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Sundowner's Syndrome & Circadian Rhythm

From the Show: Wellness for Life
Summary: Address Sundowner's syndrome and your circadian rhythm with a few natural treatments.
Air Date: 6/29/18
Duration: 23:07
Host: Susanne Bennett, DC
Guest Bio: Michael Breus, PhD
Dr. Michael BreusMichael J. Breus, PhD, is a Clinical Psychologist and both a Diplomate of the American Board of Sleep Medicine and a Fellow of The American Academy of Sleep Medicine. He was one of the youngest people to have passed the Board at age 31 and, with a specialty in Sleep Disorders, is one of only 163 psychologists in the world with his credentials and distinction. Dr. Breus is on the clinical advisory board of The Dr. Oz Show and is a regular contributor on the show (30+ times).

Dr. Breus is the author of the soon to be published (September 2016) The Power of When, a ground breaking bio-hacking book proving that there is a perfect time to do everything, based on your hidden biological chronotype. Dr. Breus gives the reader the exact perfect time to have sex, run, a mile, eat a cheeseburger, ask your boss for a raise and much more. Dr. Breus has been in private practice for 16 years and recently relocated his practice to Los Angeles.
Sundowner's Syndrome & Circadian Rhythm
Sunsets are lovely to bid adieu to the hustle and the bustle of the day, winding us down for rest. However, those with dementia can become confused and angry at this time of day.

Sundowner’s syndrome occurs in those who are neurologically compromised. The pineal gland seems to have difficulty producing melatonin. The cornea also begins to yellow so the light doesn’t penetrate the eyes as well. The trifecta of low melatonin production, yellowing cornea and neurological difficulty create a perfect storm of distress when the sun goes down.

Set bedtimes, light therapy and melatonin supplements can aid in the treatment of Sundowner’s syndrome.

Circadian Rhythms

Your body has plenty of rhythms— heart rate, disease, brain function, mood and more. If anything gets out of sync, it throws off the sleep cycle.

Tips for Repairing Your Circadian Rhythm

  • Live on a set schedule with a specific bedtime and waking time.
  • Beware of over-napping.
  • Caffeine can be helpful in the mornings but reduce in afternoons and early evenings.
  • Melatonin supplementation may help.
  • Light therapy recommendations from a sleep specialist has proven effective. Golite from Amazon is less than $100 and works for in-home treatment.
Listen as sleep expert Dr. Michael Breus joins Dr. Susanne Bennett to discuss Sundowner’s syndrome and circadian rhythms.


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