MSD Manual

Please confirm that you are not located inside the Russian Federation

honeypot link

Sleep Disorders in Dementia

By

Richard J. Schwab

, MD, University of Pennsylvania, Division of Sleep Medicine

Medically Reviewed May 2022 | Modified Sep 2022
VIEW PROFESSIONAL VERSION

People with dementia may also have disorders that contribute to sleep problems. Disorders such as arthritis, dehydration, and infections may cause pain or discomfort, interfering with sleep. Use of certain drugs or interactions between drugs may also interfere with sleep.

Treatment of Sleep Disorders in Dementia

  • Treatment of the underlying disorder

  • General measures

Treatment of the dementia or any underlying disorder causing pain or discomfort may help improve sleep.

The following general measures may help:

  • Not taking or taking fewer naps during the day because naps may make sleeping at night more difficult

  • Walking outside in the sunshine

  • Exercising

  • Keeping the temperature in the bedroom comfortable

  • Not consuming beverages or foods that contain caffeine or alcohol during the evening

Drugs to aid sleep (sedatives) cause confusion, falls, and agitation in people with dementia and are not used.

NOTE: This is the Consumer Version. DOCTORS: VIEW PROFESSIONAL VERSION
VIEW PROFESSIONAL VERSION
quiz link

Test your knowledge

Take a Quiz! 
iOS ANDROID
iOS ANDROID
iOS ANDROID
TOP