Owners' Blog

Diet Strategies to Help with Insomnia

By Greg and Hilary Eldridge

Elder Care Sugar Hill, GA

Getting a good night’s rest is essential for maintaining overall health. What you eat or drink before going to bed can have an effect on your ability to ward off insomnia. Knowing what to eat, when, and the amount of food to eat or drink can increase the chances of sleeping soundly through the night. Elder care can help with insomnia by adhering to the diet strategies mentioned below.

  1. Enhance the production of melatonin. The brain produces the hormone melatonin which plays an important role in regulating sleep cycles. As daylight fades, the body begins to produce more. Typically, as a person ages, they will produce less. You can purchase a melatonin supplement in most local drug stores. Eating certain foods can help to ramp up the production of melatonin. Cherries are a natural source for melatonin. Eating foods that contain a significant amount of B6, a key component in making melatonin, can also make a difference. Bananas, peanut butter, pistachios, chickpeas, salmon, tuna, cod, and fortified cereals all contain the vitamin B6.
  2. Elderly home care can help to make sure a senior is getting the proper vitamins and nutrients. Some vitamin deficiencies can contribute to insomnia. Vitamin D is essential to getting a good night’s sleep.
  3. Avoid beverages with alcohol or caffeine right before bedtime. While alcohol is considered a depressant and may help you fall asleep fast, it reduces the amount of time a person stays asleep. Studies have shown that the effects of caffeine can take anywhere from 8 to 14 hours to wear off. Home care for the elderly should include making sure that an elder avoids coffee, tea, and chocolate in the hours before going to bed.
  4. Load up on carbs for a bedtime snack. Carbohydrates make it easier for the brain to convert tryptophan into serotonin and melatonin, which are hormones that make you relaxed and sleepy. Consider eating fruits, breads, whole grain cereal, oats, or veggies for a bedtime snack.
  5. Limit your fluid intake a few hours before going to bed. This will prevent interrupted sleep due to having to wake up and go to the bathroom.

Elder care can apply these diet strategies to help a senior suffering with insomnia. If trying to alter diet doesn’t seem to help, contact the doctor. Medication or other solution may be necessary.

If you or an aging loved one are looking for senior care in the home, contact the caring staff at Home Helpers of Alpharetta. Call today (678) 430-8511