How can anyone sleep for so much of the day.

Discussion in 'I have a partner with dementia' started by angiebails, Dec 30, 2015.

  1. angiebails

    angiebails Registered User

    Oct 8, 2009
    My husband has spent the whole of Xmas asleep, and as I can't go out alone I am feeling at breaking point. He is on donepezil and risperdone but they don't mention that it causes this much drowsiness so is it the progression of his dementia. It takes till lunchtime to get him out of bed then he sleeps in the chair most of the afternoon, I try to take him out each day for an hour but the weather is so depressing and when I do he takes no notice of anything we do so I come home even more depressed.

    Sent from my iPad using Talking Point
  2. marionq

    marionq Registered User

    Apr 24, 2013
    If you are sure he will stay asleep then go out walking for fifteen minutes, then Twenty minutes etc. Even if the weather is miserable the setting of targets and getting your own head space is the start of claiming your life back. As the weather gets better give yourself more time even if that means a sitter just to ensure there are no accidents. I favour swimming but others go bowling or shopping etc.

    It's a miserable setup Angie but you need to start somewhere.
  3. paa36pc

    paa36pc Registered User

    Oct 7, 2014
    sleeping excess all too familiar

    sorry to hear of your husband, it must be so devestating to cope and I hope you have support. My stepdad had the same symtoms with vascular dementia and my mum suffered terribly trying to care for him. Having lost both parents now to dementia, my wife was diagnosed with early onset and every waking moment of my life is filled with dred. It is so important to get help as it is easy to become isolated. l found books on subject helpful.
  4. nae sporran

    nae sporran Volunteer Host

    Oct 29, 2014
    I was going to say what marion already said, Angie. I try to get OH out a couple of times a week, she usually enjoys it after half an hour of patient persuasion, and myself out for a walk another couple of days a week for an hour at most. Of course, the weather down here means I have not been out much for a month or two myself and it's worse up your way I gather.

    The only other thing is that OH has a habit when she wakes up and I am not there of forgetting she has eaten, so a cheap fridge lock is needed to make sure she does not eat another full apple crumble cold.
  5. stanleypj

    stanleypj Registered User

    Dec 8, 2011
    North West
    A quick google suggests that tiredness, fatigue and drowsiness are common side-effects of both the drugs you mention. I would be inclined to ask what seem to be the benefits of each drug? You could also discuss this with whoever prescribed them. It might be appropriate to try stopping them, one at a time, to see if that makes any difference though I doubt whether you would want to do that except with the agreement of the prescriber.

    There's no doubt that as dementia progresses people are likely to need more sleep, though some carers encounter the opposite problem and it's not unknown for PWD to stay awake for many hours at a time.

    If you are able to get any help with the caring I would make that a priority. It is very depressing to be trapped inside.
  6. Sue J

    Sue J Registered User

    Dec 9, 2009
    I have slept over much of Christmas and am not on any medication, save paracetamol and aspirin, the latter not daily. I'd be totally comatose on rispiradone. Am only just slowly coming into a better waking phase. Have had trouble sleeping at night which usually follows days when I have slept for very lengthy periods. Am inclined to agree with Stanleypj and ask about stopping one or more meds and getting a sitter in so you can get out, Crossroads?

    I have had to cancel provisional plans for visiting someone today as am still too 'slow' and despite having warned them I would only confirm today am a bit upset they have taken it the wrong way - as if I want to be stuck indoors and 'let people down':( I am disappointed as much as they.

    Marionq made good suggestion to get out for 15 mins for a walk if you can a breath of fresh air does help.
  7. Rosegarden2

    Rosegarden2 Registered User

    Feb 27, 2015
    How can anyone sleep for so much of the day

    Angie - I do know just how you feel and the sheer frustration of seeing one's partner/husband constantly shut away in sleep. I'm not sure about the medication being the only cause though. My husband was put onto memantine in August 2013 (because the other drugs caused him bowel problems) and as soon as he went onto it I noticed a marked improvement in his cognitive skills, with no trace of fatigue or drowsiness. His mental ability lasted for quite a while - about a year and a half before I could see that he was getting worse again. Since July 2014 he has had several infections and after each of these he has 'gone down' more. And for the last year sleep has claimed him more and more. So I really think the constant sleeping is the dementia progressively getting worse, and although the memantine is still helping a bit, I realise that i must accept his sleepy state, which is now all day and all night, with rare moments of alertness.
    To cope, I make sure of getting out for a short while each day, emailing and phoning friends, reading (i've read loads of books!) etc. After all if a person is sleeping then one can get on with other things without worrying that they'll come to harm. And keeping to a sort of daily pattern helps both him and me.
    It's hard though and at the back of one's mind is the knowledge that it's just got to be accepted!
  8. angiebails

    angiebails Registered User

    Oct 8, 2009
    There is never a easy stage to cope with and I suppose you are right as to getting out but because of his previous delusions I am nervous of going out without him as it would be too much to cope with if it set them off again. After the year I have had I should be glad of the peace and appreciate his calm. It seems to be pretty normal for dementia sufferers to be asleep for so much of the day. I definitely can't contemplate the consultant reducing the risperodol unless he could guarantee that the delusions won't return.
    I would appreciate if anyone that has had risperdol reduced could tell me if the previous symptoms return or not.

    Sent from my iPad using Talking Point
  9. stanleypj

    stanleypj Registered User

    Dec 8, 2011
    North West
  10. Selinacroft

    Selinacroft Registered User

    Oct 10, 2015
    Dad wasn't considered suitable for any dementia meds due to kidney and heart problems. Today he has been asleep virtually all day except meal times. I had to wake him again this evening for dinner. When nurse came earlier she said he was fine chatting away about Cornwall! I haven't even seen an eyeball open voluntarily today. Never seen him quite this bad before at home.

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