Managing the Symptoms of Sundowning Syndrome


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Managing the Symptoms of Sundowning Syndrome

​Sundowning syndrome can be difficult to manage. If your loved one is experiencing Alzheimer’s disease or dementia and they have sundowning syndrome, they need someone to help care for them. They may experience behaviors later in the day or even into the night. Keep in mind that this isn’t their fault. Sundowning is often made worse by hunger, thirst, depression, tiredness, and other things. There are some things you and their elder care providers can do to help them manage the symptoms of this syndrome.

Make Sure the Lighting is Right

Sundowning usually is made worse if the environment is too dark. Many times this is caused by the sleep cycle changes that happen because of Alzheimer’s disease or dementia. If you need to help care for someone who has these disorders, be sure each room is properly lit. This might include having nightlights in each room during the nighttime.

Negative Impacts on Sleep

There are some things that might have a negative impact on your loved one’s sleep. For example, if they drink alcohol, consume caffeine, or watch TV later at night, these things could affect their sleeping patterns. If you want to help your loved one calm down later in the evening and during the night, make sure they avoid these things for at least hours before they go to bed.

No Stress

Stress is often another factor that causes sundowning. This is why it is extremely important to make sure your loved one avoids stress as much as possible, especially closer to bedtime. You should make sure the environment is quiet, calm, and stress-free before the evening.

Staying Calm

One of the other ways you can help to manage the symptoms of sundowning syndrome is by staying calm at all times. If you start acting stressed out or amped up, your loved one is going to pick up on that and act the same or even worse. You need to remain calm at all times. If you can’t remain calm, have an elder care provider take over for a while, until you can get yourself back into the proper state of mind.

Choosing the Right Activities

Lastly, to manage the symptoms of sundowning syndrome, you should make sure you are choosing the right activities for your loved one to participate in at the appropriate times. If you get them outdoors walking during the day, for instance, they will be more likely to be tired in the evening. This can help to reduce the sundowning syndrome behaviors.

These are some of the best tips you can use for managing the symptoms of sundowning syndrome. Use these tips to help your loved one starting today.


If you or an aging loved-one are considering elder care in Littleton, CO, please contact the caring staff at SYNERGY HomeCare today. Call us at (303) 756-9322.​​

Tom Yetzer
Tom Yetzer

Tom is the owner of SYNERGY HomeCare of Denver, Colorado.

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