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Is Sleeping A Lot A Symptom Of Dementia

Sleep Time And Dementia

Why is my Person w/ Dementia SLEEPING so much? || The “Why” Series

There appears to be a U-shaped curve when it comes to sleep length and cognitive decline. That means problems show up if you sleep too little or too much. But a lack of sleep is more likely to raise your chances of dementia.

Hereâs what research says about sleep time and dementia:

Short sleep . Research shows that one night of serious sleep loss raises your levels of beta-amyloid and tau. Those are proteins linked to Alzheimerâs disease. Insomnia also disrupts your slow wave sleep, which plays a part in learning and memory.

Long sleep . Itâs less clear why long sleep raises your chances of dementia. But your body may need more sleep to work well if you have another health condition, like sleep apnea or depression.

Is Too Much Sleep An Early Sign Of Dementia

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For people over the age of 65, getting more than nine hours of sleep on a regular basis may be an early sign of the onset of dementia or Alzheimers disease, a new study suggests.

To reach their conclusions, a team of researchers analyzed data from the Framingham Heart Study, the nations longest-running epidemiological study, which began in 1948.

The researchers found that people over age 65 who consistently sleep more than nine hours every night had twice the risk of developing dementia and Alzheimers disease within the next 10 years when compared to those who slept less than nine hours a night.

Sudha Seshadri, professor of neurology at Boston University School of Medicine and leader of the research team, says longer periods of sleep can also be a sign of depression.

Researchers analyzed data from 2,457 Framingham study participants who responded to questions about their sleep patterns as part of their regular medical exams. Over a 10-year period of follow-up exams, 234 of these participants received a dementia diagnosis. By reviewing the responses related to their sleep patterns, the researchers found a statistically significant correlation among those who reported increasing their sleep to more than nine hours a night.

Earlier detection, however, can help patients and their families plan and obtain services and support.

Stage : Moderately Severe Dementia

When the patient begins to forget the names of their children, spouse, or primary caregivers, they are most likely entering stage 6 of dementia and will need full time care. In the sixth stage, patients are generally unaware of their surroundings, cannot recall recent events, and have skewed memories of their personal past. Caregivers and loved ones should watch for:

  • Delusional behavior

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Do People With Dementia Sleep A Lot During The Day

Some people with dementia sleep excessively during the daytime. They may feel like they cant stay awake, and they may take long naps that interfere with nighttime sleep and overall quality of life.

Excessive daytime sleepiness is more common in people with Parkinsons disease dementia or Lewy body dementia than in those with Alzheimers. Some factors that may contribute to excessive daytime sleepiness include:

  • Insufficient sleep at night
  • Damage to brain cells caused by dementia
  • Changes in sleep pattern caused by dementia
  • Mental health conditions, such as depression
  • Other sleep disorders, such as sleep apnea

Possible Reasons Why Some Old People Sleep All Day Long

What is Dementia?

Having an elderly sleeping too much can be a concern, and it really helps to find out more about the underlying causes of excessive sleep. Here are some of the reasons of excessive sleep in older adults.

1. Depression

Older adults may experience sleep problems due to depression. It can affect their appetite, energy, sleep, and interest in hobbies, work, or relationships. Unfortunately, most seniors fail to identify these symptoms in time and take no steps to treat it. Some seniors are simply reluctant to talk about their symptoms, while others are so isolated that no one notices their depression symptoms. Some of the most common symptoms of depression are sadness, lack of energy, feelings of despair, fixation on death, slow movement and speech, loss of self-worth, and sleep disturbances .

2. Bored with Life

An elderly sleeping too much may not have any underlying condition at all. Daytime sleepiness may not be a symptom of a medical condition in some cases maybe the person is just bored with life. Boredom is a serious issue for senior citizens and they may start sleeping more when their mental, physical, and emotional needs are neglected. Boredom can lead to several emotional issues, such as feelings of intense restlessness, feelings of worthlessness, feeling of uncared about, and feelings that life is not worth living. This often leads to depression that can cause sleep disturbances.

3. Effects of Medications

4. Dementia

5. Alzheimer’s Disease

6. Brain Tumor

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When Do Dementia Patients Stop Eating

When a patient stops or refuses to eat, things can be very depressing for the caregiver. Drinking and eating are complex and have to do with a control center that is within the brain, which controls the muscles in the throat and neck area.

Dementia affects this part of the brain as it progresses and things like choking, coughing, grimacing as one swallows, clearing the throat, movements that are exaggerated, especially of the tongue and mouth, refusing to swallow, and spitting the food can be seen. This usually happens in the later stages of the disease.

Shining A Light On Sundowning: Many Alzheimers Patients Experience Strong Mood Swings Late In The Day

Growing up, Emily German looked up to her mother as a fierce role model who effortlessly juggled family, friends and a successful career. demn

In the 1980s and 90s, Linda Larsen German had worked her way up the corporate ladder in Manhattan, helping to grow the Liz Claiborne business into a Fortune 500 company before leaving to start her own ventures. She was a natural-born leader with a quick mind.

