Any information about sundowners?


I'm just learning about Sundowners syndrome and am wondering what helps others have found to help ease the transition into evenings. Diet and exercise seem to be the best options, but if that were in tact already, we would have a lot less of other issues.

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Full spectrum light helps some people. Some studies have been done by using the lamps that are prescribed for seasonal affective disorder for a time in the morning. Also, there are full-spectrum light bulbs you can use rather than regular ones. Try turning on lights before the natural light gets too dim in the late afternoon. Experiment and see if more light helps with the circadian rhythm.

Limiting stress, controlling pain, soothing music late in the day, activity during the day, limiting daytime napping - all of these are things you may have tried. Frequent snacks rather than large meals may help. One informal study showed that when people wandered at night, inviting them to sit down for a light snack took their minds off of having to "do something" and they went back to bed.

Each individual is different, but all of these options are worth a try. Good luck. I know that this is a challenge.
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Thank you so much. I like all of the ideas. Full spectrum light bulbs are a great idea.
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Tough one. I agree with suggestions above. Turn on lots of lights in the house and change bulbs to higher wattage (appropriate for the fixture). Seniors tend to walk around and turn off the lights or have dim bulbs as part of their "energy saving" mentality -- but the more lights on the better.

Also, try to go for a walk even if just around the yard before it gets dark. Not possible everyday, but going to a brightly lit store (Target, Walmart, Home Depot - brightly lit mall) might help in the early evening before or after dinner.

When I'm visiting mom, we try to have a routine like a small glass of wine and a light snack at that time to cut down on the wandering and fidgiting or constant circling in the kitchen.

Its tough, but if you can do some more physical activity (walks, light exercise like chair yoga, etc.) to wear them out late in the afternoon, they tend to be more settled in the evening.

I've also just moved dinner time up in the winter (short days) from a normal 6 pm to more like 4:30 or 5 pm just for a change of pace.
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