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My Mom sleeps a lot. She has always stayed up late and slept late in the morning. She has always had problems with depression. She is probably stage 5/6 and she would sleep constantly if my Dad let her. She will wake up about midnight and be very alert and hungry. After she has a snack she goes right back to bed.
My DH will sleep 22 out of 24 hrs.If and when he gets up, could be 4 or 5 in afternoon ,he eats a small breakfast which is always soft boiled egg on toast(only thing I can get him to eat) and 2 Ensure, then falls asleep in his chair
He has lost sooooo much weight.Has no appetite.He is doing ok in other areas, just does nothing but sleep.He says he is so tired.Age 85
Is she on medication or has there been a change in them recently? Drug interactions could cause it. I know Namenda caused my mom to be very sleepy.
I would tell her doctor of this new development, just to be safe.
Jenn, unless there is a medication issue as MN Chickadee has mentioned, this is the progression of the disease and very normal.
An aggressive need for sleep is common with strokes, traumatic brain injury, and Alzheimer's. The brain is working so hard to make connections that is unable to make. Sleep allows time for the brain to reorganize and regroup to the best of it's ability.
As my father declined, it got harder and harder to get him out of bed some days. We also hit a pattern where it was one day up, and then he'd be in bed all the next day. It also seemed that if we had a "good" day with plenty of activity and awake hours, we could count on the fact that this next day would be just the opposite. We simply rolled with whatever the day had to offer. We didn't push it. I know may people want to keep the person engaged in their surroundings, as though they are doing something wrong, or being a bad caregiver, if they don't. But over stimulation is not helpful. So take a deep breath, you aren't doing anything wrong. This is the disease process screaming.
Eventually, in the final stage, they are completely bed bound and sleep most of the time. And I'm talking like 23 out of 24 hours per day.