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Disturbed Sleep

Susan66

Registered User
May 4, 2020
10
My Dad who has dementia is experiencing very disturbed sleeping patterns which means my mum, as his carer, is very tired. Typically, he is getting out of bed at 3am and saying he needs a shower and mum is persuading him to get back into bed. He is then getting up at 5 and saying he is hungry and hasn’t eaten for days. I would welcome any advice?
 

Canadian Joanne

Volunteer Moderator
Apr 8, 2005
16,760
66
Toronto, Canada
Does your dad sleep during the day? If yes, try to keep him awake and not sleep (far easier said than done, I know). Perhaps more exercise to tire him out. There is also medication but one does have to be very careful with meds. Keep us updated.
 

MaNaAk

Registered User
Jun 19, 2016
3,034
Essex
Dear Susan,

Does your mum have carers coming in to help because your dad has reached the stage where he needs more care? I would say that it sounds like he needs somewhere like a day centre during the day but I don't know how your area is affected by the pandemic. Also try cutting down on caffeine even during the day for a better night's sleep. I remember how exhausted I used to be when caring for dad and also do make sure that your parents are on the higher rate of AA because night time care is now needed.

MaNaAk
 

MaNaAk

Registered User
Jun 19, 2016
3,034
Essex
I've just read @Canadian Joanne's message and regarding medication I think it would be a good idea to get your dad to the doctor for a medication review in case this is affecting his sleep and they be able give him something to help him sleep or recommend more exercise.

MaNaAk
 

Susan66

Registered User
May 4, 2020
10
I've just read @Canadian Joanne's message and regarding medication I think it would be a good idea to get your dad to the doctor for a medication review in case this is affecting his sleep and they be able give him something to help him sleep or recommend more exercise.

MaNaAk
Thanks. I think you are right, a medication review is needed. I am going to organise this as it might help.
 

MaNaAk

Registered User
Jun 19, 2016
3,034
Essex
In dad's case he had his prescription reviewed but not being a medical person I didn't always question the doctor/ nurse when it looked as if they were only looking at his diabetic medication. Hence he started to have falls and eventually his blood pressure medication was removed (hardly anyone looked at this medication and I assumed that it was part of his diabetic medications). Also after he went into the care home (who didn't know that felodopine had been removed) I went to a prescription review where the nurse looked at his blood pressure and said it was a bit low. She suggested that he drink less fluid to which I said that the last time his blood pressure was low it was down to his medication. She went through the medication with me and somehow felodopine had found it's way back on his prescription! Anyway it was taken off again but I was puzzled as to how it went back on!

MaNaAk
 

canary

Registered User
Feb 25, 2014
13,946
South coast
Hi @Susan66
It sounds to me as though your dad is losing his internal body clock and awareness of time. It used to amaze me that mum used to think it was the middle of the night, even with sunlight streaming through the windows, or, conversely, had no awareness that it was night-time, even though everything was dark.. Once they have lost this internal body clock it can be very difficult to get them back into a normal sleeping rhythm because the problem is not insomnia.

On a practical note - could your mum leave a snack out beside the bed, so that when he wakes hungry there is something for him to eat and maybe he wont disturb her.
 

Susan66

Registered User
May 4, 2020
10
Does your dad sleep during the day? If yes, try to keep him awake and not sleep (far easier said than done, I know). Perhaps more exercise to tire him out. There is also medication but one does have to be very careful with meds. Keep us updated.
Will do. Thank you
Hi @Susan66
It sounds to me as though your dad is losing his internal body clock and awareness of time. It used to amaze me that mum used to think it was the middle of the night, even with sunlight streaming through the windows, or, conversely, had no awareness that it was night-time, even though everything was dark.. Once they have lost this internal body clock it can be very difficult to get them back into a normal sleeping rhythm because the problem is not insomnia.

On a practical note - could your mum leave a snack out beside the bed, so that when he wakes hungry there is something for him to eat and maybe he wont disturb her.
Thank you for your reply. Yes, I think it might be an idea to leave a snack. He has always had a good appetite and this hasn’t diminished! We will try anything. Thanks again.
 

Dimpsy

Registered User
Sep 2, 2019
1,594
We put a few biscuits into a tin, a small bowl of grapes and a juice box on mum's bedside cabinet. She usually wakes at 5am to visit the bathroom and gets the munchies, then goes back to sleep.
 

MaNaAk

Registered User
Jun 19, 2016
3,034
Essex
We put a few biscuits into a tin, a small bowl of grapes and a juice box on mum's bedside cabinet. She usually wakes at 5am to visit the bathroom and gets the munchies, then goes back to sleep.
I did this with dad because he was also diabetic.

MaNaAk
 

MaNaAk

Registered User
Jun 19, 2016
3,034
Essex
Dad loved grapes as well and also I used to put fruit juice glucose sweets by his bed. At the care home I put Rich Tea biscuits in a container by his bed and I used to bring apples from the garden. He also loved no added sugar chocolate from Mr Simms Old Sweet Shop and crisps!

MaNaAk
 

Dimpsy

Registered User
Sep 2, 2019
1,594
Dad loved grapes as well and also I used to put fruit juice glucose sweets by his bed. At the care home I put Rich Tea biscuits in a container by his bed and I used to bring apples from the garden. He also loved no added sugar chocolate from Mr Simms Old Sweet Shop and crisps!

MaNaAk
We had a Mr Simms shop in our closest city 25 miles away, and I used to buy Dad Devon violet chocolate and lime cream chocolates, mum coffee cream chocolates and liquorice and OH peanut brittle, and then last year it closed. A sad loss and I never used my stamp card for a free purchase, it's still in my purse !!