Sleep, Dementia Care

Sleep and dementia care

Posted 21st July 2020

Not getting enough rest is torment, both for the carer and the patient, in this article we offer some ideas that may help you to get more sleep.

Exercise is critical as it offers various advantages, including tiring the individual which will ideally lead to progressively relaxing evenings.

Sleep time routine
It’s critical to ensure there is a routine and preparation for sleep. If the dementia patient uses electrical devices, then screen time should be stopped in any event, an hour prior to bed. Pick an activity that will help them to unwind and rest. Even small options such as a warm beverage (no caffeine) or perhaps a warm shower or bath. If you work together and spend time putting daytime clothing away and closing the curtains, it helps to remind the patient that it is time for sleep.

Ensure the room is cool, that the bed is warm and attempt to decrease light to a minimum in the room. A daylight lamp is helpful in the day, but the light in the bedroom needs to remain dark. A dimmer switch might be an idea to help reduce the level of light in the room.

Bathroom routine
One of the principle reasons individuals get up in the night is to go to the toilet.

It is important to make the ensuite or bathroom distinguishable from the bedroom and that they know exactly how to get there, with low level lighting. The light should not make shadows as to confuse the patient. It is important to be available for night wakings and ready to help, in case they fall.

If night sleep is becoming a real cause for concern or there are issues with wandering and sundowning then a night time sedative might be required. You should discuss this with their GP or medical professional as it might interfere with other medication too. If the patient has taken a sedative, they may be dozy the next day and you need to be aware of falls risk.

Sleeping too much
If a dementia quiet is getting a lot of sleep, particularly in the day, it can have an impact on night time sleeping. This will impact their melatonin levels in their body and can mess up their body clock. If they are resting excessively, they may not be getting enough daylight, which can bring on sundowning episodes, or other difficult behaviours in dementia, as well as frequent night time wakings. Ensure that the dementia patient has limited naps throughout the day and that they are getting access to daylight, through a walk, or period outside in fresh air.

Take a look at our care options which can support your loved one, particularly if they live alone, or if you need support with their frequent night time wakings.

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