Help with bad sleeping patterns


Registered User
Dec 13, 2007
Hastings E Sussex first thread and I'm very glad to have found you all!
I'm caring for my 76 year old father who has AD. I've moved from London up to Chester to care for him at his home with the help of fantastic homecare support(Care UK, district nurse).

My husband Jon is still working in London but we have just made the decision to relocate to Chester to be with Dad and start a new life.

Dad's sleeping patterns are very disjointed and are getting worse ...he is now sleeping on & off during the day and awake, wandering most of the night..hard to say but probably gets 2-3 hrs kip a night. It is getting harder to get him up in the morning and its beoming the norm that he does not surface until about noon, breakfast, crash for couple of hours, active for couple hours, crash until dinner, dinner, an hours snooze...etc.etc

I know this is a typical sympton of dementia but wondered if there were any ideas out there to improve his sleeping patterns? I have tried to keep him awake during day but difficult as Dad gets v grumpy and moody!:confused:

Love to you all,
a knackered daugher:rolleyes:

Grannie G

Volunteer Moderator
Apr 3, 2006
Hello Annie, welcome to TP.

You are right, it is quite common for those with dementia to develop irregular sleeping patterns. It isn`t par for the course, my husband is awake all day and sleeps all night, so we have no problems, in that area at least.

Although you have such good help during the daytime, you are on your own with your father at night, and continuously broken nights are exhausting.

I can only suggest you see your father`s GP and ask if he could have a short spell on sleeping tablets, just to see if you can regulate his sleep pattern. It is possible that if you could enable your father to sleep all night, he would be less inclined to sleep during the day, and the cycle of a bad habit will be broken.

It might not work, but there`s no harm trying. It would be of benefit to both of you if you could get a better routine.

Also, if your father is wandering round the house by himself at night, he could eventually be at risk.

Can I say how much admiration I have for you and your husband, for relocating for the sake of your father.

Take care xx


Registered User
Jul 31, 2007
Hello Annie,
Welcome to Talking Point. I admire what you are doing for your Dad. As for the sleeping pattern, my husband was diagnoised at 58 and Peter was the same. The G.P. proscribed a sleeping tablet and it did work and Peter got into a sleeping routine again. It is the danger of the wandering at night. So you should be able to get sleeping tablets. Best wishes Christine


Registered User
Feb 17, 2006
Dad's sleeping patterns are very disjointed and are getting worse ...he is now sleeping on & off during the day and awake, wandering most of the night..hard to say but probably gets 2-3 hrs kip a night

With my mother when she really bad in that stage , she just moved in with me , Mum use to ask for breakfast in the middle of the night,Not even sleeping tablet would knock her out .

she also would fall asleep during the day , if I never motivated her to get up she would sleep all day , only waking up for food , so doctor gave her ant depression tablets that never help, then she was given medication for late stages of AZ taken of other medication . keep on Exbiza , did help with knowing night from day , but what I realize what help more was getting mum in to a routine , getting mum up in the morning , wash dress ,

Taking her out during the day help , but away a but

Even then she would walk around during the night , then found out she did not like sleeping with light of in her bed room , also did not like sleeping alone in bedroom , so had to put a TV in her room leaving it on ]

grumpy and moody
yes my mother would get like that , also people do say don't get them into a routine , because they don't like change , but it help me at the beginning of caring for mum .

also with you moving in with your father it could of unsettle him, so the wondering at night can get worse , but in time can get better , as they a change in routine , how he lived before you moved in with him , so is going to take a lot of adjusting for him to get in to your time routine of sleeping . took me a good year , with good night and bad nights.

Then going to day centre really tried mum , so help with sleeping at night.
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Registered User
Feb 2, 2004
North London
Knackered daughter

Hi Annie how well I know everything you are going through. My mum has had AZ for 7 years (known) now and lives with me 24/7. A couple of ideas on help have already been suggested and sleeping tablets did work for me when mum was up every hour of the night even though she did not sleep during the day. I have also found the Day Centre of Age Concern extremely good for mum. She is stimulated there in all sorts of different ways, the staff are wonderful and she comes home relaxed but tired. Mum also went through a phase when she got very angry and agitated with everyone. Goodness knows where these frail old people (mum is 86 next birthday) get so much strength from!!!!! She nearly knocked me out a couple of times!!!!! The mental health doctor that we are under prescribed 'Quitapine' which is an anti physcotic drug.(for approx 9 months now) I personally have found these to be excellent in my mum's case, the agitation and agression stopped, in fact she became very loving and tactile. They also help her to sleep at night. Perhaps worth speaking to your GP about. Having said that mum is on no other medication whatsoever, so nothing to mix incorrectly with it.
I commend what you are doing for your dad because I really do know what you are going through. I wish you lots of luck and would love to hear how things go. Take care, god bless, Jenny


Registered User
Aug 11, 2006
Margate, Kent.
Hi Annie.
My aunt used to run round the house screaming during the night... which meant NOBODY got any sleep! Eventually, I asked the doctor for some tablets and he prescribed Zopiclone. Now we are all sleeping well and my aunt is not so zonked out during the day.
I think it's a problem for a lot of people.
Ask your GP for help.
All the best.


Registered User
Nov 20, 2006
My dad has just been prescibed Zopiclone too to help with the nights, more for my Mum's benefit that my Dad's, she was getting soo tired with my Dad up half the night, didn't seem to affect him the same though!


Registered User
Dec 13, 2007
Hastings E Sussex
Thank you all for your advice..will talk to the GP about using sleeping tablets for Dad. Would you believe it though...the very same morning I posted this thread, he's up, fully dressed and looking very pleased with himself at 8am! However the sleeping pattern is now erratic again. More stimulus is needed for Dad during the day so will check out day centres after christmas.

If I do not tune in before, hope Christmas is as happy as we can possibly make it
Love to you all
Annie & Jonxx


Account Closed
Nov 23, 2007
Hallo Knackerd

Just like me you need a sleep, I long for severn hours.
I do not agree with sleeping tablets. Oh I wish I did, but a break is what you need. Drugs are what are given in nursing homes, to keep the old drugged.

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