Introduction: Disrupted sleep-wake cycles might be associated with an exacerbation of behavioural disturbances and accelerate disease progression in dementia. The effect of sensory stimulation for improving sleep quality is unclear. Methods: A systematic literature search was performed and all studies examining the effects of a sensory stimulation intervention (i.e. bright light, massage, acupuncture, animal-assisted interventions) on rest-activity rhythm (RAR) and/or nocturnal restlessness in nursing-home residents with dementia were included. Results: Sensory stimulation was shown to improve nocturnal behavioural restlessness as well as sleep duration and continuation, but the effect on the number of awakenings, RAR, and daytime sleep was negligible. Notable was the high heterogeneity between studies regarding treatments and patients’ characteristics and sleep parameters. Conclusion: Sleep quality and nocturnal restlessness in nursing-home residents with dementia may benefit from sensory stimulation. An environment with sensory stimulation may prevent or improve sleep disturbances in nursing homes, and thereby contribute to a better quality of life for their patients.