Jun 20th 2023
If you have spent time with a loved one, friend, or other person suffering from dementia, you may have noticed alterations to their sleeping patterns. Perhaps they regularly nod off during the day or wake often in the night. Irregular sleeping habits are a common feature of the disease, especially in the later stages of dementia, and sufferers can spend a lot of time sleeping.
The National institute of ageing recommends seniors get seven to nine hours of sleep a night, but studies show that dementia patients can sleep between 13 to 15 hours in a 24-hour period. 
This can seem troubling to caregivers and other family members, but is often not a cause for further concern, and rather a natural consequence of the disease. This article will explore some of the reasons dementia patients sleep so much.
As time passes, dementia patients' symptoms worsen, and the damage done to their brain becomes more widespread. They become frailer and lose more control over their faculties.
Everyday tasks like communicating with others, eating, and physical activity become exhausting. This heightened exhaustion can lead a person to sleep more during the day. 
Certain medications may lead to increased sleepiness such as antidepressants, antipsychotics, and antihistamines. 
A lack of a balanced diet and exercise regime, due to deteriorating physical and cognitive functions, could contribute to increased tiredness in dementia patients. 
The lack of mobility and exhaustion resulting from their health condition may render a dementia patient unwilling to engage in physical activity, even when encouraged and aided.
People with dementia often compensate for their poor sleeping habits at night by catnapping during the day to make up for lost sleep.  It’s a self-perpetuating sleep-wake cycle, with habitual napping throughout the day then causing poor sleep patterns at night.
Sleeping disorders unrelated to dementia, such as sleep apnea – where a person’s breathing occasionally ceases during sleep, may cause a patient to sleep longer. 
Sleeping during the day can throw of someone’s body clock, causing sleep disturbances at night. Disrupted sleep, or lack of quality sleep, negatively impacts any person’s mental and physical abilities .
Here are some steps you can take to help someone with dementia who has trouble sleeping:
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