Answers » Categories » Health & Fitness

What is Sundowner’s Syndrome?

What exactly is Sundowner's Syndrome? How can you manage Sundowner’s Syndrome?

1 Answer

Sundowner’s syndrome has been associated with illnesses such as dementia and Alzheimer’s. It is a type of sleep disorder or mood disorder that usually arises when the sun goes down or at sunset. It usually happens at night which often creates problems among caregivers in institutions for the elderly. This is because Sundowner’s syndrome or sundowning is common among the older population.

The cause of Sundowner’s syndrome is still to be researched and further studies are still needed to point out the real causes, however, there are several factors that have been found out to cause the symptoms to appear. One of the factors includes low lighting, such as from changes of the lighting from daytime to nighttime. This is because changes in the environment would stress out patients having Sundowner’s syndrome. Hunger would also affect the mood of the patient which causes mood swings as well as difficulty in sleeping.

A patient with Sundowner’s syndrome would experience anxiety, depressions, and mood swings. Some would go as far as hallucinations, disorientation to time and space, as well as speech and language difficulties. They become afraid for no reason at all and may even panic due to sudden changes in the environment.

Management of Sundowner’s syndrome is quite easy as long as the health caregiver knows what the triggering factors are for each client. Allowing the patients to do extra activities throughout the day would help him or her sleep more at night, thereby reducing insomnia and sleep problems. Reducing caffeine in the diet would help anxiety problems and jitters that are often associated with sundowning. Another very important thing is to follow and keep the routine the patient is doing. Sudden changes in their routine would cause them to panic. They will become stressful thereby affecting their sleep. Giving adequate lighting in the room would help them a lot. Ensure that their rooms are well lighted just before the sun is about to set. This will minimize anxiety and stress that are caused by changes in the environment. Encourage patients to walk outside at daytime to enjoy the morning light.

This will lighten up their mood and reduces mood swings. If the symptoms are quite severe and difficult to manage with environmental manipulations, anti-depressants, sedatives, and sleeping pills will be administered to help the patient sleep better at night.

Answer this question

by Anonymous - Already have an account? Login now!
Your Name:  

Your Answer:  
Source(s): (optional)

Enter the text you see in the image below
What do you see?
Can't read the image? View a new one.
Your answer will appear after being approved.

Ask your own question