She was such a tough, powerful, strong woman. That is 100 percent how I viewed her my entire life, said Emily, 24, a software sales representative who lives in New Orleans. It was really because of my moms bright personality that we caught on to her disease so quickly.

In 2012, Emily and other family members noticed a shift in Lindas behavior. At age 61, she began to show uncharacteristic signs of confusion, agitation and restlessness. Once Emily flew home to New York for a college winter break. She says she remembers her mother spending an hour searching for her parked car at the airport. They laughed it off at the time, but these funny instances became more frequent.

A year or so later, she witnessed her mother get frustrated and confused at the grocery store, snapping rudely at the cashier something she wouldnt ordinarily do. The shock of seeing her erratic behavior was enough to lead Emily and her father to make a doctors appointment for Linda.

In early 2014, at age 62, Linda was diagnosed with early-onset Alzheimers disease.

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Dementia And Alzheimers Disease

There is a great misunderstanding about the difference between dementia and Alzheimers disease. The reason for the confusion may come from the fact that both conditions target a patients memory and thought process. Let us help you clear things out by describing each degenerative issue.

Dementia is the main form of a mental syndrome that affects a persons memory and way of thinking. It is a syndrome because it is difficult to diagnose, but a cluster of symptoms define it.

Alzheimers disease, on the other hand, is the main cause of dementia. This degenerative and irreversible condition targets the brain as it damages the brain cells that affect a persons memory, behavior, thought process, and even wake/sleep cycle.

So simply put, all Alzheimers patients have dementia, but not all patients with dementia have Alzheimers.

Stage : Mild Dementia

At the 1st Sign of Dementia: Do This

At this stage, individuals may start to become socially withdrawn and show changes in personality and mood. Denial of symptoms as a defense mechanism is commonly seen in stage 4. Behaviors to look for include:

  • Difficulty remembering things about one’s personal history
  • Disorientation
  • Difficulty recognizing faces and people

In stage 4 dementia, individuals have no trouble recognizing familiar faces or traveling to familiar locations. However, patients in this stage will often avoid challenging situations in order to hide symptoms or prevent stress or anxiety.

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How Can We Support You

Sundowning delirium can be a painful, exhausting and troubling experience for caregivers. No one likes to see a loved one suffer. It is a troubling and common problem of middle-stage Alzheimers disease.

No one is sure why the transition period from light to dark is so disturbing. There are several steps you can take to reduce upsetting behavior. Keeping to a routine and encouraging good sleep patterns contribute to symptom relief.

Dont let sundowning behavior overwhelm you. Talk to others and avoid caregiver isolation. There are many other people also experiencing the same thing.

We offer custom-tailored programs of care to assist caregivers and give them a much-needed break. Contact us today to schedule a tour.

Sleep Aids: Medications Melatonin And Dementia

In some cases, the doctor may prescribe medications to help your loved one sleep. However, older adults with cognitive impairment are more likely to experience side effects from sleep-inducing drugs, so those medications arent usually recommended for long-term use.

Some studies show melatonin may improve sleep in people with mild to moderate dementia. It may also help reduce agitation and confusion late in the day. Check with your loved ones doctor before starting any over-the-counter supplements or sleep aids.

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Why Does Dementia Affect Sleep

Problems with sleep are very common for people with dementia. They can include:

  • sleeping during the day and being awake and restless during the night
  • becoming disorientated in the dark if they wake up to use the toilet
  • waking up more often and staying awake longer during the night
  • getting up in the early hours and thinking its day time or time to go to work
  • not being able to tell the difference between night and day.

Nobody completely understands why dementia affects sleeping patterns. For some people, it may be that their internal biological clock, which judges what time it is, becomes damaged so the person starts to feel sleepy at the wrong time of day.

There are also other parts of the brain which control whether or not we stay awake, and these may also not work properly if they become damaged.

Sometimes a person with dementia might completely reverse their normal sleep pattern, staying up all night and then sleeping all day.

It’s common for people with dementia, especially in the later stages, to spend a lot of their time sleeping

How Changes In The Brain Affect Sleep In Dementia

Dementia and Sleeping Problems

The suprachiasmatic nucleus in the hypothalamus of the brain is responsible for controlling our sleep-wake patterns. This is often called a circadian rhythm because these patterns tend to persist at a near-day period.

With many types of neurodegenerative diseasesincluding dementias such as Alzheimers disease, as well as movement disorders such as Parkinsons diseasecertain areas of the brain may degenerate over time. Brain cells may become less responsive to chemicals called neurotransmitters, or debris may build up disrupting their function. Global brain degeneration, called atrophy, may occur as individual neurons die off. In addition, specific regions of the brain may be lost.

