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Helping Alzheimer's Patients Sleep Better Naturally

If you read my blog with any regularity, you know there's a heavy price to be paid for not getting the right amount of sleep every night. Considering how tough it can be to make adjustments in your lifestyle that promote better sleep habits, imagine how difficult that process can be for Alzheimer's patients.

Fortunately, physicians have no need to resort to sleep drugs to help their loved ones get the proper rest, according to a study of 36 Alzheimer's patients living at home and their caregivers. The natural methods used by researchers to promote better sleep:

  • Exercise in the form of walking 30 minutes a day with the help of a caregiver.
  • Increasing their exposure to light by an hour using a light box.

Patients were divided about equally into two groups: Those who followed those specific recommendations for getting more sleep naturally and others who merely received general dementia education and caregiver support.

Not surprisingly, the group using specific natural techniques improved their ability to get to sleep and stay that way by about a third, compared to the start of the study. Moreover, Alzheimer's patients had less daytime sleepiness and their levels of depression were significantly lower too.

Just another reminder, if you or a loved one is struggling with getting the right amount of rest, I urge you to review my Guide to a Good Night's Sleep today.

Journal of the American Geriatrics Society, Vol. 53, Issue 5, May 2005: 793

Yahoo News June 10, 2005

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