5 New Age Ways To Feeling Sick At Night

feeling sick at night The relationship between Alzheimer’s and sleep is complex. In fact, it is one of the focuses of scientific research around this disease. On the one hand, insomnia has a risk relationship with the development of the disease and, on the other, we know that, from very early stages of it, some sleep disturbances may appear.

feeling sick at night how to address sleep disturbances in
feeling sick at night how to address sleep disturbances in

It is common that, with age, sleep patterns change and some difficulties to sleep appear, but in the case of Alzheimer’s, they are much more pronounced. The neuropathological alterations that occur in this disease, in addition to being the cause of cognitive and behavioral symptoms, also usually cause an alteration of the wake-sleep cycle, which can translate into nighttime awakenings with ambulation, confusion or agitation.

The frequency and type of sleep disturbances in people with Alzheimer’s usually vary according to the phase of the disease. In the initial stages, they often sleep more than usual or have some disorientation when waking up. With the progression of the disease, it is common for daytime sleep or sleepiness to increase, and frequent awakenings occur at night instead. In more advanced phases, sleep periods are usually frequent during the day and night, but short, as if they were “naps”.

The Untold Story On Feeling Sick At Night That You Must Read Or Be Left Out

A known phenomenon, often seen in the spectrum of behavioral disturbances that people with Alzheimer’s can present, is the phenomenon of “sundowning” (sunset), which is characterized by greater confusion and tendency to evening agitation, when it’s time for bed.

The reasons why a person with Alzheimer’s often gets up and wanders around the house at night can be many. Perhaps you have some unmet need, such as being hot or cold, the urge to urinate, thirst, pain … The fact that, in addition to getting up, you show inappropriate behavior for that moment (such as turning on various lights, opening and closing doors, raising the tone of voice, or showing fear) is usually the result of confusion and disorientation, which can lead to not recognizing or interpreting the environment properly.

This fact, if it occurs frequently, is particularly exhausting for the caregiver, since it substantially alters their own rest and it is easy to lose their calm. But, precisely, it is the type of reaction that is required at that time, avoiding arguing with the sick person, trying to discover what may be causing their behavior.

The fact that our loved one with Alzheimer’s does not have a peaceful night will contribute to their well-being and behavior, not only at night, but also during the day. And what’s more, it will affect the general condition of the caregiver, adding difficulty to the performance of daily tasks. Therefore, it is important to try to minimize sleep disturbances and try to get a restful rest, both for the affected person and for the caregiver. Here are some tips to help you:

Make sure that the person with Alzheimer’s has a peaceful, mentally and physically relaxed end of the day, avoiding physical and cognitive activity in the three hours prior to bedtime (but remembering that this type of activity is necessary during the rest of the day). It is important to try to avoid, particularly in the hours before bedtime, confrontation or irritated reactions towards the sick person, often the result of the caregiver’s frustration or exhaustion. Right now, empathy is key.

Try to maintain an orderly day rhythm, with more or less marked routines in terms of order and schedules, trying to maintain regularity also at bedtime. Limit sleep during the day. If the person is in the habit of taking a nap, ensure that it is not too long or too late in the day, trying to propose activities that avoid frequent naps.

Make sure that dinner is light and at least two hours before bedtime, to promote digestion and avoid discomfort during the night, as well as limiting fluid intake in those hours before bedtime, and try to avoid any stimulating substance (caffeine, nicotine , alcohol …), at least, from five hours before.

In the evening hours, the reduction of light and the increase in shadows derived from it can cause confusion or erroneous interpretations of the environment, something that can cause fear or agitation to a person with Alzheimer’s. Therefore it is important to ensure adequate lighting conditions.

Similarly, during the night, it can be helpful and reassuring that the person has a dim and soft light that breaks the total darkness and, in case of waking up during the night, makes it easier to recognize the environment. Having in some points of the house of lights with a motion sensor, so that they light when passing near them, can facilitate the location of the bathroom if the person gets up due to a physiological need.

Try to ensure that the environmental conditions of the bedroom are pleasant, having provided adequate ventilation during the day, monitor the temperature, or ensure that the environment is quiet.

If the non-pharmacological approaches are not effective in achieving peaceful sleep, it is important to consult with the referring physician. It must be ruled out that these nocturnal disturbances may be the consequence of another basic health problem. Furthermore, only the specialist can indicate the suitability of administering any sleep medication. In people with dementia, the management of this type of drugs is especially delicate, since it can increase the risk of falls or confusion and it will be the doctor who assesses the risks and benefits, the dose, the time of administration and the review of the situation.

Sleep problems in Alzheimer’s do not only affect the affected person. If the caregiver is exhausted and does not rest well at night, their well-being and their physical and psychological health will also be affected. In this situation it will be more fickle and easier for you to transfer your stress and exhaustion to the quality of care that you can provide to the person with Alzheimer’s, and may contribute to their agitation. Therefore, it is essential to ask other family members for help or professional support so that the main caregiver can rest. Sometimes simple changes, such as being able to sleep in a room other than the sick person’s, knowing that they will be cared for if they wake up during the night, can already mean a very positive substantial change.

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