Dementia and Sleep: How to Manage Alzheimer’s Sleep Problems
Did you know that a new person is diagnosed with Alzheimer’s every minute? Most of us are well aware of how devastating this disease is on someone’s mental facilities. A lesser known and discussed problem in dementia patients is sleep.
People suffering with Alzheimer’s also suffer from terrible sleep. If you or your loved one is looking for relief from this common side effect, read on. This article will give you 5 tips on how to manage dementia and sleep difficulties.
1. Spend More Time Outside
Sleeping problems are becoming more common in modern day. Many people work indoors and all of us get too much screen time with electronics.
These factors can wreak havoc on your sleeping schedule. By spending more time outside during the daytime, you can help your brain get back on its circadian rhythm. When we listen to our biological clock, that can alleviate dementia and sleeping issues.
If physical conditions prevent someone from getting outside, light therapy is another valuable option to consider. This treatment involves sitting by a special light that simulates natural daylight.
2. Increase Physical Activity
Exercise is one of the best things we can do to help our bodies and minds. This is especially true for people with Alzheimer’s.
If you want to know how to get dementia patients to sleep at night, make sure they’re getting enough physical activity during the day. Exercise helps to tire the body and ease restless minds at nights.
3. Fight Dementia and Sleep Problems with Bedroom Environment
A natural sleep aid for elderly with dementia is maintaining a healthy sleeping environment. Follow these guidelines to get some restful shut eye:
- Use thick curtains to block any light from entering the room
- Keep the room at a comfortably cool temperature
- Dress in loose, minimal clothing so the skin can breathe
- Consider playing white noise, nature sounds, or soft music for a relaxing atmosphere
4. Stay on Schedule
Maintaining a regular sleep schedule is critical for dementia patients. When people have schedules, their bodies and minds can start to wind down when they anticipate that bedtime is approaching. People will naturally get tired once a routine has been established for a few weeks.
5. Stop Eating or Drinking Before Bedtime
Dementia sleep deprivation is a serious condition. The last tip you should heed for better sleep is to stop eating or drinking at least an hour before bedtime, but preferably two hours.
Our bodies use a lot of energy to digest. When the body’s resources are used to break down food while we sleep, normal maintenance work gets neglected. If you eat before bed, it’s likely that you’ll wake up feeling exhausted.
Drinking can also interfere with the quality of your sleep. Abstaining from liquids a couple hours before bed will prevent any bathroom trips in the middle of the night.
Do You Need More Dementia Resources?
Battling dementia and sleep problems is exhausting for both the patient and the caretaker. If you live in the Washington DC area and you’re interested in exploring assisted living options, look no further than Maple Heights Senior Living. If you have any questions about our accommodations or services, please check out our amenities and other features.