Sleep disturbance, such as difficulties getting to sleep, repeatedly waking up and changes to the sleep-wake cycle, is a common worry in patients with dementia. Difficulties judging the time mean that the patient sometimes does not notice the difference between day and night. The reason may also be caused by certain factors in the sleep environment, pain, hunger, or be due to new routines. Try to keep the patient physically active and do not let the person rest too much during the daytime.
More advice about sleep:
- Map the sleeping routines.
- Nocturnal wandering can be a result of understimulation.
- The toilet door should be left ajar and the light left on.
- If the patient does not fall asleep within 30 minutes, let them get up and do something else.
- Take care with medication, which can lead to hangover effects that make the patient drowsy.