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Can dementia cause Mom to cry out in her sleep?

Mom cries out in sleep. Maybe nightmares? Symptom of Alzheimers? I wake her, hold her, calm her down. She initially seems out of it. She can never explain what happened or why she was crying out. Am I right to wake her? Anything I can do to avoid these almost nightly occurances?
Status: Open    Nov 30, 2015 - 08:22 AM

Dementia, Caregiving

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Dec 01, 2015 - 12:13 PM

I would talk to her doctor and advise him/her of these occurances. They may be able to give her a seditive to help keep her calm. Melatonin is a natural sleep aid that may promote healthy sleep but speak to her doctor first. Here are some tips that can help as well to make sure everyone gets a good nights rest as well:

Avoid caffeine and alcohol. Caffeine in soda, tea, coffee or other products may contribute to sleeplessness, and alcohol can contribute to confusion and anxiety. If she insists on having a drink, offer a soft drink in a familiar cocktail glass or serve nonalcholic beer or wine.

Manage her medications. Find out what time of day she should be taking her medications. Morning drugs that have a stimulating effect and evening drugs that make your loved one sleepy. Sleeping pills are generally discouraged for people who have Alzheimer's. These drugs may increase her confusion and the risk of having falls.

Encourage excercise. Physical activity can help promote better sleep at night. Plan her day to include walks and other activitys, as the day winds down taper it down.

Limit the amount of daytime sleep she gets. If she must nap, make sure it is a short one and not too late in the day. Have her nap on the couch or in a recliner rather then in bed. If in the morning you think she is in bed too long, then wake her.

Establish a bedtime routine. Do the same things nightly, such as brushing her hair, her teeth, using the toilet, listening to soft music. If bathing or dressing is difficult then do it earlier in the day. Make sure you have a comfortable place for sleeping. For example: Make sure the tempature in the room is comfortable, turn on a night light. Place security objects like a favorite pillow or blanket within easy access. Treat underlying conditions. If you suspect she has depression, sleep apnea or pain is interfering with her sleep then consult with her physician.

Good luck!


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