The typical list of foods that promote sleep usually include things like a glass of warm milk and carbs such as cereals, oatmeal, potatoes, rice and pasta that raise your blood sugar levels. However, for women over 50, none of those are very good choices. The lactose in dairy is a problem for a large percentage of the population and even more so for older women. Carbs in the evening aren’t on any nutritionist’s list who councils post-menopausal women on how to lose or even control their weight. There are, however, very good alternatives to help you fall and stay asleep.
Chamomile has been used as an herbal remedy for insomnia for thousands of years. According to an article in Prevention, it calmed down mice as effectively as tranquilizers, and in the only human study on the effectiveness of chamomile, the herb reduced mild to moderate generalized anxiety disorder much better than placebo.
Green leafy vegetables like kale and collard greens, like dairy products, contain calcium which has been shown to be foods that promote sleep but they have none of the potential problems you can have with dairy. Low calcium intake isn’t just associated with osteoporosis, but deficiencies are linked to poor sleep quality, as well.
Fish & Seafood
According to Eating Well, fish like salmon, tuna and halibut contain vitamin B6 which is needed to make sleep inducing melatonin.
Chickpeas also boost vitamin B6 and the needed melatonin to induce sleep. Hummus isn’t the only thing you can do with chickpeas. They are great in salads, soups, you can even eat them right out of the can. Chickpeas are loaded with nutrients and all
Unsaturated fats will not only boost your heart health but also improve your serotonin level. Walnuts and almonds contain a lot of tryptophan and have their own source of melatonin. Eat a handful of nuts or a tablespoon of almond butter as a late night snack.
Sage & Basil
Fresh herbs can have a calming effect on the body. Sage and basil contain chemicals that reduce tension and promote sleep. Use them liberally in your evening meals. Not only will they add lots of flavor but help you get a good night’s sleep to boot!