Wants to sleep a lot, should I keep getting him up?

Discussion in 'I have a partner with dementia' started by thebes, Oct 26, 2015.

  1. thebes

    thebes Registered User

    Feb 10, 2014
    It seems we might be entering yet another phase, every few weeks things are changing. Now my OH wants to stay in bed and sleep a lot. He sleeps quite well at night with episodes of sleep apnoea, from about 8.30pm for 12 hours or so with a couple of changes. This last week or so he has not wanted to get up, and even if cajoled into his chair is very disinterested in eating and just wanting to get back to bed. Today I put him back by 11 after he had some breakfast, and later in the morning our carer tried to get him up again to go on a planned trip out. No way. So a quiet morning, she did get him up for lunch and he was OK this afternoon, but back in bed at 5 and still asleep. I will get him up for a meal soon, but then it will be off to bed again.
    Does it matter? I feel concerned he is not getting any stimulationand will just get weaker but also wonder if it just cruel to be insisting on him being up more.
  2. marionq

    marionq Registered User

    Apr 24, 2013
    I have no experience of this but it seems very clear what he wants and probably needs. To force him up and out seems to go against nature and yet for exercise and circulation he should be on the move at some point. Very tricky isn't it?
  3. Chuggalug

    Chuggalug Registered User

    Mar 24, 2014
    With my husband, Thebes; the time of year tended to dictate what he would do. Autumn and winter, he could spend most of the day and night in bed. Spring and summer, he'd be up most of the day and night, pacing and worrying/fussing over something, and hardly getting any sleep. The only time I ever got frightened was when he spent almost a whole 24 hours in his bed. That happened at least twice. I decided that if he wanted to rest/sleep it was better to let him, thinking that if he was asleep, at least his mind wasn't twisting into all sorts of discomfort for him.

    We had absolutely no help for the first six and a half years. I gave up my beloved charity job the last year and a bit he was at home here. The sleep patterns were helpful, in that I'd use them to go shopping, which does take ages using public transport. I could leave in the morning when he was abed, and get home to find him still there. No harm done, and I was grateful.

    You could let your loved one stay in bed if he wants to. He'll get up when he wants food; a drink; some company, or anything else. Just keep an eye on him throughout the time he's resting.
  4. 1mindy

    1mindy Registered User

    Jul 21, 2015
    My OH currently sleeps a lot. He does get out of bed in the morning about 10 ish but then sleeps in the chair. He sleeps well at night too. He did say yesterday he just likes his bed and sleeping. What can I say except " fair enough ".
  5. Spamar

    Spamar Registered User

    Oct 5, 2013
    OH used to sleep a lot, maybe 22 hours a day sometimes. If it was a daycare day he would go, but be home and in bed by 18:00. At weekends, nearly all day in bed, just got up for breakfast. I decided that if that was what he wanted, then fine.

    Remember, bed is a safe place and the world can be a frightening place to a dementia sufferer.
  6. Raggedrobin

    Raggedrobin Registered User

    Jan 20, 2014
    My father slept a lot, actually for a few years before he was diagnosed, too. I would leave him to it, for some people it is part of the illness, I don't think there is anything to be gained from stopping him.

    if you are concerned by changes, better to get a doctor to do blood tests for things like anemia and b12 deficiency on case he has fatigue for physiological reasons.
  7. esmeralda

    esmeralda Registered User

    Nov 27, 2014
    Hi thebes.
    My husband sleeps for Britain too. 'Professionals' always seem to be shocked to be told that he sleeps until twelve - actually he could and sometimes does sleep until four but I edited it a bit to save their sensibilities.:D I did and will try to get him up earlier but sometimes he just refuses. Like Chuggs, I found this helpful to allow me to get out to the shops and appointments. This has got more difficult as he gets more confused and I'm worried he might try to get out of bed and fall.
    I do feel he probably needs to have a lot of sleep. Maybe it is such hard work for the brain to process what's happening it just needs a lot of rest. If I tried to force Nick to get up earlier he could become quite disorientated.
    I agree with others on here. Don't make your and his life a misery by trying to force him to do something he doesn't want to do. If you are worried then try a little gentle persuasion and see where that gets you.
    Hope you find a way through it thebes.
  8. thebes

    thebes Registered User

    Feb 10, 2014
    Thanks for your thoughts on this, and comments from experience. As ever they make a lot more sense to me than trying to pursue a path of keeping him active as advised by other well meaning folk who simply don't understand the complexities of this illness.
    For myself it is a struggle to do another bit of letting him go into the AZ world from which there will be no return. However , his rest is peaceful and the dear man is so pleased to be 'allowed' to stay in bed or return to it, it feels the positive thing to do! Whatever anyone locally thinks.
    For our carers - I realise that they also are struggling with having a less active role, so will need to adapt. Due to his general frailty he cannot be left alone, he has cot sides on the bed to assist his ability to change position and to sit up to cough. Maybe I need to look for folk who are more content to sit, rather than the busy practical care they all seem used to.
  9. Scarlett123

    Scarlett123 Registered User

    Apr 30, 2013
    Like others have said, if his body is telling him it needs to rest, go with it. John was often very late going to Day Care, because, to me, it was more important for him to sleep, if that's what he wanted to do.

    I wouldn't dare leave him, as no 2 days were the same, but I would have thought the carers would have been delighted to have a chance of "just sitting"! Perhaps, if hubby is asleep, you could utilise their visit to have a sleep yourself, or even go out for their duration, as long as you make it clear that hubby is not to be disturbed.

    I wish you both well.
  10. esmeralda

    esmeralda Registered User

    Nov 27, 2014
    I know what you mean about losing another bit of him thebes. It is such a heartbreaking process that we are powerless to stop. Nick is just the same, peaceful and very happy to be able to sleep. In some ways I am grateful as there are people who have so much worse to live with.
    I'm sure you would have been so happy for John to have had the peace of good sleep Scarlett, and I do wonder that you survived that dreadful time when he seemed so tormented.
    Would your carers not be prepared to do some housework thebes, if they aren't happy just sitting? I have one who seems very happy to do nothing and the other one whizzes round and does loads. Love to you both
  11. Bestgirl

    Bestgirl Registered User

    Oct 31, 2015
    London, Ontario
    just coping

    My husband sleeps a lot also. Every time he wakes from a nap he has an halluciation. Despite the daily napping he still goes to be by 9 and sleeps all night. He is not interested in doing any activities. He does enjoy going out for a coffee daily and also likes to walk. These are the only time he seems to be awake. I'm told this phase with the hallucinations will pass and there will be something else. All phases very difficult and tiring for us caregivers.
  12. thebes

    thebes Registered User

    Feb 10, 2014
    Yes I recognise just what you are talking about. My OH is particularly sleepy now as he has another chest infection brewing. It gets hard to find things he can enjoy now his stamina is so reduced, even going out for a drive tires him, and his walking ability is dropping week by week despite all our efforts to help him keep mobile.

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