Not sleeping

Susan S

Registered User
Feb 16, 2008
newcastle upon Tyne
I am Barbara H's sister (you may have read her threads).

Mam was in a very bad mood today, quite aggressive etc.

The care helpers said it was because she hasn't slept properly in her bed for 36 hours.
Is this common for dementia sufferers?

We have had a meeting with the consultant and psychiatric nurse and they suggested anti-depressants to help her sleep, it may also help with her poor eating.


Registered User
Mar 7, 2004
Hi Susan, welcome to TP.

I have a friend on an assessment ward at present. One of his problems was that he would not sleep in a bed.

After a couple of nights sleeping upright in a chair, his ankles were swollen and he was becoming disorientated. I know this has been helped with an anti=depressant. Cannot comment about the lack of appetite.

However I suppose if you feel more settled in yourself maybe it would affect your eating.

Thanks for joining us.


Registered User
Jun 27, 2006
I think not sleeping, or not sleeping the the right place or at the right time is pretty common with dementia sufferers. What I would be asking though is: why anti-depressants? I mean to say: I'm in favour if they think the reason she's not sleeping properly is because of depression, or some kind of anxiety, but if the issue is more specifically insomnia it would seem to me to make more sense to prescribe a sleeping pill. I understand the reluctance - some sleeping pills can be addictive, (although not so much the new ones) and you could be in a situation where the person is sedated but not asleep, which could mean more falls. Still a short term trial (a week or so) to see it it was possible to establish a more normal sleep pattern would seem reasonable to me.

Once you're on an anti-depressant it takes some time for it to kick in and it's not something you can just stop.

What I'm trying to say is - 40 years ago valium seemed to be the panacea, and now it's anti-depressants, and sometimes I think the prescribers don't really have a good idea why they are prescribing what they're prescribing.


Account Closed
Nov 23, 2007
Ron does not sleep at the right times

Ron sleeps during the day, I cannot keep him awake some days. And he likes his chair.
So he does not sleep at night, getting up to tell me he wants to sleep in his chair.
The Doctor gave him 1mg of Lorazepam, it made him worst during the day, and to be honest, did not help his sleeping at night.
He is now not taking them. I have found with Ron, the more active he is during the day ( when we can) the better he sleeps at night. This could just mean getting him in the car for a ride. Anything, I talk to him and point out landmarks etc.

Barb X


Registered User
Oct 16, 2007
manchester, uk
Hi Susan

Welcome to TP.

Some members of my family have used anti-depressants on and off over a number of years. My sister has just started taking some a couple of weeks ago, but not for depression but more as a sleeping pill. She is now getting the sleep she needs, however as for her eating I can't really say.

I'll keep my fingers crossed for you that the tablets work for your mam and she gets the sleep she needs and her appetite returns. Please let us know how she gets on with them.

Take Care


Registered User
Jul 10, 2006
south lanarkshire
Hi Susan

Mum is prescribed an anti-depressant, (Mirtazipine sp?) at night. As well as being an anti-depressent, it is also a seditive, one of the side effects is increased appetite

From all the medicattions Mum has been prescribed in the last 3 months, this is one of the few which has worked

Could this be the medication you mean?