Tuesday, November 04, 2008

Up All Night, Sleep All Day

Mom is really off schedule regarding days and nights. The shorter days just seem to have exacerbated the problem. She's up most of the night and sleeps until noon.

I usually try to give her subtle cues that it is time to go to bed.

Me: Well, it's beddie-bye time. I'm going in to sleep.

That hasn't worked as she just keeps staring into the television. So I decided to get a little more forceful in my approach. But, honestly, it's a hassle that I just as soon not get bogged down in. I have to pick my battles and conserve my energy.

Me: It's time for bed. Are you coming?

Mom: Well, I suppose I should, too.

I turn off the television and start in to bed. She gets up, gets her drink glass to put in the kitchen sink, and starts in after me.

I hop on the couch in the den, cover up with an afghan, and close my eyes.


I hear the TV pop back on in the other room. She can never figure out how to use the remote, but when push comes to shove, she manages. Perhaps she got lucky by pushing every button there was until something happened. As my uncle always says, "Even a blind squirrel finds a nut once in a while!"


Greg said...

I hope the Afghan is cute - what's his name?

(my apologies - I couldn't resist)

Is your Mom's schedule convenient for you in that it leaves your mornings free for some Y|O|Y time? Personally, during my relatively brief period sharing house with my Mum, I found it very hard-going at night (this time of year again) with her coming into my bedroom at hourly intervals to ask very confused questions. I fought very hard to keep her awake during the day in order to tire her out for bed time, but she'd just sleep in chairs or get undressed for bed at 4pm. Much as I hated being distracted from my work every 5 minutes it was the periods when I couldn't hear her moving around or playing with her dog that got me worried - was she sleeping? I hope you can establish a routine somehow. I suppose that we are the parents now and parents need to set some rules about TV at night... It'd be for her own good - she's naturally going to be more confused during the day if she hasn't had enough sleep.

citygirl said...

Why is it that Alzheimers patients become night owls? I remember many sleepless nights with my mom. We tried going out to malls in the evenings to walk around (aka tire her out). But she still kept up at night!

My "favourite" nights were when she'd burst into my room freaking out about something insane or hurling crazy accusations at me at 3am. I somehow managed to get up in the morning and go to work while she slept in and napped during the day!

Anonymous said...

My dad hasn't hit that night owl stage. He is like a little kid and has to go to bed real early. He no longer has interest in t.v. so maybe your mom will hit that stage and you'll have that to look forward to. This Alzheimer's stuff is frustrating, you never know what's coming next! :)

A Single Man said...


Please don't apologize. I'm not offended in any way.

You really made me think and that is what you see here in my blog.

I often wonder how long can I keep doing what I'm doing and I struggle to know where that line is.

But my question really is: am I taking care of myself sufficiently during all this? And am I just whining instead of acting? Or am I just being too hard on myself, labelling it martyrdom or whining, because what I'm dealing with is very, veyr hard after all?

My answers are no and mostly yes and I think so.

And that's why your comment in your blog struck the proverbial chord.

Adrienne said...

I'm getting to know the Alzheimer's caregiver community and just came across your blog. I think I'd like your uncle :)