Dementia and Sleep

There is a strong connection between sleep and dementia but to understand that better, it is important know exactly what dementia is.

What is Dementia?

Dementia is a mental disorder that can be caused duehead injury or brain diseases. An individual suffering from dementia may experience loss of memory, difficulty communication, confusion and problems walking around. People suffering from dementia may also find it difficult to recognize people they are close with, even parents and siblings. Although the condition needs a proper medical treatment, you can take certain steps to make things better yourself. Try to understand what the person is going through and then adjust accordingly. Try not to stress them too much. Dementia cases can be of different nature, which is why it is important to treat every case differently.

Is Sleep for People with Dementia Any Different?

Sleeping patterns of about half the people suffering from dementia are not normal. They normally find very difficult to sleep for longer periods and are often sleepy and tired throughout the day. They are also unable to achieve deep sleep are usually restless during the night. REM (Random Eye Movement) is the deepest stage of sleep, which dementia sufferers hardly get to. This is the same stage of sleep when a person starts dreaming. Restless sleep could solely be due to dementia or due to changes in the mental state.

How Can The Sleep Problems Affect Their Daily Life?

Not getting proper or adequate sleep can lead to a lot of problems. Their quality of life gets affected and they are unable to carry out regular day activities. They find it difficult to function properly and are usually tired and sleepy. Lack of focus during work or any activity is another common problem that they might come across. Lack of sleep due to dementia also causes mood swings or severe depression. Also, they might wake up in the middle of the night and start walking around. Talking during sleep is another common habit that these people might develop.

How to Help People with Dementia Get Adequate Rest

In order for you to help people with dementia rest well, it is important to bring them back to their normal sleeping patterns. You can do that by helping them develop the same routine as they had when they slept well.

One way to help these people get enough rest is by providing them things that helps them sleep well. For example, if they were accustomed to falling asleep listening to music, then you should let them listen to their favorite music. If they were used to waking up early in the morning, then wake them up early. Make sure they are kept busy during the day so they don’t fall asleep.

Massage has proved to be very helpful for people with dementia. Giving them a massage right before bed will help them go to sleep. Make sure you they fall asleep at time that they used to. To avoid any sort of disturbances, keep their room completely dark and avoid any sort of noise during the night. All of these things along with medical treatment can help them get a lot better.