Understanding Alzheimer’s and Sleeplessness

A recent study found that nearly 15% of people age 71 and older (3.8 million people in the U.S.) suffer from dementia, which includes Alzheimer’s and other mental disorders. For caregivers of those with Alzheimer’s, understanding the side effects and how to deal with them is incredibly important, especially when it comes to sleeplessness.

A full night of rest is important for any person in order to stay healthy, but it is even more crucial for those with Alzheimer’s, as it prevents irritability and lowers the chances of disorientation and confusion.

Unfortunately, most individuals with Alzheimer’s don’t get nearly enough sleep. Studies show that as the damage to the brain progresses, the likelihood of sleeplessness increases. This is because the damage done to the brain with this condition actually reverses the natural sleep to wake brain cycle. As a result, Alzheimer’s patients often become tired, groggy or sleepy during the day.

This is why it is so important to understand ways to combat sleeplessness in Alzheimer’s patients, whether you are the professional caregiver, helping out, or if you are a friend or loved one. These are some tips:

  • Consider getting Alzheimer’s patients on a set regimen. This means avoiding long daytime or afternoon naps, staying away from sugar and caffeine in the evenings and getting them to bed at the same time every night.
  • Make sure they understand that the bed is a place for sleep and they should never be eating, resting, reading or watching television in bed.
  • Before going to sleep, try implementing a relaxing night time ritual that includes activities such as taking a long bath or listening to gentle music, instead of watching television or engaging in other stimulating activities.
Small changes such as this can go a long way in helping someone with Alzheimer’s disease get on a schedule, and the benefits of a better night rest can be instrumental in managing Alzheimer’s disease.
Do you have a loved one who is suffering from Alzheimer’s? Persons with Alzheimer’s and their families face special legal and financial needs. At The Fairfax Alzheimer’s Planning Firm of Evan H. Farr, P.C., we are dedicated to easing the financial and emotional burden on those suffering from Alzheimer’s and their loved ones.  If you have a loved one who is suffering from Alzheimer’s, we can help you prepare for your future financial and long-term care needs.  We help protect the family’s hard-earned assets while maintaining your loved one’s comfort, dignity, and quality of life by ensuring eligibility for critical government benefits. Call 703-691-1888 to make an appointment for a consultation.
Print This Page
About Evan H Farr, CELA, CAP

Evan H. Farr is a 4-time Best-Selling author in the field of Elder Law and Estate Planning. In addition to being one of approximately 500 Certified Elder Law Attorneys in the Country, Evan is one of approximately 100 members of the Council of Advanced Practitioners of the National Academy of Elder Law Attorneys and is a Charter Member of the Academy of Special Needs Planners.