People with Alzheimer’s disease go through many changes, and sleep problems are often some of the most noticeable.
Most adults have changes in their sleep patterns as they age. But the problems are more severe and happen more often for people with Alzheimer’s.
You might notice that your loved one:
- Sleeps a lot more than usual, including taking naps during the day. This is common for people in the early stages of the disease.
- Has trouble falling asleep or wakes up a lot at night. When he does sleep, he might doze on and off.
- Wants to sleep more during the day and stay awake at night. This becomes more common as Alzheimer’s gets worse.
- Gets restless or agitated when the sun sets, a condition called sundowning. He might pace or wander during the night, too.
Scientists aren’t sure why people with Alzheimer’s tend to have problems sleeping. It may be because the disease damages the brain and changes the way it controls the sense of when to get shut-eye and when to be awake.
But even when sleep patterns change, you can make it easier for your loved one to rest and get some Zzz's yourself.
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