FlowersChallenging Behaviors for the Caregiver

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Sleep Problems
By Elisabeth A Hinman-Smith M.S.W. & Lisa P. Gwyther M.S.W.

"My husband used to get up often at night and was very confused. I finally got him to rest in his recliner in front of the TV and he calmed down and fell asleep. He seems to feel more secure there than in bed."

* Create a atmosphere that encourages sleep. Try a warm bath, soothing music, warm milk, comfortable blankets and pillows, low lighting.

* Be sure the person gets exercise during the day, especially if fresh air is involved, as weather permits. Try to limit daytime naps.

* Limit caffeine intake during the day - switch to decaffeinated coffee, tea, or sodas. Be sure to take the person to the bathroom just before bedtime.

* If they become restless at night, reassure and coax them back to bed if possible. If restlessness continues, you might try sitting them in comfortable recliner with a radio or TV on softly. Some people find a recliner more secure for sleep than a bed.

* Place a nightlight in the hall and bathroom to provide the person with visual cues to help guide them to and from the bathroom.

* Keep the bedtime routine and morning wake-up time part of the person's regular schedule.

* Use medications with caution. Consult with your physician for suggestions on sleep-aides. . .some over-the-counter remedies may make the person drowsy during daytime and disrupt normal sleep/wake patterns.

(c) copyright 1996


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