Sleep deprivation can cause many physical and mental health problems, and this can be very dangerous for seniors. A lack of proper sleep can lead to low energy levels and can even cause irritability and mood swings in seniors. The National Sleep Foundation says that around “44% of older persons experience one or more of the nighttime symptoms of insomnia at least a few nights per week or more.” That is why it is very important for seniors to follow an active routine and take adequate measures to boost sleep quality.
Quality sleep is one of the key elements that keep our mind and body revitalized. It is seen that maintaining a healthy diet can help to counter the effects of sleep deprivation and calm the body and mind in seniors. This can in turn improve their overall health. Below are 5 foods that can promote better sleep in seniors.
Fruits that are rich in potassium and magnesium content are known to relax the muscles and soothe the nervous system. This can work to enhance sleep quality in seniors. Bananas, raspberries, avocados, apricots, apples, and oranges can be a good choice. Bananas are rich in both potassium and magnesium, and they contain tryptophan as well, which helps to induce sleep in seniors.
Taking complex carbohydrates right before bedtime can perfectly work to boost sleep in seniors. Whole grains such as popcorn, oatmeal, sweet potatoes, and jasmine rice are good sources of complex carbohydrates. These can increase the level of tryptophan in the body and help to promote better sleep in seniors.
Lean proteins can help to enhance the serotonin levels in the body, which in turn helps to fight insomnia. Including whole-grain breads, eggs, peanut butter, low-fat cheese, and fish can be great to add more lean protein to the diet. Seniors in assisted living can ask their caregivers to prepare the dinner with such foods, so that they can have a good night’s sleep.
Heart-healthy fats also improve the serotonin levels and can work to induce sleep in seniors. Avocados, walnuts, almonds, pistachios, cashews, and peanut butter can be a good choice for some nighttime snacking. It is recommended to avoid unhealthy saturated fats and trans fats though, as they can lower the serotonin levels.
Having a glass of warm milk before bedtime can work wonders to promote sleep quality. Milk and other dairy products not only contain tryptophan that boosts sleep, but also are a good source of calcium, which can maintain melatonin production in the body. Herbal teas, such as that with chamomile or peppermint, can also help to fight insomnia in seniors.