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.


Homecare in Deerfield IL: Sundowners and the Causes

Homecare in Deerfield IL: Sundowners and the Causes


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.


Mood Disorders

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.


Medical Causes

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.



Walter & Jane Shekman, Owners

LifeCare was founded by a husband and wife team, Walter and Jane Shekman, in 2006, as a small home health care agency that focused on the medical care at home and catered to the needs of the local community. Ever since its inception, Walter and Jane have had a vision to create a new type of at-home care company: a company that bridges existing gaps in care by placing the client at the center and integrating providers and all available at-home care services around the client depending on the current need.

Since then, LifeCare has grown to become a recognized and trusted leader in the comprehensive post-acute care services at home amongst our clients, patients and healthcare providers in the Chicagoland area. By combining medical and supportive care at home with innovative technologies we are enabling our clients to live safer and happier lives in the comfort of their home.
Walter & Jane Shekman, Owners