Encouraging your loved one with dementia to get some light during the day will be important in helping them to sleep better at night. Being outside in the sunshine or sitting by a sunny window or in a well-lit room helps us feel more awake for longer during the day. This improves our night time sleep.
We all have a body clock in our brain. It takes in information around us, particularly light levels, which regulate our sleep. Our body clock controls our sleep by making us feel sleepy at night and awake during the day.
As we age, we become less sensitive to light, which affects our sleep patterns. Older adults have more light sleep and less deep sleep during the night, making it more likely they will wake up during the night. Dementia can further upset a person’s sleep due to its effect on the brain, making it difficult to have good sleeping patterns. But by encouraging your loved one to get some light, by sitting beside a sunny window or spending some time outdoors, you can help them sleep better at night.
For more information, see the Sleep Health Foundation’s Factsheets.