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Coping with Sleep Problems

July 12, 2022 | Laura Tenpenny

Evenings are hard for many people with memory impairment. Some may become restless or irritable around dinner time. This restlessness is called “sundowning.” It may even be hard to get the person to go to bed and stay there. Here are some tips that may help:

  • Helping the person get exercise each day, limit naps, and make sure the person gets enough rest at night. Being overly tired can increase late-afternoon and nighttime restlessness.
  • Plan activities that use more energy early in the day. For example, try bathing in the morning or having the largest family meal in the middle of the day.
  • Set a quiet, peaceful mood in the evening to help the person relax. Keep the lights low, try to reduce the noise levels and play soothing music if he or she enjoys it.
  • Try to have the person go to bed at the same time each night. A bedtime routine, such as reading out loud may help.
  • Limit caffeine
  • Use nightlights in the bedroom, hall, and bathroom.

If you notice changes in yourself or a loved one, it is important to talk with friends, family members and caregivers. There are resources available.

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