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Bedtime and sleep disturbances ???

Discussion in 'ARCHIVE FORUM: Support discussions' started by Suzy R, Sep 13, 2004.

  1. Suzy R

    Suzy R Registered User

    Jul 4, 2004
    40
    Switzerland
    I was wondering if anyone has any ideas re bedtime. It's getting impossible to get my mother to bed inside less than an hour and a half and she just won't stay there for more than a couple of hours, which is getting my father down as they still share a room.

    Questions are
    i) how do we get her clothes off - she thinks he's trying to assault her, as far as I can tell, she just says 'It's not proper'. Sometimes she will put her nightie over her clothes, others she just refuses.

    ii) how do we get her to sleep for a few hours, without getting up, getting dressed in her outdoor clothes (assuming we got them off in the first place) and keep her from wandering around the house and switching things on (toaster, kettle, oven, whatever)

    and iii) does anyone have experience of giving tranqs or sleeping tablets to AD sufferers ?

    I do realise that there are no easy answers, but if someone else has had some small success in this area, I'd love to know. Lack of sleep is making my Dad depressed, stressed and aggressive. My mother catches up on her lost sleep during the day, but he daren't, as she needs watching all the time.
     
  2. Anna

    Anna Registered User

    Jul 27, 2004
    2
    South East
    Suzy,

    My Mum also has problems sleeping and when you talk to her about it she doesn't know that she hasn't slept well and says that as always the second her head hits the pillow she's asleep etc.

    I know that my Dad has found this non-sleeping very hard and they have been to the Dr's and Mum now has some kind of sleeping pill which works with the Aricept she's on.

    Hope this helps.

    Anna
     
  3. CraigC

    CraigC Registered User

    Mar 21, 2003
    6,630
    London
    Hi Suzy,

    We are in a similiar situation and dad now has sleeping pills which are not really a long term solution.

    I've done a little hunting around on the web, the following links may help us! You may need to cut and paste the links if they do not work.

    Managing sleep problems in people with Alzheimer's:
    http://www.ohiohealth.com/healthref...-5CC6-4668-A93B8A1BBAA0A77F.htm?category=5076

    The nature of sleep changes in Alzheimers:
    http://www.alz.org/Resources/FactSheets/FS_Sleep.pdf

    Practical Solutions for dealing with sleep problems:
    http://www.alzheimersupport.com/library/showarticle.cfm/ID/1342/T/Alzheimers/cat/Advocacy/

    Dementia and Sleeping Problems:
    http://www.betterhealth.vic.gov.au/...s/Dementia_and_sleeping_problems?OpenDocument

    Good luck, you are definitely not alone so please post if you have any specific questions or particular issues you'd like to discuss.
    Craig
     
  4. Suzy R

    Suzy R Registered User

    Jul 4, 2004
    40
    Switzerland
    Thanks Anna and Craig.

    Did either of you see any side effects from the sleeping pills ?

    Dad's major concern is that Mum is pretty withdrawn already and all Craig's links suggest that the pills are a last resort. Actually I begin to wonder whether Dad should take them. He really isn't in a position to put more effort into trying to settle my mother than he does already and is pretty close to the edge.

    Thanks again !
    Suzy
     
  5. Jude

    Jude Registered User

    Dear Suzy,

    Commiserations! I expect several of us would be in for a mention in the Guinness Book of Records for the longest ever time recorded without sleep....

    Do take your mother to see your local Doctor and ask him if he can prescribe some sleeping tablets. Even a short course would ensure that you and your father get some decent rest to catch up.

    Re kitchen appliances. Have you tried unplugging them from the wall sockets at night or even hiding them in the cupboards? You may find it easier to fit a lock on the kitchen door otherwise. My father is great at boiling kettles without water in them or leaving the taps on and flooding the kitchen completely.

    My mother goes through periods of wandering about at night. This usually happens if she has refused to eat much dinner, so I figure it's because she is feeling hungry. A glass of warm milk usually helps just before bedtime - or during the night to help her settle down again.

    Good luck

    Jude
     
  6. Sheila

    Sheila Registered User

    Oct 23, 2003
    2,259
    West Sussex
    Hi Suzy, we too had this problem, although not a complete answer, we decided after sleeping pills didn't really knock my mum out for long, to make her as safe as we could, and give her things to occupy her. We turned the heating to constant, (so she wouldn't get cold) made everywhere safe by putting a baby gate at the top of the stairs, (with a padlock as she managed to undo it on one occasion which nearly gave us heart attacks.) Turned the heat down on the water so she couldn't scald herself. Put her respite case at the bottom of her bed for her to pack to her heart's content and loads of family photo's, albums, her old school books etc., to keep her occupied, to find in her dressing table drawers. It wasn't the perfect solution, but coupled with a baby alarm and lights that turned on as she moved around. It mean't we could monitor her movements without getting up every five minutes. She would often spend a couple of hours mooching about, washing, packing, etc. then conk out on her bed. Because the heating was on she never ran the risk of being cold, and when I checked I didn't have to disturb her too much, just lay a blanket over her. It's not perfect, but it helped us. We also got one wonderful night a week from Crossroads when lovely Jan took over and did just the same and we slept without worry. Love, She. XX
     
  7. Suzy R

    Suzy R Registered User

    Jul 4, 2004
    40
    Switzerland
    Thanks again for all your replies.

