Sundown Syndrome, also known as sundowner’s syndrome, is a typical sign of Alzheimer’s and dementia. The syndrome is more of a pattern of behavior that happens at a particular time of day than it is an illness in and of itself. Additionally, due to an elevated level of confusion and agitation that may get worse in the late afternoon and evening, sundowning is sometimes referred to as “late-day confusion.” In contrast, a dementia patient’s symptoms could be less severe in the morning. Additionally, mid to late-stage dementia is more likely to have sundowning symptoms.
Symptoms and Signs of Sundown Syndrome
There are several, varyingly severe indications and symptoms of Sundown Syndrome. Among the symptoms include, but are not restricted to:
- increased uncertainty
- hallucinations or delusions
- abrupt mood changes
Ten suggestions for dealing with Sundown Syndrome
1. Look for Sundown Syndrome triggers
Every person has a different set of Sundown Syndrome triggers. Moreover, keep track of your loved one’s routines, surroundings, and behaviors. Next, search for trends to identify potential causes of symptom aggravation. Once you’ve identified potential triggers, try to stay away from circumstances that make you feel more agitated or confused.
2. Create a Schedule for Sundown Syndrome
Establish a timetable for the day and follow it. By establishing regular rhythms, and routines might provide dementia sufferers with a sense of security. To get the greatest night’s sleep possible, avoid taking naps in the afternoon. Establish a routine that works for you and your loved one, and then gradually make any required adjustments.
3. Schedule active days
Make sure to include enjoyable activities for your loved one in your daily calendar. The signs of Sundown Syndrome might worsen if you have trouble sleeping and staying asleep. Encourage your loved one to be active during the day in order to support a restful night’s sleep.
4. Unwind early in the evening
Early nights should be a peaceful time of day for those who have Sundown Syndrome symptoms. Reduce the ambient noise in the area. Think about reading or listening to relaxing music.
5. Keep them active
Let in Light Change the illumination to aid with symptoms of Sundown Syndrome. Permit daylight to enter your home during the day to control your circadian rhythm. Fluorescent lights with a wide spectrum might be useful if natural light is not an option. Think about where to put the light.
6. Offer comfort and stability
Sundowning symptoms might be lessened by following advice for general dementia difficulties. For those with Alzheimer’s or dementia, it is a good idea to reduce their overall stress levels throughout the day.
7. Keep stimulants at bay
According to recent studies, sleep can be impacted by caffeine, alcohol, and too many sweets. Utilize these stimulants just in the morning. Avoid watching television or using other devices for extended periods of time in the evenings as these activities can also be stimulating.
8. Make use of supplements
While it’s best to avoid some items, other studies recommend utilizing supplements to promote sleep. Sundowning may be made easier with a modest dosage of melatonin, a hormone that occurs naturally and aids with sleep regulation.
9. Consult a doctor for Sundown Syndrome
It would be wise to consult with your loved one’s doctor if the offered suggestions fail to improve Sundown Syndrome or if symptoms appear suddenly. Sleep disruptions and discomfort may be brought on by underlying illnesses such as urinary tract infections or sleep apnea.
10. Look after yourself
For both patients and the people who are caring for them, sunset may be draining.
Sundown Syndrome management can be difficult, but not impossible. To deal with the variety of symptoms, flexibility, inventiveness, patience, and empathy are essential. Since every person with dementia is unique, it could take some trial and error to find the triggers and treatments that are effective for your loved one.