Effects of indoor gardening on sleep, agitation, and cognition in dementia patients--a pilot study

Int J Geriatr Psychiatry. 2008 May;23(5):485-9. doi: 10.1002/gps.1920.


Objective: A pilot study was performed to examine the efficacy of indoor gardening on sleep, agitation and cognition of dementia patients.

Method: Twenty-three institutionalized dementia patients who had sleep disturbance and/or agitation participated in a 5-week study protocol of 1 week of baseline and 4 weeks of treatment. The study design was a one group repeated measures study. For the first and fifth week of the study period, sleep patterns, agitation, and cognition were evaluated using a sleep diary, Modified Cohen-Mansfield Agitation Inventory and revised Hasegawa Dementia Scale respectively.

Results: Significant improvement in wake after sleep onset, nap, nocturnal sleep time, and nocturnal sleep efficiency was identified. On the contrary sleep onset time, wake-up time, total sleep time did not change after indoor gardening. Agitation and cognition score was significantly improved.

Conclusion: Indoor gardening was found to be effective for sleep, agitation, and cognition of dementia patients. Randomized controlled studies of larger sample size are needed to confirm treatment effect.

Publication types

  • Evaluation Study

MeSH terms

  • Aged
  • Cognition Disorders / therapy*
  • Dementia / psychology*
  • Gardening*
  • Humans
  • Institutionalization
  • Pilot Projects
  • Psychomotor Agitation / therapy*
  • Sleep Wake Disorders / therapy*
  • Treatment Outcome