Dementia care: The five warning signs of the disease found in the way you sleep

Dementia is an umbrella term for a cluster of symptoms associated with an ongoing brain disease. Symptoms don’t always relate to memory loss or confusion and can sometimes affect the way a person sleep.


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The way in which a person sleeps could hold many clues relating to early warning signs of dementia.

Sleep problems are common in people who have symptomatic dementia.

Scientists have begun to suspect that when a person experiences different sleep disorders it could be an early indicator of the disease.

Those suffering with dementia often has issues with sleep with their memory seemingly worse after a bad night.

Sleep issues one may experience which could be early warning signs include:

·        Sleeping during the day and being awake and restless during the night

·        becoming disorientated in the dark if they wake up to use the toilet

·        Waking up more often and staying awake longer during the night

·        Getting up more often and staying awake longer during the night

·        Getting up in the early hours and thinking it’s daytime or time go to work (disorientation in time)

·        Not being able to tell the difference between night and day

Sleep and dementia is a complicated topic said The Alzheimer’s Society.

It continued: “Different types of dementia are associated with different sleep problems.

“Researchers are also not yet sure which way the interaction goes – whether poor sleep causes or exacerbates dementia or if dementia leads to poor sleep.

“Some researchers believe that both of these theories could be true, and the relationship could be circular.”


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Other symptoms of dementia could include:

  • Memory loss
  • Difficulty concentrating
  • Finding it hard to carry out familiar daily tasks
  • Struggling to follow a conversation
  • Being confused about time and place
  • Mood changes

Dementia care

There is currently no cure for dementia, but if it’s diagnosed int he early stages it can be slowed down and mental function can be maintained.

The NHS advises: “If you’re becoming increasingly forgetful, particularly if you’re over the age of 65, it may be a good idea to talk to your GP about the early signs of dementia.

“As you get older, you may find that memory loss becomes a problem. It’s normal for your memory to be affected by stress, tiredness, or certain illnesses and medications.

“This can be annoying if it happens occasionally, but if it’s affecting your daily life or is worrying you or someone you know, you should seek help from your GP.

“But dementia isn’t just about memory loss. It can also affect the way you speak, think, feel and behave.

“It’s also important to remember that dementia is not a natural part of ageing.”

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