Alzheimer's disease is the most prevalent kind of dementia, and it causes a gradual, permanent loss of memory, cognition, reasoning, and other cognitive abilities. Sleep disturbances are a common symptom of Alzheimer's disease, and they can be disturbing for both the patient and the caregiver.
Sleep problems in Alzheimer's disease include shorter or interrupted sleep, disturbances in the biological clock and sleep cycle, and specific sleep disorders.
Why Do Alzheimer’s Patients Have Sleep Disturbances?
Quality of sleep and length of sleep changes are frequent as people become older. There could be a link between sleep problems and the other symptoms of Alzheimer's disease. The link indicates that sleep deprivation might intensify other symptoms like psychosis, nervousness, and roaming, making sleeping more difficult. The sleep-wake cycle of those with Alzheimer's disease varies dramatically. The sleep-wake cycle, also known as the circadian rhythm, is our body's internal clock regulating bodily functions such as waking and sleeping. When this pattern is disrupted in Alzheimer's patients, the result is a lack of sleep at night and excessive daytime sleep.
Common Sleep Disorders in Alzheimer’s
Obstructive Sleep Apnea (OSA)
Due to a closure of the airway, while sleeping, OSA causes loud snoring, coughing, and other respiratory problems. According to one study, up to 50% of people living with Alzheimer's will develop OSA at some time.
Depression and anxiety are common in dementia patients, and these mood disorders are well-known causes of sleep disturbances. Sleeping can be made even harder by depression and anxiety symptoms, including staying in, disconnecting from social support, and feeling low or upset.
Restless Legs Syndrome (RLS)
People with RLS suffer disturbing creeping or tingling sensations in their legs, which they can relieve by moving them. The symptoms tend to get worse when you're sleeping, which might make it challenging to get a good night's sleep.
Elderly patients of Alzheimer’s disease are often vulnerable. It requires a lot of patience to deal with such patients. The Caregivers at Serenity Springs take care of such patients with persistence and make sure they never feel uncomfortable due to their condition.