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Night issues
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Night issues

My father in law has dementia. His doc has him on xanax to help him sleep at night (to try to keep the reversal from happening, which happened with my MIL). He seems to have developed a resistance to the dose already - it has only been a couple of months so he is calling people in the middle of the night to chat causing us to have to run over there in the middle of the night to check on him.  Any luck with melatonin or other things to help?
He wants to stay at home but cannot afford 24hr care so he is left alone at night after he is put to bed. He is told to stay in bed (he has O2 and depends and pads so he does not have to get up) but he still gets up.
He is seeing the doc in a couple of days anyway - just wondered if anyone had any ideas?
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1530171_tn?1418143903
Hi rumpled.

Valerian root tea is an interesting natural alternative to xanax.
It has a similar activity to benzodiazepines (xanax belongs to this class of drugs) and also it may offer neuroprotection (in preventing lipid oxidation in the brain).
It helps reduce stress and anxiety and there are no associated risks when taking 1-2 cups daily (last one should be about 1 hour before bedtime.)

Melatonin is O.K too, but it has to be started at the smallest dose and increase only if needed. I find that it helps if the person is adequately exposed to natural light during the day, as this helps regulate the production and timing of the body's natural melatonin so the supplementation would be minimum. Use only synthetic as there have been
many contamination issues from animal source melatonin.
Cutting down on the length of naps, may help fall asleep easier and also sleep better at night.

Hypnotherapy and Meditation have been my preferred methods of addressing sleep issues and insomnia, however, not recommended
in this case because of his dementia.
The only exception for him, would be listening to binaural sounds to lower his brain activity to a theta and then delta state. The drawback is that someone has to monitor him for 5-10 minutes till he falls asleep.

If you're thinking to get him off xanax, make sure the doctor can help him
wean off it, as it could be very tricky. Benzos have a bad reputation for  withdrawal symptoms, dependant upon dosage and length of time taken.

Hope this helps.
Cheers!
Niko
5 Comments Post a Comment
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1530171_tn?1418143903
Hi rumpled.

Valerian root tea is an interesting natural alternative to xanax.
It has a similar activity to benzodiazepines (xanax belongs to this class of drugs) and also it may offer neuroprotection (in preventing lipid oxidation in the brain).
It helps reduce stress and anxiety and there are no associated risks when taking 1-2 cups daily (last one should be about 1 hour before bedtime.)

Melatonin is O.K too, but it has to be started at the smallest dose and increase only if needed. I find that it helps if the person is adequately exposed to natural light during the day, as this helps regulate the production and timing of the body's natural melatonin so the supplementation would be minimum. Use only synthetic as there have been
many contamination issues from animal source melatonin.
Cutting down on the length of naps, may help fall asleep easier and also sleep better at night.

Hypnotherapy and Meditation have been my preferred methods of addressing sleep issues and insomnia, however, not recommended
in this case because of his dementia.
The only exception for him, would be listening to binaural sounds to lower his brain activity to a theta and then delta state. The drawback is that someone has to monitor him for 5-10 minutes till he falls asleep.

If you're thinking to get him off xanax, make sure the doctor can help him
wean off it, as it could be very tricky. Benzos have a bad reputation for  withdrawal symptoms, dependant upon dosage and length of time taken.

Hope this helps.
Cheers!
Niko
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657231_tn?1390151580
I will see if we can add some tea - his appetite at this point is not the best. He is a big napper. He has a lung issue and his energy is not good for physical reasons as well as his body is not well at this point. He is not consistent, despite trying to keep him to a schedule as that really helps! in how he wants to do things even eating, exercising etc. He always is a stubborn man.

Sounds are not much of an option - he is 100% deaf in one ear with poor hearing in the other and has never liked to listen to music much - something the deprived his poor wife of much enjoyment.

Not looking to wean - he really needs the anti-anxiety med sadly. He has only been on it for a short time (less than two months) but should have been on something for years. His dementia has made him very paranoid making him even more difficult to deal with.

Thanks!
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212161_tn?1418434895
hi, and so sorry your going threw this, but what a Blessing to him to have you help him out. just never forget to eat and get rest yourself.


first let me say , the pill he takes will only work so long, as my mother was also on that and its not a good sleep pill, and yes after a few months your body gets use to it and than it will want more. i would get him on something thats made for sleep and will keep him there .xanax is for anxiety and its just not a good pill the side affects are bad after awhile.

next wow i would not leave him at home alone. my mom wanted that to , so we just keep her ourself, there is so many things that can happen in a short time and if hes up at night by hisself it could be trouble, he could wonder off, or cause a fire anything could take place. sad to say but there comes a time where we dont get what we want. he needs someone with him at all times if hes doing that at night.

you can look into his health benefits if hes on medcare they will pay sometimes for help, or hire someone to stay with him at night. or the family can take turns staying with him. its really hard on us a care takers but better to be safe than sad.

wish ya all the luck, talk to dr see if there is anything he can give him besides what hes on. Blessings to him and your family
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657231_tn?1390151580
If it was my father, I would not leave him home but my husband is trying to respect his wishes of not going into a home. There is pressure on him by close friends (who emigrated with his father) to leave him home but his dad cannot afford 24 hour care so basically it is a nasty situation - my hubs feels compelled to leave him home until medicaid kicks in and then he will be in the worst home ever.  Dad cannot stay with us - I am disabled myself and he is a very difficult person even before this. I do all I can though to help him. He has caregivers through the day.

He keeps calling the friends in the middle of the night though so maybe they will realize he needs more help? But they don't really understand the finances of it all. They think the government pays for home care which just does not happen.

Medicare and medicaid will not pay at all for home care.
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212161_tn?1418434895
you are so right about them not paying, only if he goes on hospic will they pay here .. its so hard to look after love ones who just dont have the money, i understand.  it takes a lot out of a person as well.

sounds like ya are doing all ya can, prayers with ya as i know what its like to care for someone with this.

hope you have a great weekend
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rumpled
Northern, NJ