PREVIOUS QUESTION:

 

NEXT QUESTION:

 

What causes sundowning?

ANSWER

Doctors aren’t sure why sundowning happens.

Some scientists think that dementia might affect your inner “body clock.” The area of the brain that signals when you’re awake or asleep breaks down in people with Alzheimer’s. That could cause sundowning.

It may be more likely if your loved one is:

  • Very tired
  • Hungry or thirsty
  • Depressed
  • In pain
  • Bored
  • Having sleep problems

From: How to Manage "Sundowning" WebMD Medical Reference

Reviewed by Neil Lava on December 10, 2017

Medically Reviewed on 12/10/2017

SOURCES:

National Institute on Aging: “Sundowning.”

Alzheimer’s Association: “Sundowning.”

Khachiyants, N. , December 2011. Psychiatry Investigation

Alzheimer’s Foundation of America: “Behavioral Challenges: Coping With … Sundowning.”

Schwartz, J. , December 2008. Current Neuropharmacology

Alzheimer’s Association: “Sleep Issues and Sundowning.”

Family Caregiver Alliance: “Caregiver’s Guide to Understanding Dementia Behaviors.”

National Institute on Aging: “Caring for a Person with Alzheimer’s Disease.”

Reviewed by Neil Lava on December 10, 2017

SOURCES:

National Institute on Aging: “Sundowning.”

Alzheimer’s Association: “Sundowning.”

Khachiyants, N. , December 2011. Psychiatry Investigation

Alzheimer’s Foundation of America: “Behavioral Challenges: Coping With … Sundowning.”

Schwartz, J. , December 2008. Current Neuropharmacology

Alzheimer’s Association: “Sleep Issues and Sundowning.”

Family Caregiver Alliance: “Caregiver’s Guide to Understanding Dementia Behaviors.”

National Institute on Aging: “Caring for a Person with Alzheimer’s Disease.”

Reviewed by Neil Lava on December 10, 2017

NEXT QUESTION:

What triggers sundowning?

WAS THIS ANSWER HELPFUL

THIS TOOL DOES NOT PROVIDE MEDICAL ADVICE. It is intended for general informational purposes only and does not address individual circumstances. It is not a substitute for professional medical advice, diagnosis or treatment and should not be relied on to make decisions about your health. Never ignore professional medical advice in seeking treatment because of something you have read on the WebMD Site. If you think you may have a medical emergency, immediately call your doctor or dial 911.

    This tool does not provide medical advice. See additional information.