Sleep Patterns and Sleep Problems in Older Persons with Dementia and Management by Caregivers

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Narumon Numpha
Pornthip Malathum
Nuchanad Sutti
Taweevat Assavapokee


This descriptive study aimed to describe sleep patterns and sleep problems among older persons with dementia and management by their caregivers. Purposive sampling was used to recruit 88 community-dwelling older persons with any stage of dementia and 88 caregivers. The research instruments for older participants included the Demographic Questionnaire, sleep diaries, and wrist sleep trackers; those for caregivers included the Demographic Questionnaire, and the Caregivers’ Management of Sleep Problems in Older Persons with Dementia. The data were collected from June to August 2019 and then analyzed using descriptive statistics and chi-square. Almost all of the sleep data showed the polyphasic (sleeping many times per day) sleep pattern, while a few had biphasic (sleeping twice per day) and monophasic (sleeping once per day) sleep patterns. Sleep problems in the older sample included sleep-related breathing disorder (snoring), sleep talking,hyper-somnolence, and wake after sleep onset, respectively. Mainly, non-pharmacological interventions were used for sleep problems of older persons with dementia by caregivers,including promotion of relaxation, light exposure, sleep hygiene, and physical activities.However, one quarter used medications prescribed by doctors. Healthcare providers could use the results from this study to plan interventions for reducing the polyphasic sleep pattern,decreasing hypersomnia and excessive daytime sleepiness, and developing the educational program for caregivers about the management of sleep problems in older persons with dementia appropriately.
Keywords: Sleep patterns, Sleep problems, Sleep problem management, Older persons,Dementia

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Numpha N, Malathum P, Sutti N, Assavapokee T. Sleep Patterns and Sleep Problems in Older Persons with Dementia and Management by Caregivers. Nurs Res Inno J [Internet]. 2022 Aug. 23 [cited 2024 Feb. 27];28(2). Available from:


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