    The upshot of letting her just 'get on with it' is that Dad will have to move out of the room they sleep in. I'm not too sure if she'll even notice the difference, but I would appreciate any feed back on this one.
     
  8. Jude

    Jude Registered User

    Der Suzy,

    Does your father go to bed at the same time as your mother? If not, then perhaps he would be able to sleep better in another bedroom.

    Last night we had a terrible time. The oldies insisted on going to bed at 7.30pm. My mother woke up at 1.30am and just would not go back to sleep until almost 4am. They are both cranky and miserable today and I feel shattered. Fortunately, these sorts of lengthy periods don't happen too often and the carers are here today to help out. Loads to do this morning, but I just don't feel up to it.

    Jude
     
  9. CraigC

    CraigC Registered User

    Mar 21, 2003
    6,630
    London
    Hi Suzy,

    We have not noticed any side effects from the sleeping pills, but it is hard to tell as the illness has become quite progressive. The main reason for finding alternatives is that they do not seem to work in the long term and we really don't want to up the dose as it may encourage dad to sleep through those trips to the toilet.

    Mum tries to keep dad awake as long as possible as he often seems to start to drop off earlier. The constant wandering around (he just never sits down during the day now) seems to wear dad.

    She also gives dad a snack just before bed. The problem is that whenever he awakes in the night he considers it morning time and he's raring to go. I also think that a contributing factor is the lack of exercise dad gets. He used to walk about 5 miles a day but since being tied to the house he just isn't getting the physical exercise. Even now when I take dad for a walk its a hard job to keep up with him :)

    Take Care
    Craig
     
  10. thompsonsom

    thompsonsom Registered User

    Jul 4, 2004
    97
    halifax
    Hi

    We had the problem with mum not sleeping at night and before we moved into our house, we made the bedroom really nice with a modern laminated flooring (big mistake!) as her constant walking around the bedroom kept us all awake a carpet would have been a better option. Anyway we too put a stair gate at the top of the stairs and so far touch wood! she hasnt worked out how to open it, she constantly got up during the night and went to the toilet, forgetting she had been not long before, she would slam her bedroom door shut, toilet door and then her bedroom again. We were at the end of our tether as my husband had work in the morning and was getting no sleep. The mental health doctor pescribed quetiapine which has been a godsend, she started on 1 a night and boy did they make her drowsy within 1/2 hour and she slept all night, we then had to increase the dosage over 2 weeks so she now has 1 in the morning and 2 at night and we so far have not had sleepless nights for 2 months which in turn has enabled us to be able to cope longer. It is also better in the fact that she wakes up alright in the morning unlike some sleeping pills which make it hard to wake up.
    Hope you find some help with the doctors

    janice
     
  11. Jude

    Jude Registered User

    Dear Janice,

    Have the sleeping tablets interfered with Mum's ability to wake up sufficiently to visit the loo during the night?

    My mother takes Zopiclone which was prescribed by the doctor long before I returned from Bali and when my parents were staying at the close care accommodation. Mum used to wear a pad at night, but since she's been at home, she no longer needs them, as I suppose she has built up a tolerance to the drug. These tablets are apparently very addictive and she can get quite irritable without them. Unfortunately, it's too late to change them according to the Doctor.

    Jude
     
  12. Sheila

    Sheila Registered User

    Oct 23, 2003
    2,259
    West Sussex
    Hi all, my mum was on Zopiclone for a lont ime. It Knocked her out for about 4 hours then she was up again, but I couldn't get her to go to bed unless she had it, she would have stayed up all night and we couldn't cope with her downstairs and us in bed so we gave the Zopiclone at 8pm and she zonked by 9pm!! Then she was up and prowling etc. It also sometimes made her crotchety next day but not always. Love, She.XX
     
  13. Jude

    Jude Registered User

    Dear Sheila,

    That accounts for a whole load of roaming around! Is it possible to change tablets?

    Thanks, Jude
     
  14. Sheila

    Sheila Registered User

    Oct 23, 2003
    2,259
    West Sussex
    Don't know, but you could ask, nothing ventured, nothing gained etc!! Love, She. XX
     

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