An elderly woman sleeping in her bed during daytime.

Do People with Dementia Sleep a Lot During the Day?

Why is my loved one with dementia sleeping so much? Is it okay for them to sleep this much? What can I do to help them in this condition? Should I be worried?

As a caregiver for someone with dementia, these questions are likely at the forefront of your mind. You’re not alone in having these concerns – many other caregivers seek answers and support.

It’s worth noting that it’s common for people with dementia to sleep more than others their age, particularly in the later stages of the condition. In fact, up to half of all people with dementia experience changes to their sleep patterns, such as excessive daytime sleepiness and difficulty sleeping at night. However, this can be worrying for their loved ones.

There are many potential reasons for these changes in sleep, and some forms of dementia can even disrupt the body’s natural clock. But don’t worry – in this article, we’ll explore why people with dementia sleep more than their peers and how caregivers can support their loved ones through this challenging time. Keep reading to find out more!

Why do people with Dementia Sleep so much?

To begin with, it is important to remember that excessive sleeping, both during the day and at night, is common among individuals with dementia. In fact, it is a typical symptom of advanced stages of dementia, and there may be multiple factors contributing to it. Below, we will explore some of these potential reasons.

  1. Dementia can cause fatigue:

Dementia affects the brain’s ability to regulate energy levels, making staying awake during the day harder. This can lead to excessive sleeping, as the person’s body tries to make up for lost energy.

  1. Lack of exercise and poor diet:

People with dementia may not be able to get enough exercise or eat a balanced diet, which can leave them feeling tired and contribute to increased sleeping.

  1. Side effects of medication:

Some medications prescribed for people with dementia can cause drowsiness and fatigue, leading to increased sleep.

  1. Changes in sleep patterns due to aging:

As we get older, our sleep patterns change. This is especially true for people with dementia, who tend to sleep for shorter periods but more frequently, leading to increased daytime sleepiness.

  1. Environmental factors:

Creating a calm and relaxed environment at bedtime, including dimming the lights and playing soft music, can help people with dementia sleep better. Establishing a regular bedtime routine can also be helpful.

Related Content

Why It’s Better for Your Caregiver to be a Certified Dementia Care Practitioner

What should I do if a person with dementia is sleeping a lot?

It can be concerning and overwhelming to see a person with dementia sleeping excessively. The first step is to contact their healthcare provider to discuss potential underlying health conditions contributing to their behavior.

It’s important to remember that the individual’s excessive sleeping is a symptom of the condition, and they may not have control over it. Creating a peaceful and comfortable sleeping environment, with soothing sounds or music, can help them rest better. Encouraging them to participate in daily activities can also promote healthy sleep habits.

Find that their excessive sleeping isn’t affecting their daily routine. Explore additional support options, such as respite care or daytime activities, that can provide opportunities for socialization and stimulation. Remember to approach the situation with empathy and understanding and seek resources and support to help the individual and their caregivers cope with this symptom.

Final thoughts

In conclusion, it’s unclear why dementia causes sleep problems, but it may be due to disruptions to the body’s internal clock or impaired brain function. 

Some people with dementia may even completely flip their sleep schedules. Additionally, as people age, the quality of their sleep worsens.

While there’s no cure for dementia-related sleep issues, caregivers can create a comfortable sleeping environment and take steps to manage this symptom. Doing so can improve the quality of life for the person with dementia and their caregivers.

Our caregivers can support you in managing the changing needs of a family member. For more information on Alzheimer’s Care related services or to schedule a free home assessment, you can reach us at 248.657.7674 or write to us at

Additional Resources

In Conversation with Lori La Bey, Founder of Advocacy Group – Alzheimer’s Speaks

Checklist for Caring for a Loved One with Alzheimer’s

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