Getting a good night of sleep can sometimes prove difficult, especially during the later stages of life. Altered bathroom schedules, minor aches and pains and other age-related developments often cause seniors to wake up several times throughout the evening or to struggle in getting any sleep at all.
Fortunately, however, there are a number of dietary changes that can be made in order to resolve this problem. The Milwaukee elder care providers at Home Care Assistance offer our three favorite foods that may help seniors get more restorative sleep.
- Fatty Fish – The right selections of fish can hold tremendous benefits for the body by supplying ample, essential fatty acids that help lubricate the joints and boost mental functioning. In addition to reducing arthritis-related pain and bolstering brain functions, fatty acids also assist in the production of melatonin. This is a hormone that induces sleep when triggered by darkness. Two servings of fish per week should suffice for keeping melatonin levels high. Salmon, tuna and halibut are the ideal choices and these should be wild-caught rather than farm-raised.
- Tart Cherry Juice – Tart cherry juice is naturally rich in melatonin and thus, it can have the same sleep-inducing effects as a fatty piece of fish, without the risk of mercury exposure. Two cups per day will promote a long and restful night’s sleep. Best of all, this juice can assist in promoting regular bowel movements and optimal bladder function.
- Low-Fat Dairy – Calcium deficiencies may make it difficult for people to fall asleep and stay that way. The best way to resolve this deficiency is by eating the right foods, rather than relying on supplements that the body may not be able to absorb. Snacking on a small serving of yogurt or drinking a glass of warm milk before bad can help. Warm milk by itself is known to trigger feelings of sleepiness, and adding a small spoon of honey to this drink will enhance this effect.
Getting a good night’s sleep is important for overall health and can have a dramatic impact on a senior’s outlook and quality of life. If your loved one has trouble sleeping, try the above suggestions and consider creating a plan for a restful evening routine. The more you do to help them wind down as the sun sets, the better chance they’ll sleep throughout the night.
To learn more about senior health and wellness or for help in caring for an aging parent or loved one, check out our website at www.milwaukeehomecareassistance.com or call a Care Manager directly at 414-964-8000.