My mom has Dementia and really bad nightmares. Are the two related? And how can I soothe her so she can get a better night's sleep?

Asked by: Michele Trice |Posted on: December,02 | Viewed: 479 times


1 Answer


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Yes, the two may indeed be related. People with Alzheimer's Disease and Dementia may experienced increased agitation, confusion, and sadness during the nighttime. This is known as "Sundowners Syndrome" and it can be very alarming for family caregivers and the patients themselves. Fortunately, there are things you can do to help your mother remain calm and get better sleep at night. 

Many people are quick to turn to medication to resolve these issues, but you should be sure to see a doctor before starting your mother on sleep inducers of any kind. Here are a few natural ways to help your mom get better sleep at night: 
1. Develop a relaxing sleep schedule that includes taking care of hygiene and a creating nurturing sleep environment. These daily rhythms can help create structure in the Dementia patient's life, leading to less confusion and fear in the later hours of the day. 
2. She should avoid caffeine and alcohol before bed, as these can trigger disrupted sleep as well as depression and anxiety. Try monitoring her eating and drinking habits to better understand how external forces may be influencing her mood. 
3. Consider purchasing a "light box" which can help alleviate the symptoms of sundowner's syndrome and/or depression. Filling the room with artificial light can help your mother see better, ensuring that she is safe and comforted in the time before sleep. 
If these natural suggestions do not work, you can then turn to supplements or medication that your doctor recommends for patients with Dementia. Hopefully one of these tips will be able to get your mom back on the path to better health and well-being. 
All the best, 

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