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Monday, September 1, 2014
Stimulants to Reduce Excessive Sleep
My mother is in the moderate to severe stages of Alzheimer`s. She has begun sleeping an excessive amount, sometime 20 hours. Although you can wake her and talk to her, she insists she needs a "little more" sleep. Is there a mild (or not so mild) stimulant we could use to help her wake up and get up?
Thank you for your question! Yes- sometimes stimulants are appropriate in the AM to help with excessive sedation in the later stages of AD. They should, of course, be used with caution to avoid behavioral or cardiac side effects. It also might be reasonable to have a sleep specialist evaluate her for a number of other possible treatable conditions that might be disrupting her nighttime sleep.
David Q Beversdorf, MD
Assistant Professor of Clinical Neurobehavior and Neurology
College of Medicine
The Ohio State University