Wakefulness - Disturb Sleep

Part of Changed Behaviour series

Physical changes in the person's brain could result in the parts of their brain that should give them cues to sleep deteriorating or no longer functioning.

Due to the person’s dementia, they may become confused about daytime and nighttime, not recognising the different times of day and becoming disorientated. This could lead to the person wanting to get up during the night, get dressed and begin their day, which for them might include moving items around in their room or in their house or trying to go outside.

The person may be experiencing dreams/nightmares or hallucinations – these are particularly common for a person living with Lewy Body dementia.

The person may have another health condition (diagnosed or undiagnosed) that is leading to them becoming uncomfortable in bed – For example: difficulty in moving around, night sweats (common in menopausal women and anyone who is unwell with a fever), needing to get up to the toilet (if this is frequent it could indicate a bladder problem or, in men, a prostate problem) or incontinence that has resulted in their bed becoming soiled.

The person may be feeling unwell with an infection or undiagnosed pain.

The person may have a history of insomnia.

The person may not be able to explain that they are experiencing the side-effect(s) of medicine(s).


Contents of this booklet

  • Why does it happen?
  • Ways to support the person
  • Think about unmet needs
  • Understanding the person's health needs
  • Changing daily life