While sunset may be a reason to celebrate and rejoice over the blissful beauty of nature for you, the feelings may not shared by everyone. In fact, there are many people who dread the arrival of sunset. These people are mainly suffering from sundowners’ syndrome. Sundowners’ or sundowning syndrome is basically the condition wherein a person starts feeling confused, after ‘sundown’. The syndrome is often associated with the early stages of Alzheimer's. As such, these symptoms are also visible in those people who suffer from Alzheimer’s disease or dementia. However, there are no specific evidences to relate the two and it still remains a mystery for the medical science. Thus, it becomes a little difficult to figure out what exactly sundowners syndrome is.
Sundowners’ syndrome is often regarded as a mood disorder or a sleep disorder, causing immense irritation and confusion to the sufferer after sunset. Some currently conducted research points out towards more organic causes of sundowner syndrome, such as drug interactions or stress associated with lower cognitive function. Some doctors are of the view that it is an accumulation of all of the sensory stimulation from the day, which overwhelms and causes stress. There are others who speculate that Sundowner’s syndrome is caused by hormonal imbalances that occur at night. Yet others believe that the onset of symptoms at night is due to simple fatigue. Some believe that it has to do with the anxiety caused by the inability to see as well in the dark.
Symptoms of Sundowning Syndrome
Emotions are strong in people with this syndrome. Right from being violent to crying or wailing loudly, sundowning causes extremities. The inability to act normally after daylight can be a reason for such strong emotions.
Rapid Mood Changes
A mood change, along with sunset, is seen in people suffering from sundowner syndrome. From being all smiles since morning, they become gloomy or dull. Sadness creeps over them and they start feeling low and left out.
Though it might sound childish and foolish, it is a fact that people with sundowning syndrome often wander away. Not that they love wandering out, it is just that they fail to realize that they are drifting far away from home. Such people also do not know the way to return back.
Such patients often become your shadow and follow you wherever you go. They incessantly become your tail and want to be near you all the time, which can sometimes be frustrating for you.
Anger & Agitation
People with sundowner’s syndrome are often angry and annoyed with the occurrence and their surrounding. This emotion mostly arises as a result of knowing their incapability or the problem in them.
Often such people feel paranoid. They feel suspicious of each and every thing happening around them and are scared or nervous. They become unreasonable and are obsessed with certain things.
Violent reactions and behavior is seen in people with sundowner’s syndrome. They might unnecessarily act aggressively and get violent without any reason or stimulus.
Hallucination is visible in people with sundowning syndrome. This means that in the conscious state, the person starts perceiving things and situations that are actually not present. Though the external stimulus that might cause the behavior is not present, the perception continues to last.
There is a high level of frustration in people with sundowner’s syndrome. They might feel aggravated and anxious by their incompetence or inability to perform like others, after nightfall.