What is Sundowners Syndrome?

Sundowner’s Syndrome, also known as Sundowning, is a pattern of behavioral changes that can occur in people with dementia. The symptoms typically begin in the late afternoon or early evening and may include increased confusion, agitation, and sleep problems. This can be a challenge for caregivers, especially if it leads to disruptive behaviors at night.

Explanations for Sundowner’s Syndrome

There are several possible explanations for Sundowners Syndrome. It may be due to changes in the body clock that occur with dementia. People with dementia may also become more sensitive to light and noise as the disease progresses. In some cases, Sundowner’s symptoms may be a reaction to medications or an underlying medical condition.

Signs of Sundowner’s Syndrome

If you are caring for someone with dementia, it is crucial to be aware of the signs. Some tips for managing Sundowners Syndrome include:
– Creating a calm and relaxing environment in the late afternoon and evening
– Encouraging regular exercise and activities during the day
– Avoiding caffeine and large meals late in the day
– Adjusting medications as needed
– Seeking medical advice if symptoms persist or become disruptive.

Sundowner’s Syndrome can be a complex problem to manage, but most caregivers can find ways to help their loved one stay comfortable during this time of day with patience and creativity. For more information, please visit the National Institute on Aging website.


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