17th March 2017 was World Sleep Day. People with dementia often have a tough time with their sleep, struggling to fall asleep as well as waking regularly throughout the night.
Sleep is important to all of us, a good nights sleep can lift our mood, boost our productivity and help us fight off nasty coughs and colds. A lack of sleep however, can eventually lead to serious health problems. Here are our tips to help get a better nights sleep with a diagnosis of dementia.
STRETCH YOUR LEGS- Getting a little exercise in the day can help contribute to a better nights sleep. Often people with dementia can confused night with day, so getting out and absorbing some natural light can help syncronise the body clock.
DITCH THE CAFFEINE- Avoid drinks that contain caffeine later on in the day. Caffeine is a stimulant and provides us with a boost of energy which is unfavourable in getting a good nights sleep. Instead, opt for water which will help keep the body hydrated and urine infections at bay.
NAP BEFORE NOON- Having a nap in the middle of the day is not detrimental to sleeping well at night and can help people with dementia feel less agitated and anxious. However, it is important that naps happen earlier rather later in the day and are short in length in order to sleep well in the evening.
REGULAR ROUTINE- Where possible try and get into a regular routine regarding going to bed and getting this up. Again this will help to regulate the body clock and lead to a better nights sleep over time.
COSY BEDROOM- Keep conditions in the bedroom pleasant- not too hot,not too cold, tidy, comfortable, familiar and avoid over stimulation from TVs and smart phones just before bed.
AND RELAX…- Relaxation just before bedtime is important for sleeping well. Encourage activities that promote relaxation- listening to some relaxing music, having a bath, maybe even a pamper evening with a massage. This helps us to unwind and feel ready for sleep.
Sleep disruption is a very common symptom of dementia but hopefully it might be a little easier to feel well rested with these tips. Why not try them tonight?
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