Daytime napping, side effects of medication, and disabilities often contribute to insomnia in seniors. However, you can help your aging loved one sleep better by serving foods with nutrients that naturally promote sleep. Here’s a list of five foods that can help your loved one fight insomnia.
Though they’re well known for their ability to boost energy, bananas can also help your loved one stay asleep at night. Bananas are rich in nutrients that promote sleep, including potassium, magnesium, and tryptophan. Tryptophan is an amino acid that’s especially helpful for preventing insomnia because it signals the neurotransmitters melatonin and serotonin, which are responsible for sleepiness.
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Oatmeal is warm and comforting, which can help your loved one mentally prepare for bedtime. The high levels of magnesium and potassium in oatmeal can also boost sleep levels, which may help your loved one stay asleep at night.
Researchers from Louisiana State University found seniors who drank eight ounces of tart cherry juice twice a day increased their sleep by an average of 84 minutes per night. Cherries naturally contain tryptophan and melatonin, both of which can modulate sleep.
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4. Lean Proteins
Lean proteins, such as a small amount of peanut butter, a hard-boiled egg, or several ounces of chicken, can promote better sleep at night. Foods with lean protein contain high levels of tryptophan and can help your loved one stay full longer, preventing him or her from waking too early due to hunger.
Eating two kiwis just before bedtime can help your loved one sleep better. A 2011 study conducted by researchers at Taipei Medical University found people who consumed kiwi before going to bed were able to decrease the amount of time it took to fall asleep and increase the amount of time they slept. The antioxidants and serotonin naturally found in kiwi are believed to be responsible for the sleep benefits.
Lack of sleep can lead to a number of health issues in aging adults. Living with serious health conditions can make it challenging for seniors to age in place. However, they can maintain a higher quality of life with the help of professional home care. Phoenix seniors can benefit from assistance with meal prep, bathing, transportation to the doctor’s office, medication reminders, and much more. Trust your loved one’s care to the professionals at Assisting Hands Home Care. To create a customized home care plan for your loved one, call 602-847-6549 today.