The 15 Ultimate Foods That Can Help Seniors Sleep

Are you finding it difficult to help your elder loved one relax or fall asleep? You’ve come to the right place.  These snacks have natural substances that can help them have the much needed good night’s rest they always deserve.

Are they lying in bed staring at the ceiling? Alon Avidan, a professor of neurology and director of UCLA’s David Geffen School of Medicine: Sleep Disorders Center recommends to keep evening food light and eat at least half an hour before going to bed. This allows enough time for the body to digest the food and absorb its nutrients. Go ahead and try these 14 simple options and get ready to help your grandmother (or grandfather) get the rest they need:

Lentils

Lentils

1. Lentils

Lentils is a super food for sleep. It’s rich in magnesium, a mineral that plays a major role in sleep. It also contains potassium and protein that can help maintain sleep patterns.  Bonus: Lentils have high fiber and low fat, so you can eat without worrying about excess fat.

Almonds

Almonds

2. Almonds

Almonds are crunchy nuts that serve more than just as a party snack. They contain magnesium, a mineral that can relax your muscles and play a big role in regulating sleep. Having a small amount of almond or almond butter before bed can help anyone fall asleep and stay asleep.

Banana

Banana

3. Bananas

Bananas are nutritional powerhouses containing tryptophan, an amino acid which is known to have an effect on sleep quality. They also are a good source of magnesium and potassium, says UCLA’s Avidan. He adds that both minerals significantly relax the muscles which keep random muscle cramps from waking someone up.

Milk

Milk

4. Milk

Milk contains tryptophan which helps the brain to make serotonin and melatonin. These are hormones that assist in relaxation and regulate sleep and wake cycles.

Cereal

Cereal

5. Cereal

Cereals have carbohydrates that make tryptophan more accessible to the brain, as reported by the National Sleep Foundation. To get the best nutritional benefits, have a small quantity of whole-grain, low-sugar cereal about a half hour before shut eye.

Cherries

Cherries

6. Cherries

Cherries, the tart varieties in particular, are one of those few foods that contain melatonin. This is a hormone that controls your internal clock. In recent studies, it’s been found that volunteers who had tart cherry juice everyday feel asleep faster, for a longer period of time and with more satisfying mornings.

Cheese

Cheese & Crackers

7. Cheese

The protein in cheese gives sleep-promoting tryptophan, while the carbohydrates in crackers can help you fall sleep quicker. Suprisingly, gram for gram, there is more tryptophan in cheddar cheese than turkey.

Green Tea

Green Tea

8. Green Tea

Green tea has theanine, an amino acid which helps to lessen stress and promote relaxation. However, you need to make sure that the green tea you have at night is decaffeinated as the caffeine in regular green tea could keep you awake.

Hummus

Hummus

9. Hummus

The chief ingredient of hummus is chickpeas or garbanzo beans which are rich in tryptophan as well as folate and vitamin B-6. Folate helps to control sleep patterns, mainly in seniors, and vitamin B-6 helps to adjust your body clock. So for a good before-bed snack, a small slice of bread with some hummus spread can do wonders.

Lemon Balm Tea

Lemon Balm Tea

10. Lemon Balm Tea

Tea made from lemon balm, is full of naturally occurring oils with terpenes, organic compounds which can help relaxation. To prepare your own calming lemon balm tea, mix 1 to 3 teaspoons of dried leaves to one cup of freshly boiled water. Cover and allow it to steep for 10 minutes, then strain.

Peanut Butter

Peanut Butter

11. Peanut Butter

Peanut Butter is rich in tryptophan. Spread a little peanut butter on some whole-grain crackers. The carbohydrates will assist the tryptophan to easily reach the brain.

Pineapple

Pineapple

12. Pineapple

There are some fruits like pineapple that can boost natural levels of melatonin significantly. A recent research study found that eating pineapples increased melatonin by more than 266 percent, eating bananas increased it by 180 percent and eating oranges increased it by 47 percent.

Pumpkin Seeds

Pumpkin Seeds

13. Pumpkin Seeds

Pumpkin seeds are filled with various essential nutrients, including considerable amounts of tryptophan. If you have your pumpkin seed snack with a small piece of carbohydrate rich fruit, it can help sleep promoting nutrients to reach your brain.

Walnuts

Walnuts

14. Walnuts

Walnuts, besides being a natural source of melatonin, help the body to respond better to stress. To get extra flavor, toast them on the stove in a dry skillet until they turn golden brown.

Popcorn

Popcorn

15. Air-Popped Popcorn

One or two cups of simple air-popped popcorn with sprayed grated Parmesan cheese can really help your loved one fall asleep. The cheese has sleep-inducing tryptophan, and the popcorn provides the carbs to help the brain easily absorb it.

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