What to Do If Your Loved One with Dementia Sleeps Too Much

Changes in sleep patterns are not unusual, but check with a physician.


- Posted on Jun 14, 2019

A senior woman sleeping in.

This article is based on information provided by Home Instead Senior Care.

While people with Alzheimer’s or other forms of dementia typically undergo changes in sleep behaviors, the length of time the person is sleeping makes a difference. It is important to get your loved one seen by a physician to rule out possible illnesses if he or she has been sleeping all day or more. This is especially recommended if you notice that your loved one’s health is deteriorating.

· Some people with dementia simply need appropriate activities to keep them awake and stimulated. But any strategies you use to keep your loved one up more should depend on what is causing the change in his or her sleep behavior.

· If your loved one is sleeping all day, and physical illness has been ruled out, try making your communication more tactile and less verbal.

· When physically moving him or her, try not to negotiate with words.

When it comes to someone who is sleeping 48 hours or longer without eating or drinking, seek medical attention quickly to determine what is behind this extended sleep pattern. This is not typical. Don’t attempt strategies to keep the person awake without first knowing the cause. 

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