Sundown Syndrome: Breaking the body clock puts you at risk for symptoms

It is that time of year again when the British people have to change to change the clocks. On Sunday the clock moved forward by an hour, which means losing an hour of sleep but gaining an extra hour of daylight. This is not the only trading opportunity that many people are confronted with as the clocks change.

This upset can put people at risk of developing sundown syndrome.

According to the Mayo Clinic, the term “sundowning” refers to a state of turmoil appearing in the late afternoon and spanning into the night.

“Sundowning can cause a variety of behaviors, such as upset, anxiety, aggression or avoidance of directions. Sundowning can also be packing or leaving.”

As the health agency explains, a disturbance of an internal clock within the body can increase your risk.

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They are:

  • Natural light and keeping lights on in the home during the day will help to maintain direction during the day
  • Physical activity and doing things that stress the person will help them sleep more at night
  • Use food to organize your routine for the day.

You should also look for opportunities for scheduled social interactions, advises Norton Health.

“Isolation tends to cause patients to decline more quickly, but a regular schedule of activity and visits can help establish a climate,” the health group explained.

He said: “Also, be aware of safety around the house.”

There are also things you need to avoid to reduce your risk of sundown syndrome.

“Being too tired can increase rest in the late afternoon and early evening,” warns the National Aging Institute (NIA).

According to the NIA, do not drink coffee, cola, or other caffeine-containing beverages late in the day.

The health organization also says it will avoid:

  • Alcoholic beverages. They may add to confusion and anxiety.
  • Don’t plan too many activities during the day. A full schedule can be exhausting.

Sundown syndrome and depression

Sundowning is very common among people with dementia.

In addition to unbalanced circadian rhythm, environmental and social factors, it is also linked to poor conscience, according to a study published in the journal Psychiatry Investigation.

Depression is a general term for memory loss, language, problem solving and other thinking abilities that are hard enough to disrupt everyday life.

Alzheimer’s is the most common cause of depression.