Dementia sleeping a lot

Posted by donald1967 @donald1967, Jan 15, 2023

My Brother who has dementia due to brain surgery and radiation treatment, progressing for 15 years now. He now sleeps for what seems like two days straight and then can be awake and active for one day. I know it’s normal progression for later stages, but it’s concerning for nutrition. has anyone else experience this?

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Hello, @donald1967 I'm sorry to read of your brother's health issues. It is a tough journey for sure.

I know every patient is unique, but in my wife's case, she slept quite a bit post-brain surgery. Her neurosurgeon told us that the brain tries its best to 'rewire' itself during sleep and not when the patient is awake so the brain craves sleep during those times. So she, too, went through those alternating periods of sleep and wakefulness.

Not sure this helps at all, but it was our experience.

Are you his caregiver?
Strength, Courage, & Peace


I have dementia and my sleep patterns has changed to sleeping more, close my eyes all the time while sleeping.


Hi Donald,
My 62 yo husband was diagnosed with dementia 2 years ago and in December 2022 he was starting to sleep all the time. I just felt it was a "stage" he was going thru so I just let him sleep. I would wake him up every so often to give him his meds and to make sure he stayed hydrated. He was only interested in eating 1 meal a day. I wasn't too worried about it, but it made it difficult for me to sleep because that's when he would be awake (6pm - 4/5am). 3 days before Christmas I was awakened by him at 730am with him having a seizure. This had never happened before so you can imagine how freaked out I was. After being admitted to the ER he was given a Covid test and it was positive, which was very surprising because we don't go out of the house much...mainly to grocery shop and to the local vets club once in a while, so it was very surprising to me that he contacted it. The only symptoms I saw were him just being tired and sneezing alot..nothing else.We already had a dr. appt to see his neurologist and she said him sleeping so much was probably due to him not feeling well (covid). She suggested he start a very lose dose of Melatonin( please don't do this without dr, permission) at normal bedtime to get him back on track to be awake during the daytime. She has always told us its okay for him to sleep 8-11 hours a night but that he needs to be awake when the "world is alive and moving". She also said it's okay to nap throughout the day but for me to wake him every 2-3 hours and get him up to get the blood circulating and fresh air. The Melatonin as helped tremendously and it only took 1 week to get him back to his normal sleep patterns. I've heard and read that sleep helps dementia patients cuz it rejuvenates the brain. Im not sure if this helps with any of what you and he are experiencing but just wanted you to hear my experience about the sleeping.

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