A whopping nine out of 10 people taking care of a loved one with dementia don’t get enough sleep, according to research conducted by the University of Buffalo School of Nursing in Buffalo, New York.
Not getting enough sleep for these caregivers means sleeping less than six hours a night and frequent night wakings — as many as four an hour.
“Though memory loss is the best-known symptom of dementia, more than 80% of people with dementia also will experience sleep disturbances, anxiety and wandering,” said lead author Yu-Ping Chang. “These disruptions have negative effects on caregivers’ health, which, in turn, will diminish their ability to provide optimal care.”
Understanding the sleep issues facing caregivers is the first step toward creating tailored treatments for them, she added.