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Going to bed all the time

Discussion in 'I care for a person with dementia' started by Starter, Jan 31, 2016.

  1. Starter

    Starter Registered User

    Oct 10, 2015
    114
    My mum was diagnosed late last year. She was in denial and hasn't mentioned it since. Almost immediately she said she had flu although no signs of cough/cold and started to go to bed during the day. After about six weeks of this I took her to the Drs who did some blood tests. On 4 Jan they said she was lacking in vit D and she needed her thyroxine medication increasing. She's been taking her Meds but says she is still very tired and keeps going to bed all the time, but says she's not sleeping at night as her mind is working overtime remembering days gone by. My problem is whether to try to insist on her staying up and trying to get her to go out or is it better for her to rest. Mum is 84. I would be so grateful for any advice x
     
  2. CJinUSA

    CJinUSA Registered User

    Jan 20, 2014
    1,125
    eastern USA
    Hello. This could be the thyroid medication not kicking in, but it could also be the beginning of what we call sundowning, when they want to sleep all day and then be up (and often out and about and agitated) at night. Most of us have vit. D deficiency. Does she take a multivitamin, also? I have thyroid imbalance, and I do know it can make me feel very tired. But I would be cautious to attribute it all to thyroid, because you mother could be beginning to turn her hours around, a first sign of sundowning. I imagine if you look it up in the search box in the upper right here, you'll find many references to it.

    We have all faced this issue, so you'll get good suggestions here.
     
  3. 1954

    1954 Registered User

    Jan 3, 2013
    3,835
    Sidcup
    My MIL would spend all day in bed too and then would become very active at night IF we allowed her too. She has to get up every day even if she dozes in her chair


    Sent from my iPad using Talking Point
     
  4. Amy in the US

    Amy in the US Registered User

    Feb 28, 2015
    4,619
    USA
    My mother had a thyroid problem, in addition to the dementia, and it did have all sorts of side effects until it was sorted, so that could well be playing a part.

    It could also be sundowning, as CJ notes.

    It could also be that your mother doesn't feel quite right physically, and/or feels anxious, and bed is a "safe" place to be.

    I'm not sure of the exact circumstances, but if she has access to her medications, she may be under- and/or over-dosing with some or all of them. She may say she takes the proper dose at the proper time, but unfortunately, the dementia can interfere with this.

    I'm sorry to say that my mother also had sleep disturbances and insomnia and anxiety and got her days and nights turned around and really got in a bind with her medications. I'm even sorrier to say that the only way we managed to relieve this, was the hospital stay (the US equivalent to sectioning) to sort out her medications and then the move to a care home. Being on a (gently!) enforced schedule, having 24/7 company and caregivers and activities, and medication supervision, as well as vastly improved nutrition and hygiene, have made all the difference.

    It can be very tricky to sort out. I would definitely talk to the GP and perhaps it's time to consider increasing her care package at home, day care, a lunch club, that sort of thing.

    Best wishes.
     
  5. Starter

    Starter Registered User

    Oct 10, 2015
    114
    Thank you

    Thank you all for your comments. It's so reassuring knowing that others understand x
     
  6. Rodelinda

    Rodelinda Registered User

    Jun 15, 2015
    172
    Suffolk
    My mother also does this. She dreams heavily and her dreams are often very vivid. She finds any activity exhausting - even getting dressed can tire her out. She is on very little medication and I am considering asking her GP to prescribe some mild sleeping tablets as often her nights are disturbed and she then makes up the sleep during the day. I am slightly of the view that leaving her to sleep is best but trying to negotiate with her what time she wants waking for meals etc. It's very hard to persuade her out of the house, she doesn't have any friends locally and won't go anywhere to 'do' anything. But she does read the paper (despite her advancing AMD) and watches some TV. But it's worth bearing in mind that although it's a mild winter it is windy and quite cool and the days (though lengthening now) have been quite short. I sometimes think my mother just likes curling up in the warmth and safety of her bed (sometimes wish I could as well!). So, yes definitely the GP but also don't fret too much about it. Sue
     
  7. Fred2

    Fred2 Registered User

    Jun 11, 2015
    6
    My wife is also sleeping a lot

    My wife age 88 has also begun sleeping a lot. She was diagnosed about 6 months ago with Alzheimers. Lately she has quite often been exhausted in the morning and very pale despite (she says) sleeping well at night, and then stays in bed all day and through the following night. On her doctor's advice she is now taking a short nap after lunch, a Mirtazapine tablet (anti-depression) at night and has reduced her Donepezil from 10 to 5mg. So far (and this is only the third day since the doctor' visit) this seems to be working, and she has just gone out shopping! I can see that there are quite a lot of differences from your experience with your mother but hope there might be something useful in my experiences.
     
