Sundowners Syndrome

Have you heard of Sundowners Syndrome? It’s actually a form of Alzheimer’s, and a mysterious form at that.

The name ‘Sundowners Syndrome’ is a reflection of the symptoms that appear during the transition between daylight and darkness. These are the most common symptoms:

  • Rapid mood swings
  • Anger
  • Crying
  • Agitation
  • Pacing
  • Fear
  • Depression
  • Stubbornness
  • Restlessness
  • Rocking

More severe symptoms include:

  • Hallucinations
  • Hiding things
  • Paranoia
  • Violence
  • Wandering

While no one really knows what causes this mysterious illness, some researchers believe that it may be caused by a change of hormones that the night brings, or that it could be triggered by a day’s worth of sensory stimulation.

While there is no cure, you can help you loved one manage it.

  • Light

Light is assumed to reduce symptoms, and is also known for preventing depression. Keep rooms well lit during the day, and use nightlights at night.

  • Noise

Noise equals stimulation. Keep noise at a minimum at the end of the day as not to over-stimulate.

  • Routine

Routines may help your loved one feel more secure by reducing anxiety.

  • Diet

Brain foods are great for everyone, so keep those at the top of the list. Reduce sugar and caffeine intake, especially later in the day and night.