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Dementia Sleep Troubles

Amy87

Registered User
Oct 21, 2015
1
Cheshire
Hi there,

I am new to the forum so would first like to introduce myself. My name is Amy and my mum was diagnosed with dementia a little over 3 years ago. She has progressively got worse over the past few years and my dad has been her full time care for the past year. For the past few months my mum is having trouble sleeping at night. Getting up at numerous points in the night thinking its morning or time to get up. It's also putting a strain on my dad as he is sleep deprived from getting up to put her back in bed. She easily drifts in and out of sleep during the day when sat down. I wonder if anyone has ever tried any herbal remedies to aid sleep with dementia?
 

Linbrusco

Registered User
Mar 4, 2013
1,606
Auckland...... New Zealand
Hi there,

I am new to the forum so would first like to introduce myself. My name is Amy and my mum was diagnosed with dementia a little over 3 years ago. She has progressively got worse over the past few years and my dad has been her full time care for the past year. For the past few months my mum is having trouble sleeping at night. Getting up at numerous points in the night thinking its morning or time to get up. It's also putting a strain on my dad as he is sleep deprived from getting up to put her back in bed. She easily drifts in and out of sleep during the day when sat down. I wonder if anyone has ever tried any herbal remedies to aid sleep with dementia?
Hi Amy

my Mum 74 was diagnosed 2 yrs ago with Alzheimers.
Mum is getting to that stage now. She goes to bed at 9-1pm sleeps till about midnight, gets up to the loo, has a wander, goes back to bed.
Wakes up again 2-3 times from 3am.
Not so much thinking its time to get up, but she goes and checks the date on the phone and her calendar as to what is happening that day. She was also messing about with her pill container so have had to take it away.
Dad sometimes sleeps through and then gets worried that Mum might get up and fall.

It was suggested that we get a mat beside her bed which has an alarm to alert him, but that would not work. Dad has cognitive impairment and gets very agitated at loud noises, alarms, smoke alarms, crying babies you name it.
Not sure about herbal remedies but often a sleeping tablet can be prescribed, but then again you have to be careful as someone with dementia and sleeping tablets can make them even more confused and wobbly on their feet.
The waking up is more to do with progression and behaviors of dementia rather than trouble sleeping.

Maybe someone else will be along with ideas :)
 

marionq

Registered User
Apr 24, 2013
6,035
Scotland
The usual sleeping tablet prescribed is Zopiclone. It is true you need to be watchful for the first week or two until the body gets used to it but once established it is good. I was told that after six months it would probably be less effective but John has now been taking it for a year. It is now topped up with Trazadone but he sleeps well and wakes reasonably alert around 7 am.
 

balloo

Registered User
Sep 21, 2013
227
northamptonshire
got agressive and abusive to me and ate evrrything

The usual sleeping tablet prescribed is Zopiclone. It is true you need to be watchful for the first week or two until the body gets used to it but once established it is good. I was told that after six months it would probably be less effective but John has now been taking it for a year. It is now topped up with Trazadone but he sleeps well and wakes reasonably alert around 7 am.
my mil had zoploclone for a while then it stopped working so they tried something else that lasted 4 days as she got abusive and ate everything in sight .so we stopped that then tries something else that was worse she was scared all the time so we bit the built and she has no night tablets . shes up and down allnight occasionally looking for us but does not know its day or night. she waned to go bed at 4pm the other day so I sorted her tea and meds then she went to sleep un til 6pm same day she got her self dressed came down stairs where we were sitting eating tea. she asked why her son was not at work we explained it was only 2 hrs since she went t o bed . she sat down with us until 9 then I took her back to bed . this seemed to upset her less than if we tried to keep her awake.
 

chick1962

Registered User
Apr 3, 2014
11,282
near Folkestone
My husband is the same and wakes up lots of times during the night . Due to medication he can't be prescribed sleeping tablets . Have you got Crossroads in your area? They are a charity who do nights sits and it's free. All you need is to ask your GP or carers support to ring them and they will cover some nights so your dad can sleep xxxx


Sent from my iPhone using Talking Point
 

learningcurve

Registered User
Oct 9, 2015
22
65
Hampshire
Hi Amy

I went through this with my Mum, she would have maybe an hour or two sleep and then she would be up again. I would guide her back to bed but she wouldn't go back to sleep, she just got up again when I thought she was settled.

I did notice that when she complained of any pain... back pain, shoulder pain, or any other pain she could think of..... I would give her paracetamol and she would sleep through the night. So I spoke with her GP who agreed I could try one paracetamol every night. This worked a treat, it was a godsend which allowed me to have a good sleep too and therefore we both benefited from it. She goes to bed at around 10-11 pm and will get up around 8-9.30. If she gets up to go to the loo then she goes and straight back to bed and back to sleep no problem.

Before that we had tried sleeping tablets which seemed to have the opposite effect on her and she was hyperactive all night and didn't sleep for around 18 hours, even though she was obviously tired .... slurred speech and she fell over 3 times in 2 days after taking them.

She is now in a residential care home and they have continued to give her one paracetamol every night and she is still sleeping well. It may not work for everyone but it is worth a try.

Good luck x
 

Catherine.

Registered User
Mar 26, 2015
32
I know your pain!

My dad was diagnosed in Feb this year, my mum is his carer. Some nights are good and some are very bad. Medics will not prescribe sleeping tablets because he could fall . My dad attends day centres 3 times a week to give mum a break and has also been away for respite care for a week so mum can recharge her batteries. Going to the day centres is great as the memory nurses advise doing different things to try and slow down the progress of the disease, it also keeps him awake during the day so he will sleep at night...the downside is that if he knows he has to get ready to go out, he will sometimes get up early (eg washing at 0100 and eventually downstairs by 5 am on a bad night). So swings and roundabouts!
If dad is adamant he is getting up, he's getting up! He will argue black is white if that's what he thinks, but it isn't his fault, he can't help it.
Haven't tried any herbal remedies , we have a day clock to show him if it's morning, afternoon , evening or night time, which we can use as a reference , but even that doesn't always help .
Dad has regular paracetamol too to keep on top of his aches and pains....but no 2 nights are the same I'm afraid
 

Catherine.

Registered User
Mar 26, 2015
32
Melatonin

Update on my dads sleeping pattern: one of the memory nurses suggested we try melatonin. So far , it seems to be helping, with him having more good nights than bad! Fingers crossed it will continue :)
 

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