People with Alzheimer’s and dementia may have problems sleeping or have increased behavioral problems that begin at dusk and last into the night (known as sundowning). Night time restlessness doesn’t last forever. It typically peaks in the middle stages, and then diminishes as the disease progresses.
Factors that may contribute to sundowning and sleep disturbances include:- End-of-day exhaustion (both mental and physical). An upset in the “internal body clock,” causing mix-up between day and night. Reduced lighting and increased shadows causing misinterpretation of what they see. Reactions to nonverbal cues of frustration from carers who are exhausted from their day. Disorientation because they can’t separate dreams from reality when sleeping. Less need for sleep (which is common among older adult)
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