What can diet do to sleep quality in older adults?
We'll discuss the intriguing link between sleep and diet, focusing specifically on older adults. The importance of this topic cannot be overstated, as the demographic affected is one that struggles to maintain good sleep hygiene. This connection will be explored through scientific research to shed light on the impact of specific diet choices in improving or hindering sleep quality. Discover actionable tips and nutritional advice that will help improve sleep for older adults.
What Diet Has to Do with Sleeping Quality?
Sleep patterns change as we age. This can lead to a reduction in sleep quality and duration. The research has shown that there is a correlation between sleep and diet. Dietary modifications are therefore a possible strategy to improve sleep in older adults. In a study in the American Journal of Clinical Nutrition, it was found that consuming more sugar is associated with restless sleep and fragmented sleeping. A diet high in fiber, on the other hand was associated with deeper and more restorative sleeping.
Get Started with Dietary Modifications to Improve Sleep
Start by cutting down on the intake of caffeine, alcohol and other foods close to bedtime. These are all known to disturb sleep. A 2016 Advances in Nutrition study also highlighted the negative impact of saturated fat on sleep. Reduced intake of saturated fats, such as fast food, dairy full-fat products, and butter could benefit you.
Even older adults can benefit from eating foods that improve sleep quality.
- Walnuts and Almonds are rich in melatonin. This hormone helps to regulate the sleep-wake cycle. These nuts also contain magnesium which is known to have sleep-enhancing qualities.
- A study published in the Asia Pacific Journal of Clinical Nutrition found that eating kiwis prior to bedtime can help improve the onset of sleep, its duration and effectiveness.
- Fatty fish: High in omega-3 fats and vitamin D, both of which are associated with improved sleep.
- The American Journal of Clinical Nutrition published a study that found high-GI foods such as white rice may reduce the amount of time needed to fall asleep.
- Chamomile Tea - chamomile is known for its soothing effects and as a sleep inducing beverage.
- The tart cherry juice, which is high in antioxidants and melatonin, has shown to enhance sleep duration and quality.
- Milk: Tryptophan is an amino acid which converts to serotonin. Melatonin then promotes sleep.
- Bananas are high in potassium and magnesium, which both are muscle relaxants.
- Whole grains: Oatmeal and whole grain toast are rich in tryptophan and complex carbohydrates, which promote sleepiness.
- Leafy Greens Spinach, and other leafy vegetables are rich in magnesium. This mineral can help you sleep.
A regular sleeping schedule, as well as a sleep-friendly environment can improve the quality of sleep. A regular physical activity helps to regulate the body’s internal clock known as the Circadian Rhythm. People who regularly engage in physical activity sleep better than people who don't.
Conclusion: Diet plays an important role in the influence of sleep quality on older adults. Older adults may improve their sleep by making conscious dietary decisions, like reducing sugar intake and saturated fats and adding sleep-promoting food to the diet. Other lifestyle factors such as regular physical exercise and a consistent sleep schedule are also important. Better sleep is just a few lifestyle and dietary changes away..