You may be caring for a parent or older person who wants to stay up all night and sleep at odd hours during the day. This behavior is known as “sundowning.” The Alzheimer’s Association states that 20% of people diagnosed with Alzheimer’s disease exhibit increased confusion and disorientation at dusk with the behaviors continuing throughout the night.
2. When dusk approaches, draw the drapes and/or dim the lights in the living room and bedroom and lay out pajamas or sleepwear on the bed to remind your loved one that bed time is approaching.
3. Playing soft music sometimes helps if your loved one is agitated during this time.
4. Plan activities during the day such as walking, exercise or an outing to increase the feeling of being tired at the end of the day.
5. Stick to a routine and encourage meal times, walks, TV and other activities at the same time each day.
6. Make sure that your loved one is comfortable in the room where he or she is sleeping. Proper ventilation, familiar objects and a night light will help.
7. Discuss this problem with their primary care physician who will review their medications and may prescribe medication for sleep or agitation.
8. Bladder or incontinence problems can often cause disruptive sleep. Bedside commodes or other devices to assist with bladder control may help reduce agitation connected with getting up during the night.