If the SCN is lost, our ability to maintain a normal sleep-wake pattern will be adversely affected. This may manifest in various circadian rhythm disorders. Often, the elderly will experience advanced sleep phase syndrome. This involves a desire to go to bed and wake up early. This desire to change their sleep schedule may be beyond their control and could represent changes in the brain as it ages.

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What To Do If Alzheimers Patients Sleep A Lot

This idea of patients sleeping a lot and not performing any activity or physiologic need like eating, drinking, and speaking may alarm both caregivers and relatives. It is understandable to panic or be concerned, especially if you have known these people to have been active most of their lives.

If the patient sleeps a lot but is easily woken if they need to eat or drink their medications, there is no need to get concerned as of the moment, this is just a normal symptom of their disease and we could expect this to get worse over time. Just try and allow him to follow an everyday routine so he can grow accustomed to what he needs to do at a certain time. You can also a good tip to turn off all the lights at night so the patients brain gets triggered to sleep.

If the patient chooses to sleep all through the day and this could pose harm to his condition since he would rather snooze than eat or drink, then you must ask his doctor about what steps to take so he does not compromise his health because of his diseases symptom.

How Do The Body Clock And Sleep Pressure Work Together

Its much easier for a person to get to sleep when they have built up lots of sleep pressure during the day, and their body clock senses that its evening. This turns on both sleep systems at the same time, and should make the person feel sleepy at the right time.

If the person doesnt feel sleepy at night, their body clock may not be working well. They may also not have been awake for long enough to make the body need to sleep .

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Sleep Disorders And Dementia

Some common sleep disorders have a tie to dementia.

Insomnia. When you donât get enough sleep, parts of your brain change. Some of these areas are related to Alzheimerâs disease.

And research shows youâre more likely to be diagnosed with dementia if you have primary insomnia. Thatâs when your lack of sleep isnât caused by something else, like depression or drug use.

Your chances of getting Alzheimerâs disease go up if you have primary insomnia and you haven’t reached age 40.

Obstructed sleep apnea . You may have a higher chance of getting dementia if you have this. Itâs when the muscles in your throat relax when you sleep. If you canât breathe very well at night, your brain canât get enough air. Thatâs called hypoxia. Youâll also have broken sleep if you wake up gasping for breath.

If you have these things, it could lead to:

  • Problems staying focused
  • Slower motor movements that can affect moves like picking things up and writing
  • Getting dementia at an earlier-than-normal age
  • More serious brain issues
  • Other health conditions, like stroke, diabetes, and high blood pressure

Circadian rhythm problems. People with dementia may have a shift in their sleep-wake cycle. That means theyâll feel sleepy during the day and awake at night.

What Happens A Few Hours To Death

Ten Warning Signs of Alzheimer’s Disease

When death is hours away, your elderly loved one may:

> Refuse drinks or food completely

> Stop having bowel movements and peeing

> Scowl, groan or grimace from the pain

You may also notice:

  • Their eyes glaze over or tear
  • Irregular heartbeat and pulse or very hard to hear
  • A drop in the body temperature
  • The skin on the hands, feet, or knees can become mottled blue-purple
  • The breathing gets interrupted often and gasps can be heard up until they stop breathing entirely
  • Drift in and out of consciousness if not already unconscious. It is important to remember that the loved one may still feel and hear you during such moments and it would be nice to talk to them and touch them so they know they are not alone.

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End Stage Renal Failure Symptoms Before Death

When the kidneys are not able to filter waste products and excess water from the bloodstream, it is referred to as a renal failure. There are many causes of this failure.

Conditions like high blood pressure or diabetes, when experienced in the long term, can cause this. However, the issue can also develop quickly after one gets severe infections. Common symptoms include:

> Confusion

> Loss of appetite and nausea

> Anemia

> Not passing urine or passing it in low amounts

How To Get Dementia Patients To Sleep At Night: 8 Tips For Better Sleep

If youre caring for a family member with dementia, improving sleep is probably a priority. Adequate rest can improve your loved ones mood, health, and quality of life and your own. Heres how you can help your family member with dementia get a better nights sleep.

  • Treat pain and other medical conditions. Treating chronic pain may help improve your loved ones sleep. If a condition such as sleep apnea or restless legs syndrome is disturbing your parents sleep, seeking medical treatment may also help.
  • Create a soothing environment. Make sure your loved ones room is set up to promote good sleep. The room should be dark, quiet, and cool .
  • Check for medication side effects. Many people with dementia take several medications. Some of these drugs, such as stimulants or diuretics, can interfere with sleep. In some cases, its possible to switch medications or change the time of day a certain drug is given to help improve sleep.
  • Encourage physical activity during the day. Help your loved one with dementia get some exercise each day. For example, you make take a walk together each morning. Its best to schedule physical activity early in the day, because being excessively tired in the evening may increase agitation.
  • Get some sunlight. Get outside or into bright lights soon after waking up in the morning to help regulate the sleep cycle. Dim the lights in the evening when its close to bedtime.
  • Avoid stimulants. Caffeine, alcohol, and nicotine may disrupt sleep.
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