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4 Common Questions About Alzheimer’s and Sleep Problems

Alzheimer’s Care in Etobicoke

Yes, it’s true that people diagnosed with Alzheimer’s will exhibit numerous symptoms, even shortly after the formal diagnosis has been given to them. Some of the challenges people diagnosed withAlzheimer’s-Care-in-Etobicoke this form of dementia might face can include sleep trouble.

Below are four common questions some seniors and their family members have about sleep problems that may or may not be directly associated with the disease itself.

Common Question #1: Does Alzheimer’s cause sleep issues?

Yes, it can. Because the disease affects the brain directly, breaking down neural pathways and destroying brain cells, it can impact the circadian rhythm of sleep. When the circadian rhythm and other aspects of brain health are compromised, it may become difficult for some people to settle down in the evening, fall asleep, or even stay asleep throughout the night.

For example, a person who wakes up in the middle of the night, perhaps two hours after they fell asleep, may be disoriented. They may suddenly have extreme fear and anxiety about where they are, and that could be directly related to the disease itself. That might make it extremely difficult for them to settle down and fall back to sleep.

Common Question #2: How can I tell if they are struggling to sleep?

A family member, even a spouse, might not be fully aware of the sleep challenges someone may be facing. If they are not open and honest about their struggles, how could a family member recognize the signs?

If they are fatigued, have low energy, and seem to have extreme difficulty focusing, it’s time to begin asking more questions. Of course, that could lead to increased stress and anxiety for the person diagnosed with this form of dementia, so tread lightly.

Common Question #3: Why does Alzheimer’s cause various sleep cycles?

As noted in the first question, when the brain’s neural networks and pathways are altered, it can affect many aspects of basic functioning. Since the brain needs to have an opportunity to unwind and come down before bed, to get the body ready for sleep, if that is short-circuited or impacted in any way, it can completely alter the natural rhythm of sleep.

Common Question #4: Will someone with Alzheimer’s sleep all day?

It is certainly possible in some situations that people diagnosed with Alzheimer’s could sleep for many hours during the day. Is that normal or healthy? No. However, it could be related to other factors directly or indirectly related to the disease itself.

If someone is having difficulty sleeping at night, regardless of whether they have been diagnosed with Alzheimer’s or some other form of dementia, they should speak to their doctor directly. No one should ever try to diagnose these conditions on their own.

They could be related to the disease, prescription medications, or some other, as of yet, undiagnosed health issue.

If you or an aging loved one are considering Alzheimer’s Care in Etobicoke, contact the caring professionals at Staff Relief Health Care 24/7 at 905.709.1767.


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Susan Di Michele

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