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A solution for AD related sleeping problems
Posted: Thursday, June 7, 2018 7:17 AM
Joined: 5/20/2014
Posts: 4406

  A Solution for a Dementia Patient’s Sleeping Problems
By | June 6th, 2018

Sleep is something Alzheimer’s patients and caregivers ask about most—and with good reason. Most dementia patients experience a change in sleeping patterns that affects their day-to-day life. And scientists have actually linked disturbed circadian rhythms to Alzheimer’s years before other symptoms like forgetfulness start to show up.

For those patients who are sleeping through the day and rummaging or pacing through the night, getting a poor night’s sleep affects mood and aggression. To help, scientists tracked whether changing lighting conditions to individualized settings might signal to the brain that it’s time to sleep. In a study of 43 people with dementia over an eight-week period, they found that changing the lighting conditions significantly decreased sleep disturbances, depression and agitation.

“Here we show that if the stimulus (light dose) is carefully delivered and measured, it can have a strong impact on sleep, depression and agitation,” said principal investigator and lead author Mariana Figueiro, Ph.D., a professor and director at the Lighting Research Center at Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute in Troy, New York. “Depression was a secondary measure, and I was pleasantly surprised by the positive impact of the light treatment on depression scores.”

The intervention included adding lights to the places patients spent most of their time, turning them on during waking hours and off at 6 p.m. Each patient wore a device that measured how much light exposure they received.

Figueiro said they swapped out a more ambient light for the facility’s existing incandescent light—kind of like mimicking a room filled with natural light rather than one lit by a lightbulb. The light they used was 10 times brighter than what the facility had in place, along with a special light table by each bed. The lights used were a more blueish-white light, said Figueiro, like

The right lighting can boost sleep and mood for Alzheimer’s patients—and because the patient’s sleep affects the caregiver’s sleep, it may be that setting the right lighting conditions can improve quality of life for caregivers, too. Around 70 percent of the estimated 5.7 million people in the U.S. with Alzheimer’s live at home with a caregiver, and the researchers hope that in-home testing of this finding might provide some symptomatic relief.

This study was published in the journal Sleep.




Iris L.
Posted: Thursday, June 7, 2018 11:53 AM
Joined: 12/15/2011
Posts: 16452

Thanks for posting, Ilee. I have always believed that getting restful sleep at night is vital to the well-being of PWDs.  The researchers did not indicate what type of light they used instead of the incandescent light bulbs.  Natural daylight is probably best, especially the early morning hours.  I also think it is important for PWDs to have sufficient exercise during the day so that they will be fatigued at night.

Iris L.

Posted: Friday, June 8, 2018 2:33 PM
Joined: 9/12/2013
Posts: 3556

I fought insomnia for years. Having enough physical activity during day to wear me down more helps a lot and I noticed some new Melatonin ads lately for over the counter help that might be useful but I could not recognize the product names from a search.

The worst part of my insomnia period was when I struggled against it. When I let myself be awake (made a room for myself at this time to sleep/not sleep in so I did not keep husband awake) at least I enjoyed the time listening to lectures on YouTube or writing in journals.

Back then I had prescription for Ativan and would use that to put me to sleep, but the next few days were harder because it lingered in my brain and made me cranky. I did not know that until I quit using it and then took it again to travel out west.

Right now I have a vape pen with a Kush Indica oil in it. One puff and I am good for 6 hours of nice sleep and no hangover.




Posted: Friday, June 8, 2018 2:56 PM
Joined: 9/12/2013
Posts: 3556

the new melatonin sleep aid I was trying to remember is called "remfresh" and is slow acting or what ever -  time released.

available at cvs and rite aid and online. - I haven't tried it yet but the web site has a $5 off coupon so I might.

Posted: Tuesday, June 12, 2018 3:46 AM
Joined: 9/12/2013
Posts: 3556

Have had a streak of sleepless nights so I took a Melatonin. About 20 minutes after taking it I started to feel sleepy, was going to find a sleep music channel on youtube ... woke up 9 hours later.

deep sleep, husband has used it off and on for 20 years and said if a person resists the initial sleepy stage it can mean staying awake for hours, to go with the initial sleepy feeling. I did not have a choice, it was lights out.

No headache or anything. Not sleeping makes everything really hard for days after. So, back to sleep for me.