6 Tips for Managing Sleep Problems in Alzheimer's
Alzheimer’s disease often affects a person’s sleeping habits. It may be hard to get the person to go to bed and stay there. Someone with Alzheimer’s may sleep a lot or not enough, and may wake up many times during the night.
Here are some tips that may help caregivers manage sleep problems in people with Alzheimer’s disease:
- Help the person get exercise each day, limit naps, and make sure the person gets enough rest at night. Being overly tired can increase late-afternoon and nighttime restlessness.
- Plan activities that use more energy early in the day. For example, try bathing in the morning or having the largest family meal in the middle of the day.
- Set a quiet, peaceful mood in the evening to help the person relax. Keep the lights low, try to reduce the noise levels, and play soothing music if he or she enjoys it.
- Try to have the person go to bed at the same time each night. A bedtime routine, such as reading out loud, also may help.
- Limit caffeine.
- Use nightlights in the bedroom, hall, and bathroom.
For More Information About Managing Sleep Problems in Alzheimer's
NIA Alzheimer’s and related Dementias Education and Referral (ADEAR) Center
The National Institute on Aging’s ADEAR Center offers information and free print publications about Alzheimer’s disease and related dementias for families, caregivers, and health professionals. ADEAR Center staff answer telephone, email, and written requests and make referrals to local and national resources.
Content reviewed: May 17, 2017