Dementia and Sleep

Getting a good night's sleep maybe a big problem both for the person with dementia and their carers. Here we present a range of information to better understand sleep and dementia. This may help you improve sleep patterns and hence quality of life.

Overview of Dementia

Dementia affects everyone differently and varies in progression. Different brain functions affected may include:

  • change to memory e.g. forgets familiar places
  • language e.g. refers back to first language
  • communication e.g. unable to communicate specific needs
  • recognition e.g. difficulty

Read more ...

Conditions that can affect sleep

Some conditions affect sleep quality in people with dementia including:

  • sleep apnea
  • arthritis
  • restless leg syndrome 
  • depression

For more information refer to the dementia and sleep factsheet.

Types of Dementia

The most common types of dementia are:

  • Alzheimers Disease
  • Vascular
  • Lewy Body
  • Frontotemporal

Stages of Dementia

There are three stages of dementia that a person with dementia will go through; mild, moderate and severe. Each phase of dementia will have different experiences and barriers to tackle. With the help of family members and friends the progression of dementia may be less of a shock.

During all three

Read more ...

Signs of Dementia

As a carer you might notice the person with dementia doing the following:

  • wandering
  • yelling or calling out
  • acting confused
  • tossing and turning in bed

 Various changes in behaviour and routines and changes to the home can help with sleep.

Carer's Stress

Many carers experience some sort of stress and are at risk of burnout. They can sometimes feel overwhelmed and in a downwards spiral with the pressures of caring for their loved ones. Caregiver stress can result from:

  • constant worry
  • increased responsibilities
  • declining carer health e.g. high

Read more ...

Video: The Four Ps: Danielle's tips on getting a good nights sleep

Sleep Changes

Your loved one may feel sleepy during the day, have difficulty sleeping through the night or not know when it is time to sleep.

They may have less deep, restful sleep and more lighter sleep. Sundowning can occur because of changes to their sleep/wake cycle. They may become restless

Read more ...