Understanding the sleep problems of people with dementia and their family caregivers.

Abstract

Sleep disturbances are common with dementia and can adversely affect waking function. However, the perspectives of people with dementia and their family caregivers concerning their sleep are under-researched. We conducted three focus groups with 12 community-dwelling pairs (a person with dementia and their family caregiver). Discussions addressed sleep disturbances, coping strategies, and beliefs and attitudes surrounding sleep. Thematic analysis indicated that dementia-related sleep disturbances were common, including confused awakenings and dementia-related behaviors at night, changes to sleep timing, and nightmares. Common issues for caregivers included being woken at night, having problems getting back to sleep, trips to the bathroom, and daytime sleepiness. Participants often normalized their sleeping problems and had developed a number of coping strategies. These findings highlight the impact that sleep disturbances can have on people living with dementia. Their experiences and beliefs need to be considered for developing effective interventions to improve sleep, waking function, and wellbeing.

DOI: 10.1177/1471301212473884

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Cite this paper

@article{Gibson2014UnderstandingTS, title={Understanding the sleep problems of people with dementia and their family caregivers.}, author={Rosemary H Gibson and Philippa H. Gander and L M Jones}, journal={Dementia}, year={2014}, volume={13 3}, pages={350-65} }