A patient with Alzheimer's disease may experience disordered sleeping, which can have a number of significant implications for patient care.


Factors increasing the risk of disordered sleep:

(1) daytime napping

(2) disordered sleep-wake cycles (chronobiology)

(3) drug-induced insomnia

(4) disordered breathing while sleeping

(5) agitation, especially sundowning (increased agitation in the evening)

(6) delusions and/or confusion

(7) impaired REM sleep


Consequences of disordered sleep:

(1) increased caregiver stress with decreased quality of life

(2) increased risk of falls (from being sleepy or taking a sedative agent to induce sleep)

(3) increased risk of wandering off (since not watched as closely)

(4) increased agitation and other behavioral problems secondary to disorientation

(5) increased risk of being institutionalized


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