5 Tips to Help Your Sundowner Syndrome Parents Rest at Night


Dealing with senior parents with Sundowners Syndrome can be quite challenging. After all, you will often be awoken at night from their activities, simply because they can’t tell the difference between night and day. Often, in the middle of the night, they will be awake and in need of company.

That being said, if your parents are dealing with Sundowner Syndrome, breathe a sigh of relief knowing that this issue doesn’t have to be permanent. There are a few things you can do to help your parents rest if you find them up all night:

1. Dim the Lights

When night falls, the lower amount of light is typically a signal to the body that it is evening, and that sleep time is soon to follow. However, if your parents are exposed to plenty of light even at night, their bodies might believe that it is still day, keeping them awake. As such, when night falls, it is a good idea to dim bright lights around the house to prepare their minds to go to bed.

2. Reassure Them

Sometimes, all your parents need is some reassurance. When they know that everything is okay, their mind can be at more peace. If they seem to be troubled, offer to sit down and hug them and draw them into a calming chat. In other words, stand by and be ready to assist. Only ever intervene if they want you to.

3. Offer Some Help 

In a few cases, your parents might be up because they are hungry, thirsty, or need to go to the restroom. If your parents are knocking on your door, ask them what it is that they need. If they need help, then go ahead and help them. Afterward, steer them back to bed.

4. Employ Aromatherapy

Aromatherapy is quite effective at helping to relax a person’s mind, and you can consider using this to help your parents rest easy in the evenings. To employ aromatherapy, grab some lavender oil with lotion or body oil, then apply it gently on your parent’s wrist or temples. If you do not have access to these, other things like cologne can also work well. Just be sure not to apply it to their fingers, as it can burn their eyes should they rub them.

5. Lower the Room’s Temperature

If a room is warm, this can leave your parents feeling a little too uncomfortable to sleep. This can also cause them to remove the blanket off of their bodies, something which is known to help maintain a relaxed state. As such, lowering the room’s temperature will lead to your parents pulling on a blanket when they sleep, allowing them to feel safe and calm.


If you find your parents wandering around in the middle of the night due to Sundowners Syndrome or any other issue, try out the tips we’ve shared with you. Hopefully, they will go right back to bed, getting the rest you all deserve. 

That said, if you need more assistance, be sure to reach out to caregivers and physicians to help you out. They can give you the tips and services you need to help your parents sleep at night, lifting the burden off your shoulders and allowing you to rest easy knowing your parents are resting well, too.

Gateway Home Health and Hospice offers highly trained clinicians and therapists with expertise in home-based services to meet the needs of families, caregivers, and more. If you are looking for home care services in Denver for your parents to help them rest easy in the evening, contact us today!

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