In people with dementia Dementia Dementia is a slow, progressive decline in mental function including memory, thinking, judgment, and the ability to learn. Typically, symptoms include memory loss, problems using language and... read more , such as Alzheimer disease Alzheimer Disease Alzheimer disease is a progressive loss of mental function, characterized by degeneration of brain tissue, including loss of nerve cells, the accumulation of an abnormal protein called beta-amyloid... read more , sleep patterns are often abnormal. As dementia progresses, the time spent in light sleep increases, so people are easily awakened.
People with dementia may also have disorders that contribute to sleep problems. Disorders such as arthritis, dehydration, and infections may cause pain or discomfort, interfering with sleep. Use of certain drugs or interactions between drugs may also interfere with sleep.
Treatment of Sleep Disorders in Dementia
Treatment of the underlying disorder
Treatment of the dementia or any underlying disorder causing pain or discomfort may help improve sleep.
The following general measures may help:
Not taking or taking fewer naps during the day because naps may make sleeping at night more difficult
Walking outside in the sunshine
Keeping the temperature in the bedroom comfortable
Not consuming beverages or foods that contain caffeine or alcohol during the evening
Drugs to aid sleep (sedatives) cause confusion, falls, and agitation in people with dementia and are not used.