5 Common Foods to Alleviate Insomnia in Seniors

Nursing Homes

5 Common Foods to Alleviate Insomnia in Seniors

1 Feb, 2021

Sleep deprivation is unfortunately quite a common problem for people of all ages, and it can cause or exacerbate a wide variety of physical and mental health problems. This can be especially dangerous to seniors, who may be at higher risk for certain conditions. A lack of proper sleep can lead to irritability, low energy, and mood swings in seniors. According to the National Sleep Foundation, almost half of all seniors experience one or more of the nighttime symptoms of insomnia at least one night a week, so it’s important that seniors ensure they maintain a healthy sleep routine. A dedicated care facility can help ensure their residents get quality sleep.

Quality sleep is one of the essential elements of revitalizing the body and mind. Maintaining a healthy diet can help to counter some of the effects of sleep deprivation and can not only support a healthy sleep schedule but can improve the quality of sleep as well. Here we’ve listed five foods that can promote higher quality and more consistent sleep.


Complex Carbohydrates

Complex carbohydrates consumed with a healthy dinner can be a great way to encourage a healthy sleep pattern. Carbohydrates like sweet potatoes, jasmine rice, and whole grain bread are good sources of complex carbs. These help promote sleep by helping seniors feel full and satisfied, and increase the level of tryptophan in the body.

Lean Proteins

Lean proteins like eggs, nuts, and fish are not only good sources of low-fat protein but are good sources of serotonin as well! Serotonin is a natural hormone produced by the body that promotes relaxation and lean protein is an important element in the production of serotonin. Seniors in assisted living facilities will often have sources of lean protein in the meals provided by their professional caregivers.

Nutrient-Rich Fruit

Fruits are often packed with vital nutrients and minerals, and many of these nutrients are important for managing your sleep schedule. Fruits like avocado, apricots, apples, bananas, oranges, and berries are all great choices. Bananas in particular are a good choice because they contain high levels of magnesium, potassium, and tryptophan, which are all essential elements to maintaining healthy sleep patterns.

“Good” Fats

“Good”, or heart-healthy fats like those found in avocados and nuts like walnuts, cashews, almonds, and peanut butter, are a great way to help induce sleep in seniors. These foods make an easy after-dinner snack and are full of serotonin, a hormone that can help increase feelings of relaxation and sleepiness. 

Warm Beverages

The classic before-bed glass of warm milk is classic for a reason! Milk and other dairy products are rich in tryptophan and calcium, which helps the body produce the sleep hormone melatonin. Herbal tea like chamomile or peppermint tea are another great choice for a warm bedtime beverage that can help alleviate the symptoms of insomnia.

Contact Community Care on Palm to learn more about how we ensure our residents stay healthy.


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