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Sleepless nights/talking & whispering to self
My 85 year old dad recently has started whispering to himself and in the middle of night when he is up will talk at normal voice tone. Is this normal for alzheimer/dementia patients?
Also, he gets up in the middle of night and unlocks all the doors and turns on all the lights. Sometimes he will stand at the light switches and flip them off and on continuously. He also will open and close the screen door for several minutes. I have tried 9mg melatonin and it keeps him in bed about 3 hours. Yes, he does take little cat naps during the day which I can't control as I can not be with him continuously.
Very common for the sleep/wake cycle to be disrupted for people living with dementia. Sometimes you can get them back on track easily, other times you cannot. His switvhing the lights on and opening and closing doors is common as well. These repetitive behaviors could be manifestations of forgetfulness, OCD or something else. Usually meds will help so ask your doctor what can be done to help. In my mother's case, if she wasn't hurting anything, herself or others-I would let her do it. It is after all-the disease at work and if she wasn't freaked out by whatever she was doing-I didn't stop her.
As for the talking- my mother talked to the framed pictures on the wall! She thought they were people looking in from windows! I did take them down as long as she wasn't upset by them, but I took them down when she wouldn't change in the same room with "those people" looking in on her. Those people were photos of family members but she didn't recognize them or even that they were photos.I also had to take down or cover all the mirrors in her bedroom and bathroom.
This is a good place to learn about all the things that can happen as your LO goes deeper into dementia. Good luck!
Unfortunately this is all within normal. My LO would get up in the night and turn lights on and off, run water in the sink for a long time and other weird things. We went the route of sleep medication because it was wearing out her caregiver and sleep meds bought us some extra months of keeping her at home. Do not give anything over the counter as it can have bad effects with dementia even without interactions with other drugs he may be on. Consult his doctor for a prescription. We used Remeron, some use Trazadone and there are others. The Remeron wasn't 100% but she slept through the night most of the time which was good enough.
Make sure you cut out afternoon caffeine and get him exercise during the day.