also can bring about sleeplessness. If the human being with dementia is using these varieties of remedies, communicate to the medical doctor. Administering the medicine no later than the night food usually will help.
  • Take into account melatonin. Melatonin may enable improve rest and lessen sundowning in people today with dementia.
  • Deliver right mild. Brilliant mild therapy in the night can reduce rest-wake cycle disturbances in people today with dementia. Enough lighting at night time also can lessen agitation that can happen when environment are darkish. Standard daylight exposure may handle day and night time reversal issues.

When a liked a person wakes in the course of the night time

If the human being with dementia wakes in the course of the night time, keep quiet — even however you may be exhausted yourself. Really don’t argue. In its place, question what the human being demands. Nighttime agitation may be triggered by irritation or ache. See if you can identify the resource of the trouble, these kinds of as constipation, a full bladder, or a home which is also incredibly hot or cold.

Gently remind him or her that it is really night time and time for rest. If the human being demands to pace, don’t restrain him or her. In its place, enable it under your supervision.

Employing rest remedies

If nondrug approaches usually are not functioning, the medical doctor may recommend rest-inducing remedies.

But rest-inducing remedies boost the possibility of falls and confusion in more mature people today who are cognitively impaired. As a end result, sedating rest remedies normally usually are not suggested for this group.

If these remedies are approved, the medical doctor will probable recommend making an attempt to discontinue use when a normal rest sample is recognized.

Recall that you want rest, also

If you are not having more than enough rest, you may not have the endurance and vitality required to acquire care of anyone with dementia. The human being may also sense your stress and grow to be agitated.

If doable, have family members customers or buddies alternate evenings with you. Or communicate with the medical doctor, a social worker or a representative from a neighborhood Alzheimer’s association to find out what enable is readily available in your place.


Get the hottest wellness information and facts from Mayo Clinic’s professionals.

Signal up for cost-free, and keep up to date on exploration developments, wellness recommendations and latest wellness subject areas, like COVID-19, additionally expertise on managing wellness.

To present you with the most pertinent and practical information and facts, and recognize which
information and facts is helpful, we may well blend your e-mail and web page utilization information and facts with
other information and facts we have about you. If you are a Mayo Clinic individual, this could
consist of secured wellness information and facts. If we blend this information and facts with your secured
wellness information and facts, we will deal with all of that information and facts as secured wellness
information and facts and will only use or disclose that information and facts as established forth in our see of
privacy methods. You may well choose-out of e-mail communications at any time by clicking on
the unsubscribe link in the e-mail.