Alzheimer’s Foundation of America

Foundation of America


Getting a good night’s sleep can be challenging for anyone; however, it can be especially challenging for someone with Alzheimer’s disease, as dementia may impact an individual’s internal clock, causing a disruption in sleep-wake cycles. It is important to help ensure that our loved ones get seven to eight hours of sleep each night.

The benefits of a good night sleep are undeniable. Sleep not only rests and restores your body, but it also can help the body mobilize its defenses against illnesses. Sleep deprivation can cause mood shifts, agitation, forgetfulness and irritability.

Here are some suggestions to help ensure your loved one gets the best possible sleep:

  • Establish a routine sleep schedule, with a set bedtime each night
  • Help your loved one stay active
  • Limit or avoid giving the individual beverages or foods containing caffeine
  • Schedule activities for earlier in the day
  • Be aware of different stimuli as you prepare for bedtime, including television, bright lights, and/or loud music
  • Be mindful of the impact naps can have on evening sleep
  • Take precautions to help safeguard your loved one from wandering at night

If sleep problems persist, consult the individual’s physician.