Approximately 50% of seniors complain of sleep problems. This is considered common as we age, so the ability to sleep well also decreases. According to psychiatry reports, elderly people who complain of sleep disorders tend to take longer to fall asleep, move their bodies more when they sleep, and then wake up often at night and wake up early. This certainly makes their sleep time unfulfilled, as the sleep needs of older adults are the same as those of adults. It is estimated that the problem of lack of sleep in the elderly doubles the risk of death.
Their diet is for example really important as some foods can help your elders sleep better. Last time we’ve covered the first part of our list and today, we are here to complete this lists with some food items that you should start buying for your seniors if you want them to fight insomnia. Keep reading to learn more about those foods.
This rice is a long-grain variety with an aroma reminiscent of jasmine. It is the most consumed rice in Thai households. It should be washed with water before cooking, as it is rich in starch, to avoid it sticking to the boiling water.
According to a study published in the American Journal of Clinical Nutrition, people who include a portion of this rice in their dinner fall asleep faster. This is due to its high glycemic index, with a mechanism similar to that of nachos, but much healthier. However, it is contraindicated for diabetics.
Cereals combine two sleep-inducing components: milk and carbohydrates that are quickly converted to glucose. Since these are the components that induce sleep, when they are together, they enhance their effect. Again, diabetics, refrain.
If your elders have problems with insomnia, forget about giving them a glass of wine: better they have a glass of tart cherry juice. According to a study conducted by scientists at the University of Pennsylvania and the University of Rochester, a glass of natural sour cherry juice helps fight the symptoms of insomnia and restless sleep. Make sure the juice is natural and contains no additives.
Chamomile, passion fruit and peppermint teas can be helpful in relaxing the body and helping your seniors sleep. This is because these teas contain high levels of glycine, a sedative chemical that relaxes the body and helps to fall asleep more easily.
Honey is a rich source of natural sugar, and if you are looking for a way to make your elders fall asleep, it may be the answer. Unlike processed white sugar, honey increases the body’s insulin levels and also allows tryptophan to work its “magic” in the body by producing melatonin. For best results, mix a tablespoon of honey into a cup of mint or chamomile tea and give them to drink half an hour before bed.
Like lettuce, this leafy vegetable is useful for lowering blood pressure and also for falling asleep. The high calcium (but also magnesium and potassium) content of these dark leafy vegetables helps produce melatonin, the sleep hormone. You can combine it or replace it with lettuce in a salad at dinner.
This is not the cheapest food to include every day, but we want to mention that it is an incredible source of tryptophan. Since it’s not very accessible or if your elders don’t like it, you can replace it with shellfish.
A Middle Eastern staple, chickpeas are rich in tryptophan and can facilitate a good night’s sleep. For best results, give them some whole grain crackers with homemade hummus about an hour before bedtime.
This list couldn’t be complete without an exotic food, and if you and your elderly relative travel to very cold climates, you may have the opportunity to try it. This delicious meat is also high in tryptophan and combined with a carbohydrate source, like pasta, it will go straight to the brain for a totally restorative night.
Here you are! With this complete list of sleep-inducing foods, your elders should be able to have good night rest. What are your thoughts on those foods? Let us know in the comments below.