Rest Assured, These Foods Make Falling Asleep Easier

By 8  pm on

More than 50 million Americans don’t get enough sleep.  For seniors this can be fatal because lack of sleep disrupts the body’s functions.  Motor movements, hormone production and brain function can be strained to critical levels.  A good night’s sleep will keep the mind sharp, lower the risk of high blood pressure, reduce chronic fatigue, help keep skin youthful and even help prevent weight gain.

Fortunately, there are many foods that can actually promote  sleep.  They contain such components as amino acids, vitamins and hormones with soothing qualities.  By incorporating them into your diet, slumber will come faster and be undisturbed.

Whole grains and almonds (magnesium)
Rich in magnesium, these foods make sleep possible.  They also help the body maintain a stable blood sugar level while sleeping and help slow the body from the alert cycle to rest cycle. Barley and bulgur wheat are just a few examples of whole grains.

Fish, bananas, cherry juice, chickpeas, fortified cereals and miso soup (Vitamin B6)
These foods contain Vitamin B6, a component needed to create the hormone melatonin, which induces sleep when darkness is present.

Milk, crackers, bread, walnuts and cheese (tryptophan)
Food high in carbohydrates are ok in moderation before bed because they raise the level of tryptophan in the blood, which makes melatonin to help induce sleep.  While this sleep-promoting amino acid is a good excuse for eating snacks, eat in moderation or it could upset the digestive system and also lead to weight gain. So keep the portion small.

Lettuce (lactucarium)
Lettuce actually can act like a sedative since it contains lactucarium, a milky opium-like fluid that is secreted by the plant.
Green tea (theanine)
Green tea contains theanine, an amino acid which promotes relaxation and sleep.  Make sure it is decaffeinated green tea if sipped at bedtime.

Hard-cooked egg (protein)
To get to sleep and stay asleep, this simple protein-rich snack does a body good.

Yogurt and kale (calcium)
Foods with high levels of calcium are known to make it easier to sleep.

Encourage the seniors you know to eat foods like these, not only to assure optimum sleep but to live longer, healthier and smarter.  In home care providers from Homecare Assistance of Fort Worth can guide your loved ones in making the right eating choices for a better night’s sleep.

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