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Sleepless nights, what is 'normal?'

val1

Registered User
Jan 11, 2015
7
Hi everyone
I am a live in carer, living with a lady who had a stroke and also has Alzheimer's. Lately the nights have been horrific. Up six or seven times between 11pm and 7am. Maybe to use the bedpan but more often she asks to be rolled over, what the time is, can she have a sleeping tablet, move her legs and the list goes on. Is this a normal sleeping pattern as the disease advances? She also calls me frequently during the day if I am out of sight for more than ten minutes. Anyone else have this going on? Many thanks.
 

jaymor

Volunteer Moderator
Jul 14, 2006
12,914
England
Hi,

My husband was up all night though not because he wanted something. His day was a twelve hour day and went from 8am to 8pm and then it was back to 8am. 11pm was not bed because he had lunch at 12 and from then on it was time to go out as we usually did in the afternoon.

He was also my shadow, always a foot behind me, I went no where without him.

It is very hard and very draining and though I managed on my own, trying to sleep when he went to the day centre for a few hours I would say as she accepts help from you please get extra help in, sleep depravation is a killer.
 

marionq

Registered User
Apr 24, 2013
6,071
Scotland
Sleep deprivation is indeed deadly. My husband has improved on Zopiclone and Trazodone but it is not 100%. After a bad week of him wandering, up several times ,getting lost etc., I find myself bursting into tears when anyone speaks to me. Whether this will result in necessary daycare I do not know but I am quite sure that I cannot go on like this.

My husband is a nice person who doesn't mean to cause me distress but when push comes to shove he does what he wants with no concern for me. That is Alzheimers.
 

Witzend

Registered User
Aug 29, 2007
4,291
SW London
Val, are you a paid live in carer? If so, who employs you? Is it the lady's family? I think you ought to tell whoever it is that you are not getting anything like a proper night's sleep, and someone else is needed for nighttime. Something to help her sleep might be a possibility but doctors are often reluctant to prescribe anything, because they may make the person more liable to fall.

Yes, it is not at all uncommon for people with dementia to be up and down or calling out a lot during the night. Those trying to care for them are often exhausted by it, especially if the days are also very demanding. Speaking for myself, this is one of the main reasons my FIL finally went into a care home - our nights were badly disturbed and particularly with children still at school and my OH working long hours, it could not go on.
 

Tin

Registered User
May 18, 2014
4,825
UK
That's the normal in my house, I've had a week now of mum just not sleeping more than 4 hours a night, hoping tonight will be different. Usually she calls out to me for anything and everything, I have learnt to ignore a lot of these, but you probably will not do this as an employee. During the day she is my shadow. Maybe you should talk to whoever has employed you to care for this lady, explain the changes that have happened since you started looking after her, they may be in a position to employ a 2nd person to relieve you of some of the nights, because I'm sure if this pattern goes on much longer you will not be able to function during the day time hours. Keep posting, let us know how things go.
 

val1

Registered User
Jan 11, 2015
7
Val, are you a paid live in carer? If so, who employs you? Is it the lady's family? I think you ought to tell whoever it is that you are not getting anything like a proper night's sleep, and someone else is needed for nighttime. Something to help her sleep might be a possibility but doctors are often reluctant to prescribe anything, because they may make the person more liable to fall.

Yes, it is not at all uncommon for people with dementia to be up and down or calling out a lot during the night. Those trying to care for them are often exhausted by it, especially if the days are also very demanding. Speaking for myself, this is one of the main reasons my FIL finally went into a care home - our nights were badly disturbed and particularly with children still at school and my OH working long hours, it could not go on.
Yes, I am a paid live in carer. I called my agency today and they are going to suggest either a sleeping tablet or a night carer. The daughter says Zopiclone does not agree with her mom so I will ask the doctor for a milder one. She is incredibly demanding during the day also, calling me every twenty minutes or so.
 

val1

Registered User
Jan 11, 2015
7
That's the normal in my house, I've had a week now of mum just not sleeping more than 4 hours a night, hoping tonight will be different. Usually she calls out to me for anything and everything, I have learnt to ignore a lot of these, but you probably will not do this as an employee. During the day she is my shadow. Maybe you should talk to whoever has employed you to care for this lady, explain the changes that have happened since you started looking after her, they may be in a position to employ a 2nd person to relieve you of some of the nights, because I'm sure if this pattern goes on much longer you will not be able to function during the day time hours. Keep posting, let us know how things go.
Thank you, yes she has deteriorated so much since I started coming here in August last year, quite startling. I didn't know it would develop this rapidly, but I suppose each person is different.
 

Sunny7

Registered User
Nov 28, 2013
13
West Sussex
Hi everyone
I am a live in carer, living with a lady who had a stroke and also has Alzheimer's. Lately the nights have been horrific. Up six or seven times between 11pm and 7am. Maybe to use the bedpan but more often she asks to be rolled over, what the time is, can she have a sleeping tablet, move her legs and the list goes on. Is this a normal sleeping pattern as the disease advances? She also calls me frequently during the day if I am out of sight for more than ten minutes. Anyone else have this going on? Many thanks.
My mother is awake a lot even with a sleeping pill which she has about 10pm ( bit later tonight as I am on here still!) .. and she sleeps soundly until anytime between 2.30 and 3.30am and then begins by calling out help at the top of her voice or banging the side of the bed guard .. she is in a hospital bed now).. and she rarely goes back to sleep after that which means neither do I. :( I think its fairly common as the sort of things she calls out wanting are similar to the lady you care for.. ie what time is it.. or needing the loo.. she wears a pad but unless she is sound asleep she wants to get up and use the commode..she also asks constantly where she is and what place is this ..it is so wearing! Does she have a sleeping pill every night or just intermittently? You could ask if she could have one if not regularly.. initially mum was started on Temazepam 10mgs but the GP said I could give her 20mg if this did not help.. it did not so the next night I started her off on 20mg.. trouble is they get used to them and whereas it used to knock her out from 10pm to 8am.. now it doesn't... more's the pity! Can you request a night sitter for the lady you care for so you get your sleep?
 

val1

Registered User
Jan 11, 2015
7
My mother is awake a lot even with a sleeping pill which she has about 10pm ( bit later tonight as I am on here still!) .. and she sleeps soundly until anytime between 2.30 and 3.30am and then begins by calling out help at the top of her voice or banging the side of the bed guard .. she is in a hospital bed now).. and she rarely goes back to sleep after that which means neither do I. :( I think its fairly common as the sort of things she calls out wanting are similar to the lady you care for.. ie what time is it.. or needing the loo.. she wears a pad but unless she is sound asleep she wants to get up and use the commode..she also asks constantly where she is and what place is this ..it is so wearing! Does she have a sleeping pill every night or just intermittently? You could ask if she could have one if not regularly.. initially mum was started on Temazepam 10mgs but the GP said I could give her 20mg if this did not help.. it did not so the next night I started her off on 20mg.. trouble is they get used to them and whereas it used to knock her out from 10pm to 8am.. now it doesn't... more's the pity! Can you request a night sitter for the lady you care for so you get your sleep?
Yes, this weekend the daughter and I are going to sit down and discuss what needs to be done here, not only with her mum but also to help me. I think she should look for a night carer but until that I think we need a sleeping tablet.