“I love everyone. I really do. My life has been beautiful. If I can help anyone I will.” ~My Dad talking in his sleep August 1, 2011~

What can I say – but when the sun goes down, things change with Dad. The medical staff has been using the word “Sundowner” frequently since my dad came to live with us a month ago. I am learning as I go and certainly think there is something to this. I am trying to make day – day and keep him out of the bed and in light all day long. When he naps in the chair during the day, I make sure the room is fairly bright. I also keep lights on when he watches the Red Sox play at night. Not sure if this is helping – but hopefully it is. At least he goes to sleep at the same time and wakes the same time with his routine. Before bed and upon waking in the middle of the night are when his confusion worsens. He has been bouncing out of bed in the morning with a smile so seems the rest of the issues are out of his mind by then. I am also very fortunate that his mood does not change at night as I have read often happens. As for talking in his sleep – wow! I was concerned that he was not sleeping soundly when he talks, but like I say all the time – it is what it is. He talks as clear as can be and carries on conversations all night long. I have heard him conducting his orchestra, booking jobs at his desk from home, singing and just talking about all kinds of stuff. It is pretty amazing how these thoughts pop into his head at night.

Your stories on this phenomena are welcome -please share!!!

3 Replies to “Sundowners Syndrome, Sleep & Alzheimer’s”

  1. Dad’s nighttime conversations, etc. may not be what anyone wants to hear during the night, but they are very interesting. He runs many affairs at night – instructing people where to stand in lineups for weddings, etc., when the band should begin playing and so forth. He will answer you if you ask questions related to what he is talking about at the time, unless he is just too caught up in his mind’s activities to pay attention to you. He also sings at night which you have been privy to, & he is & was a very good singer. Problem is he can go on for an hr or more. When he was able to get up & roam, he would be doing the same thing in the hallway at night with accompanying arm motions. Never seemed to interfere with his quality of sleep only the observer’s sleep. Quality of speech & word finding difficulties are a non-issue during these nighttime mind excursions. You are quickly learning a lot & getting to see your dad “at work”.
    Love you, Mom

  2. I remember my aunt having quite a time with my grandmother at night. She would get up and roam the house, often turning on the gas stove or putting odd objects in the fridge. She seemed to zero in on the kitchen at night – I suppose because that’s where she spent a lot of her life. This was back in the early ’80’s.
    Lots of hugs to you, Greta. You are one special woman and I can see much came from your dad.

Comments are closed.