For the caregiver, one of the most debilitating aspects of caring for the person with dementia is the lack of sleep as a result of nighttime wakefulness in their care receiver. The person may wander or call out or be unable to lie still.
Following are some suggestions that may help increase the care receivers' sleep time. Medication should be pursued only after these avenues are exhausted.
- Keep a regular schedule for going to bed and waking up.
- Create a comfortable environment, regulating room temperature.
- Establish regular meal times. Avoid caffeine and alcohol.
- Soothing music or massage may induce relaxation.
- Encourage regular daily exercise.
- Limit daytime napping.
- Use night lights if the darkness is frightening or disorienting.
- Consider hiring help for the night shift or share night-time supervision with others so you can get your own rest.