Sleep is an important part of our life. We can not function very well when we are to tired. We can not think straight, and sometimes we can't even see straight.
Alzheimer's patients have trouble with their sleeping habits. They have their time clock mixed up and not sure when it is night or day. Sometimes they may be up roaming around all night, or sleep all day.
Most people require about seven or eight hours of sleep. My grandmother who will be 101 in April only needs six hours of sleep. A schedule is good to have, when to sleep, when to wake up, but when your loved one had Alzheimer's it is hard to keep them on a schedule.
I remember with my father in law, I would try and not let him take any naps, give him dinner at the same time, let him walk around the driveway like he wanted to and than have him sit and play cards at the kitchen table while the rest of us watched TV. I hoped to have him on a schedule as to when to be awake and when to be asleep. But it didn't work for him. He would lie awake in bed, waiting for me to leave so he could sneak out again.
As the caregiver it is also important to have enough sleep so you can deal with the aggravation of your loved one. You know they don't mean what they do or say, but without enough sleep, you can get testy yourself, and maybe accidentally taking it out on them.
I find for myself I cannot eat at night before I am going to sleep. I find I will be wide awake with trouble finding any shut eye and crabby the next day.
Check out this article on Alzheimer's Weekly: http://alzheimersweekly.com/content/easing-sleep-disturbances-patients-caregivers
Alzheimer's A Caretakers Journal