  8. Starter

    Starter Registered User

    Oct 10, 2015
    114
    Thanks Fred, think I'll ask about reducing the Donepezil
     
  9. Boldredrosie

    Boldredrosie Registered User

    Mar 13, 2012
    244
    My mum 85 spends all her time in bed. Well, perhaps that's an exaggeration but the bulk of her time. The carers have to take food and drinks to her although I've asked them not to but encourage her to at least sit in the living room to eat dinner and tea.

    I think perhaps it is something to do with feeling safe. Who knows?
     
  10. Starter

    Starter Registered User

    Oct 10, 2015
    114
    Gp

    Well, I got to speak to the memory clinic who told me to speak to GP. He said four weeks wasn't long enough for the extra thyroxine to kick in so to take her to see him in four weeks. I asked if it could be sundowners and he said he'd never heard of it. Emailed Alzheimer's Association last week for advice but no reply. Thank God for this forum!
     
  11. Amy in the US

    Amy in the US Registered User

    Feb 28, 2015
    4,619
    USA
    Starter, I hate to cast aspersions and all that, but a GP who has never heard of sundowning??? I'm not a doctor or medical professional but long before I became a carer, even I knew what sundowning was.

    Maybe it's time to look for a more understanding and helpful GP?

    I think that Age UK and the Alzheimer's Society both have helpline numbers you can call. If nothing else, you can call and tell them they never answered your email!
     
  12. Izzy

    Izzy Volunteer Moderator

    Aug 31, 2003
    59,941
    Female
    Dundee
  13. Starter

    Starter Registered User

    Oct 10, 2015
    114
    When I asked about sun downing he said that was why he had given her vit D! Thanks for your post, I appreciate it x
     
  14. Starter

    Starter Registered User

    Oct 10, 2015
    114
    Thanks Sue
     
  15. Starter

    Starter Registered User

    Oct 10, 2015
    114
  16. Azay28

    Azay28 Registered User

    Nov 21, 2015
    95
    Exactly like my Mum

    My Mum was diagnosed with Mixed dementia a year ago and in past 6 months her staying in bed is happening almost every day. She does wake,goes to the toilet and sometimes has some cereal/take her tablets but then will return to bed and sleep or doze not getting 'up' now until at least 1pm - 2pm. As she lives on her own in sheltered housing I've no idea if she's waking at night as what she tells you is what she thinks not necessarily what she does. I agree with others on here ,it could be where she feels safe as she can get anxious about things. Also she has said about dreaming and her medication is only 5mg donepezil which she's to take in the am and the Mitrazapine she takes pm to help her sleep at night! I do find that once I'm there she begins to brighten and will get up and get moving and maybe come out with me. She's not one for doing anything social e.g lunch clubs so have decided as long as shes warm ,comfortable and food in flat that's all I can ask at the mo. Certainly get advice where you can, join any social things, my local admiral nurse has been a great help to me with her advice, as well as TP. Hope this helps.:)
     
  17. shelagh

    shelagh Registered User

    Sep 28, 2009
    476
    Staffordshire
    Exhaustion

    I try and do as much as I can,(six years since diagnosis) and think I do pretty well. but sometimes I am so exhausted all I want to do is sleep. It is partly safe thing of being in my own bed with no demands made on me but also when every action seems to require so much concentration, whether it is opening up the computer, remembering how to get dressed, deciding what is real and what is not real. Sometimes as my kids used to say when they were studying ' my brain hurts' and bed is the only solution,
     
  18. Starter

    Starter Registered User

    Oct 10, 2015
    114

    It does sound exactly the same! My daughter told me the same - as long as she's warm, safe and plenty of food in try to relax. Thanks for your post xxx
     
  19. Starter

    Starter Registered User

    Oct 10, 2015
    114
    Thanks Shelagh, it's easy to forget how exhausting it must be. Thanks for your post, take care xxx
     

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