If your care recipient with dementia has trouble falling asleep or staying asleep, consider these non-pharmacologic approaches for improving sleep before or in conjunction with pharmacologic approaches.
- Encourage the person to use the bedroom for sleeping only. Discourage the person from staying in bed while awake, watching television, or reading.
- Establish a comfortable, familiar, and secure sleeping environment.
- Make sure the person’s bed and pajamas are comfortable.
- Maintain a comfortable temperature for the elderly, who tend to be more sensitive to cold.
- Have extra blankets available.
- Place security objects, such as a favorite blanket or stuffed animal, within easy reach.
- Make sure the room is quiet. Even quiet noises can be stressful to a person with dementia.
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