Sundowners is a symptom of diseases such as Alzheimer’s disease or dementia. Some of the things that occur with sundowners are extreme agitation, increased confusion, anxiety, pacing, aggressiveness, disorientation, mood swings, making demands, and hallucinations. As a loved one of someone with sundowners or one of their caregivers, it is important to know the causes that can lead to sundowners.
Decreased Melatonin Production
Melatonin is made naturally in the body. It helps people sleep. However, in someone with dementia or Alzheimer’s disease, they may have decreased melatonin production. This can cause issues for them later in the evening.
Circadian Rhythm Disruptions
Circadian rhythm disruptions can cause your loved one to feel out-of-sorts in the evening and nighttime hours. They may feel wide awake and on-edge because of this. They may feel like they should be up doing things at the late hours of the evening, instead of laying down for bed.
When someone gets overly fatigued, this can cause them to have increased irritability and mood swings. While this happens to just about everyone when they are fatigued, it often hits those with dementia or Alzheimer’s disease a little bit harder.
If someone with dementia or Alzheimer’s disease has a mood disorder, they are more likely to have sundowners. Their mood disorder is going to play right into the sundowner’s symptoms and make them more confused and irritable later in the day and nighttime.
There isn’t just one exact cause for sundowners syndrome. It is important to note that everyone’s brain works in its own way. You may find that you are tired out at the end of a busy day and that makes it easy to fall asleep. This works differently for someone who has sundowners. They may be tired out and their brain may be done for the day, however, they just can’t fall asleep. This leads to irritability, mood swings, and other symptoms of sundowners they might display.
These are some of the causes of sundowners that everyone should know about. If you are the one who is taking care of someone who has dementia or Alzheimer’s disease and you notice they have sundowners, now is the time to research ways to help them with their symptoms. There are things that can be done to help someone with sundowners not feel so irritable. In fact, there are even ways to help someone reduce almost all the symptoms they experience with sundowners.
If you or an aging loved-one are considering hiring Homecare in Deerfield, IL, call the caring staff at LifeCare Home Health & In-Home Services. Call (888) 606-4199 LifeCare serves all of the Chicago Metro Area.
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