Getting a good night’s sleep can help to raise energy levels, boost your mood, and improve your overall physical and mental well-being. Sleeplessness can pose serious problems, especially in older adults. In fact, at least 48 percent of older adults show symptoms of insomnia as compared to less than one-third of the general population. To have better sleep at night, here are some foods that fight insomnia which you can try.
Turn to Fruits
Reach out for the fruit bowl whenever you find it difficult to fall to sleep at night. Fruits are healthy and they are a natural stand-in for sweet cravings. Many fruits also contain magnesium and potassium which can help you sleep better. Magnesium is an excellent natural sleep remedy for aging adults which can help promote deep sleep.
Here are some sleep-inducing fruits:
- Kiwis – They are rich in antioxidants, vitamins C and E, folate, and potassium
- Apples and Peaches – They are high in magnesium
- Bananas – They are the best fruits to eat before bedtime as they contain potassium and tryptophan, which is an amino acid that can induce sleep and also helps the body to produce serotonin which triggers tiredness.
Complex carbohydrates help to promote sleep by preventing blood sugar spikes and triggering natural chemical reactions involving amino acids. Examples of complex carbs are as follows:
- Oatmeal, Brown Rice and Popcorn – These foods contain high levels of tryptophan which is an amino acid, which helps to regulate blood sugar levels so you can fall asleep faster
- Potatoes and Beans – These foods support the production of amino acids that can help you overcome the effects of caffeine which prevents you from falling asleep.
Research has found a strong like between high-protein diets and high-quality sleep. Lean proteins like turkey are categorized as melatonin foods. Since serotonin is used to make melatonin, you can look forward to falling asleep much more easily.
Older adults can boost both their serotonin levels and heart-healthy by incorporating heart-healthy fats into their diet. Here are some examples of good fats that can promote better sleep:
- Nuts – Nuts also increase serotonin, and pistachios, in particular, have high melatonin levels which are ideal for bedtime
- Avocados – Avocados can help increase the body’s levels of serotonin
Take a Warm Drink
A glass of warm milk is a classic bedtime ritual for many but it is not just about the drink. Drinking a warm beverage before bedtime can ease the nervous system. You can try the following options:
- Herbal Teas – Chamomile and peppermint can prepare the body for sleep by relaxing the mind
- Warm Milk with Honey – This beverage acts as a natural sedative
Foods to Avoid Before Bedtime
There are several foods we have shared that can help induce sleep but there are also several types that you need to avoid to prevent sleeplessness:
- Acidic and Spicy Foods – These may intensify the struggle to fall asleep
- Heavy Meals – Having heavy meals before bedtime can overwhelm your digestive system, thus causing you to have difficulty falling asleep
At Discovery Village At Melbourne, residents get to enjoy well-balanced diets every day through our Sensations Dining program that caters exactly to their personal dietary requirements.