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Sleep Disturbances | Doctor's Diary

Many doctors can attest that there is nothing like poor sleep to affect your outlook on life. (There is an old joke that even though doctors might die sooner than other people, they've spent more time awake.) Disturbed sleep, especially occurring in a person with severe dementia, can be the final straw in a caregiver's ability to cope, and therefore is a common cause of seeking to have a person with dementia admitted to institutional care.

Fortunately, sleep disturbances often respond well to treatment with a variety of medications. Unfortunately, many have side effects, and particularly can make the person's thinking and cognition worse during the day.

When sleep disturbances come on acutely, they can be a marker of delirium, which is usually caused by medications, or by an acute illness, such as an infection, or heart disease, or out-of-control blood sugars. As such, it merits prompt attention by a doctor.

See Also:
Symptom Library > Personality Changes > Restlessness
Symptom Library > Behaviour > Wandering
Symptom Library > Personality Changes > Low Mood
Symptom Library > Behaviour > Delusions and Paranoia
About Dementia > Working with your Doctor > Specialist Referrals
About Dementia > Types of Dementia > Delirium
About Dementia > Treatments for Dementia > Exercise
About Dementia > Treatments for Dementia > Exercise Program
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Last updated January 13, 2019
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