Sleeping can become a problem for many people with dementia, and sometimes it’s the most difficult problem they face.

The person might sleep during the day and be restless at night, they might get confused between night and day, or they might not need as much sleep as before because they’re not as active. Problems with sleeping or late evening restlessness are often a stage in dementia that eventually passes. Many people with dementia tend to sleep more as their condition gets worse.

Look for causes

Think about what could be causing the problem – is it their environment, or maybe the medications they’re taking? Could it be depression? Other medical problems? Keeping a sleeping log might help you find a pattern that points to a problem, that may have some obvious fixes.

Booklet: Supporting a person with dementia
A guide for family/whānau and friends

This booklet gives you information and tips on helping a person with dementia with their personal care, such as washing and dressing, nutrition, sleeping and travelling, as well as communication and ideas for meaningful activities and ways you can look after yourself – which is very important, too. 

Click here to download the booklet (PDF).