What Stage of Dementia Are You in When You Sleep Most Of the Day?

It is common for Dementia patients to have irregular sleeping patterns. Some tend to sleep a lot, whereas others do not sleep adequately. Either way, I understand that you are concerned about your family member and want to help. 

Dementia is an umbrella term for several neurodegenerative diseases. Mainly, Alzheimer’s disease and Frontotemporal Dementia. Both have similar symptoms, but Frontotemporal Dementia is diagnosed at a relatively young age (40s and 50s). 

Moreover, both Alzheimer’s disease and Frontotemporal Dementia can cause a patient to sleep a lot (both during the day and night). You must consult a doctor if an elderly family member is showing the aforementioned symptoms.

What Stage of Dementia Are You in When You Sleep Most Of the Day?

man sleeping in a nursing home

According to a report by the Alzheimer’s Society, Alzheimer’s patients in the later stages of the condition tend to sleep a lot. They sleep for more than someone of their age. 

Declining cognitive activity is speculated to be the primary reason behind increased sleep. In the later stages of Alzheimer’s, the patient feels tired and jaded all the time. As a result, they spend most of their time on their bed or a couch. 

A study by Stuart J McCarter and his associates concludes that insomnia and excessive daytime sleepiness is common in patients with Frontotemporal Dementia. Note that the study does not mention at what stage the patient begins to show these symptoms. 

Fragmented sleep in dementia patients can also affect caregivers or family members of the patient. As the disease progresses the patient begins to suffer from other sleep-related conditions like sleep-disordered breathing and restless leg syndrome. Here is some good news— excessive daytime sleepiness can be treated.

Daytime sleepiness and drowsiness can be managed upon medical intervention. Medical professionals advise caregivers to help the patient live an active and engaging life— which includes short morning walks, socializing, watching comedy movies, etc. 

Not only that but non-pharmacological interventions have shown tremendous improvements in sleep symptoms, suggest a study by Johns Hopkins University, Baltimore. Constantine Lyketsos and his associate sleep scientists recommend bright light therapy for dementia patients who sleep a lot.


To sum things up, dementia patients in the later stages of the condition tend to suffer from excessive daytime sleepiness. As the condition progresses, their brain cells begin to deteriorate, making them slow, sluggish, and sleepy. Treatment methods like bright light therapy and stimulus control can boost their energy level.


  1. my name is david, i have been taking care of a patient with dementia, he is 70 years old and he doesn’t sleep at night except for about 2 hours. then he wants to rome the house and keeep the rest of us up, “what suggestions do you have?

    1. Hey David! I feel ya, taking care of someone with dementia is not easy.

      So here’s what you can try: set up a chill bedtime routine with stuff like light reading or listening to relaxing tunes. Nightlights could help them feel less disoriented and make things safer.

      You’re doing good! Keep it up!

  2. My 77-year-old wife sleeps almost around the clock, and I have tried everything I read about and its been of little use. Sadly, coupled with dementia is her Parkinsons which zeroes out a number of things. She doesn’t (can’t) walk, can barely hold a book, her writing has become undecipherable, and she doesn’t even try anymore. It frightens me to read about the advancing stages, but my daughter and I said just the other day that my wife seemed to go down very quickly in the past month or so. She hates light !!! Screams at me to put out the light….sometimes as her only caregiver it seems easier for me to just give in. Sorry.

    1. Mark;
      You’re giving her comfort, not just giving in. My Brother-in-law Dan, is married to my twin. Age 67. Been in nursing home 2 years Dec. He is sleeping most of the time. Very thin & can’t walk. Jean works.
      Try playing music she may like.
      I know this is hard for you. Was at a home helping when a lady with Parkinson’s & Alzheimer’s. 2018. So I understand. Pray often and take care of yourself. “Father God please be with Mark & help him as her comforts his love. Guide him in all he needs to do and show him support with love. In Jesus Name.
      Amen.” Joan Cramer FB Jesus pic

  3. Mark, I know how hard this is on the spouse. All I can say is to hang on, you are doing the best you can. As a caregivers you have to do a lot of things that go across your normal judgement, like tell white lies and change the subject.

  4. My mom tells me I’m grown you can’t tell me what to do. But she’s incontinent. She gets around but very slow. Says she hurt all over. Will not go to her Drs. Appt. So no longer taking her Dementia meds. She sleeps a lot now. Only up to just eat or roam but less now. Her walking is not as steady, but the sleeping is concerning to my dad. But I took care Dementia clients before but I’m now my mom caregiver. She doesn’t like to do anything anymore including bathing have to insisted she take one. But I do bath when she allows me to do it but tells me I can’t make her. Will tell me she doesn’t feel like it. She has a walk-in shower now and she says someone in there because of hallucinations. She’s 82 yrs. old. My dad talking about nursing home but I’m trying to keep her out of there.

    1. Bless you Tina for working so hard to keep Mama out of a nursing home. I put my mother in one and she declined rapidly. She was always scared cause of not reconizing her surroundings and not knowing help and nurses before her desease. I brought her Home…. Thank God he has given her to me for 5 more years and she still finds comfort in me being her Person. I will be her Person till She goes to heaven to be with Daddy! You’re Faith will help and give you comfort! Hugs JJ

  5. I am sole caregiver for my husband (age 82), diagnosed with Alzheimer’s/dementia within the past year. He showed a sudden decline about six months ago and his neurologist added quetiapine (generic Seroquel) to his meds. A little over a month or so ago he began sleeping excessively, night and day, 16-18 hours. I am letting his neurologist know about this sudden pattern of excessive sleep to see if it is common for this stage of his disease or whether discontinuing the Seroquel might help. What is your opinion?

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *