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Can Eating Right Help You Sleep Better?

The rushed pace of the holidays may be one of the worst times for caregivers to get the sleep they need. In the hustle and bustle of the season, many people put sleep as a low priority. More and more research shows, however, just how important sleep can be. If the stress and anxiety of caregiving are making it tough for you to slow down and get a good night’s rest, here are a few tips that might help.

Tips to Help You Sleep Better

  1. Watch your diet. While some foods are known to help make you sleepy, others are just as well known for keeping you up at night. Try eating more foods rich in vitamins B6 and B12. Folic acid also can help promote sleep. Foods that are rich in all three include spinach, Brussels sprouts, chick peas, prune juice, red pepper, and fortified cereals.
  2. Lean proteins found in fish, turkey, and chicken also can help boost serotonin
  3. Avoiding high-fat cheeses, as well as deep-fried and fatty foods, can also help. They all take longer to digest and can keep you awake.
  4. Unsaturated fats also help increase the levels of serotonin in your body. Healthy examples include walnuts, peanut butter, and almonds.
  5. Limit your caffeine intake and not by just cutting back on energy drinks, sodas, and coffees. Also pay attention to foods that contain caffeine such as chocolate, cookies, ice cream, and flavored bottled water.
  6. Drinking a cup of an herbal tea like chamomile or peppermint at bedtime may also help you sleep better. Drinking a glass of warm milk can also help.
  7. Some herbs can help induce sleep. Lavender, rosemary, and basil are three examples. You can steep them in tea to drink in the evening, add them to your favorite low-fat smoothie, or add them to one of your favorite healthy treat recipes.

In addition to watching your diet, don’t overlook exercise as a way of improving your quality of sleep. Walking and swimming are two that might help!

Need more advice for senior care? Call us at 508.679.6172 for more information on caring for your aging loved one.

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