9 out of 10 family caregivers of dementia patients’ sleep deprived

Updated:3 months, 1 week ago IST

New Delhi, Aug 05 (ANI): A recent study revealed that, 9 out of 10 people caring for a fellow family member with dementia do not get enough sleep. Researchers found that majority participants experienced less than six hours of sleep each night, accompanied by frequent awakenings as often as four times per hour. The lead author commented that, “These disruptions can lead to chronic sleep deprivation and place caregivers at risk for depression, weight gain, heart disease and premature death. These disruptions have negative effects on caregivers’ health, which in turn will diminish their ability to provide optimal care.” Nearly 6 million people suffer Alzheimer’s disease. However, the effects are felt by more than 16 million people. Past research found that between 50%-70% of caregivers have sleep complaints, although the data used in those studies was self-reported. This study analyzed the sleep of 43 people serving as the primary caregiver for a family member with dementia. All participants were over the age of 50 and lived in Western New York region. Participants were given an actigraphy watch (a sensor worn on the wrist) to measure sleep time, efficiency, and awakenings in their home over seven days. Research found that nearly 92% of participants experienced poor sleep quality, awoke frequently and slept less than six hours per night, which was below the recommended total of seven or eight hours per night. Poor sleep hygiene was found to increase sleep latency, or the amount of time it takes to fall asleep.

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