There are several factors that cause seniors to either have trouble falling asleep or staying asleep throughout the night. A poll by the National Sleep Foundation found that 39 percent of people over the age of 65 wake up a lot during the night.
Medical conditions, side-effects of medicines, mental health issues like stress and anxiety, and lack of exercise are among the reasons that older people don’t get a good night’s sleep, along with natural changes in the circadian rhythm as we age.
However, one of the biggest things that can affect our quality of sleep is our diet.
With that in mind, Essex Center for Rehabilitation and Nursing would like to present five diet tips to improve your sleep.
- Limit Caffeine Late in the Day
This seems like a no-brainer, but make sure you are aware of beverages that contain caffeine. If you have tea or soda at dinner, you could pay for it at night. Try to have your last cup of coffee no later than 1 or 2 o’clock.
- Avoid Alcohol Before Bedtime
You may fall asleep quickly after a glass of wine, and one glass may be OK. However, the alcohol is more likely to disrupt your sleep throughout the evening.
- Cut Down on Carbs
Eating foods with lots of sugar and carbs like white bread, white rice, and pasta can keep you awake while your body digests the energy.
- Avoid Large Meals Right Before Bed
The feeling of being full can be uncomfortable and keep you from sleeping. It also will likely lead to weight gain, as your body’s metabolism slows down at night. Try to eat dinner at least three hours before retiring for the night.
- Don’t Drink Too Much Liquid Before Bed
Space out your water intake throughout the day, this way you don’t feel dehydrated in the evening and drink too much water to try and compensate. Drinking too much water in the hour before bedtime will increase the chances that your sleep is interrupted for a bathroom break.