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Getting up and getting dressed several times a night.
By the sea
Posted: Tuesday, August 20, 2019 12:52 AM
Joined: 8/2/2019
Posts: 6

My husband used to get up in the night, go to the bathroom, and then go back to bed. In the last few weeks he’s started getting up, goes to the bathroom, then gets dressed for the day. I hear him when he gets his shoes on and starts walking around. I get up, get him back in his pajamas, back into bed. This goes on every 2 to 3 hours all night long. Fortunately he falls right back to sleep. I unfortunately cannot. I’ve managed to cope so far with his Alzheimer’s and have tried to keep our lives as close to normal as I can but I’m getting exhausted. One night I was so tired I didn’t wake up until I heard him go out the front door. (It was 3 in the morning). After that I installed a chime on his bedroom door with the remote on my bedside table so I can get him back into bed before he gets to the front door in case I’m so tired I don’t wake up when he’s walking around.  Does anyone else have this problem?
Posted: Tuesday, August 20, 2019 2:28 AM
Joined: 8/22/2017
Posts: 401

Yes, my husband wakes up a lot, but usually earlier -- if he goes to bed at 9pm, he gets up again at 10pm, 11pm etc. but not in the middle of the night like your guy.  I have made an appt to request sleep medication from his doctor.  People on this list have mentioned melatonin and trazadone, and there is always Ambien or one of the many benzodiazapams.  The idea is to find something that works to keep them asleep, because we need to sleep ourselves, or (please!) to have a few hours to ourselves at night.  The main thing is to avoid something that works half way, so they get up anyway, but impaired by the medication and then fall, which is a whole other can of worms.  I would definitely seek sleep medication from his doctor, but be careful the first few nights till you see how (or if) it works.
Posted: Tuesday, August 20, 2019 2:46 AM
Joined: 5/11/2017
Posts: 85

OMG  It is 3:30 am and this happened at 2am with my DH! Cant believe I am reading your post. This is only the 2nd time but like you I cannot get back to sleep. Thanks for the tip about using an alarm. Were never alone.
Posted: Tuesday, August 20, 2019 6:58 AM
Joined: 3/15/2018
Posts: 490

My husband is taking a sedative at night. Used to be on Lunesta but it’s like Ambien. Sleepwalking etc. May also need to consider keyed locks on the exterior doors.
Posted: Tuesday, August 20, 2019 7:12 AM
Joined: 5/8/2018
Posts: 50

I wish I had an answer for you because my DH is up, on a good nite about 5x’s, but more often 7 to 8x’s a nite.  He’s able to go back to sleep but I’m not so I truly understand.  It’s so frustrating and certainly not healthy for us caregivers.  He suffers with an overactive bladder even though he’s doctoring with a urologist and on 2 different meds. This has been going on for almost a year and a half. Our PCP prescribed Lorazepam (Activan) as a sleep aid for him but after a month, with our doctor’s permission, I took him off it. He continued to get up but became aggressive and one nite thru a punch. Thankfully, I saw it coming and sidestepped.  Plus, I read this med was a fall risk for some patients.  My DH shuffles so this concerned me as well.  Whatever the doctor prescribes for him as McCott mentioned just watch him.

Like you, I bought a monitor/sensor so as soon as his feet hit the floor it goes off. Lol I bought mine at Walmart for under $40.  I also had to have a key lock installed on our apartment door because I didn’t hear him get up the one nite and found him in the lobby heading out the front door. I wear the key around my neck at nite.

Hope you get the help you need. 

Posted: Tuesday, August 20, 2019 7:40 AM
Joined: 9/5/2017
Posts: 556

For the past week, my husband has been getting up at least twice and has been staying awake.  First time he uses the bathroom if he finds it quickly or urinates in his shorts.  I help him change into clean underwear and he goes back to bed for a couple of hours.

The second time he's up for the day waking up between 1:30 a.m. and 4:00 a.m.  He punches the bed, swears, pulls the covers, tosses clothes around, then finally goes into the kitchen.  He doesn't know how to use any appliances so he stands in the kitchen until I get up.

He takes 100 mg Seroquel and 5 mg melatonin before bedtime.  

Posted: Tuesday, August 20, 2019 8:49 AM
Joined: 12/27/2017
Posts: 295

Sadly, you can add to me the list whose LOs get up multiple times in the night.  I have a motion sensor light next to his side of the bed so I wake up and I can hear what he's doing (and I'm a very light sleeper). For the past year, it's been 'manageable'; he would get up about 3 times, watch a bit of TV, go to the bathroom, and then come back to bed.  Occasionally,  he'd fall asleep on the couch with the TV on so I would get up and walk him back to bed.  

However, for the past week, he's been getting up at 3:30....and then about 20 (!) more times before morning!  Right now, he's on 25 mg Seroquel in both the a.m. and p.m.  I am calling the neurologist today to ask if I can eliminate the a.m. dosage and increase it in the p.m.  I've got to do something--for the well-being of both of us.   I wish us all a good night's sleep!

Posted: Tuesday, August 20, 2019 9:46 AM
Joined: 3/6/2017
Posts: 2156

My friend had this issue with her dear mom. 

What helped was installing a bed alarm so she could redirect her mom to bed before she was fully dressed. She also alarmed the doors after her mom made a break one night. For a time one of her college age sons lived home before starting grad school; they split the nights with him staying up until about 2am before his mom took over for the rest of the night. When he left for grad school, my friend was on the verge of hiring an overnight aide so she could get some sleep but the behavior faded before she found someone.
Posted: Friday, August 23, 2019 5:38 AM
Joined: 12/30/2017
Posts: 28

My husband is the 4th of 10 sibs to suffer from AD so I had the experience of my sisters in law to guide me.  Not sleeping at night was the killer so I follow a very strict schedule and keep my husband up until 10 or 11 at night and allow no sleeping except an occasional afternoon nap in the afternoon.  If left to his own devices, he would nod off frequently during the day and then do at night what you describe.  Also we try to walk every day for some exercise.  

All doors and windows are locked and I keep the key.  I took the locks off the bathroom doors and use them elsewhere to prevent access to various areas of our house.  I do not leave anything important around that he can pick up and move.   I am moving more and more things to locked areas as time goes on.  My goal is to create an environment in which he can wander without hurting himself.   Daytime requires full time management now because he is on the verge of incontinence.  He did recently pull the pad out of a disposable and flush resulting in a huge plumbing bill.  I have now disconnected the toilet handles to prevent that happening again.

There is something new every day and like everyone else here I learn as we go.

We are well into stage 6 and full incontinence is on the way.   That will upend all my current techniques I am sure.


By the sea
Posted: Sunday, August 25, 2019 12:04 PM
Joined: 8/2/2019
Posts: 6

Thankyou lhfry. I never woke him from his naps thinking he needed the extra sleep after being up so much at night. I’d just sit next to him feeling exhausted and resentful that he kept me up all night and now was enjoying a nap. So now, when he naps, I just make noise until he wakes up and pretend I didn’t realize he was napping. Now he’s only getting up once or twice a night and I’m feeling like I can cope with that.
Posted: Monday, August 26, 2019 8:06 AM
Joined: 4/12/2019
Posts: 154

Dear lhfry,

The idea of creating a safe, contained environment for the PWD, with the rest of the house 'off limits' just seems so sensible and wise!

When my kids were little, I just naturally did the same thing.  I never understood parents who said 'they have to learn not to touch things'.  Two year olds can't really learn that, and it's not worth the risk hoping they have.

Thank you so much for this idea.