Sleep and Nutrition: Connection or Coincidence?
Sleep is important, as it is the foundation of a healthy mind and body. As individuals age, it can be challenging for them to achieve a good night’s sleep. They may feel as though they cannot sleep because they have a lot on their mind or they may have difficulty getting comfortable enough to get a full night of sleep. It is also equally possible that seniors may have trouble getting out of bed and may get too much sleep. Both instances cause your senior loved one to make poor nutrition and food choices, but how? Learn more below!
If you or your senior loved one is not getting enough sleep, this can cause them to feel overly tired throughout the next day. It is human nature that when we are tired or fatigued, we do not feel up to cooking healthy meals with the nutrients that our body needs and deserves. When your senior loved one is sleep deprived, he or she is more likely to have an appetite for high-fat, high-carb foods that are easy and quick. These foods often are “comfort foods” such as potatoes, pasta, fast food, etc. They also are more than likely not drinking enough water if they are consistently experiencing a restless night’s sleep. Dehydration is one of the causes of a wacky sleep cycle and a lack of sleep may cause someone to make unhealthy choices of drinks, such as soda rather than water. This is a cycle that has no end unless hydration is a priority.
Additionally, if your loved one is getting too much sleep, they are at risk for making poor nutrition choices as well. When you get too much sleep, you are more likely to wake up the following day feeling groggy, sleepy and fatigued. This makes you feel as though you need more sleep, which many seniors opt to have during the day. If your aging loved one continues to sleep, he or she will continue to feel the fatigue and groggy feeling. This will increase their chances of making poor food choices, as they most likely will not be able to muster up the energy to prepare healthy foods. This will also create a cycle that will be hard to break, as it will take a lot of dedication and hard work to break.
We hope that you or your loved one will be conscious and aware of your sleep pattern moving forward. As you try to get into a routine, we encourage you to log the amount of sleep that you get each night and record how you feel in the morning, including the food choices that you make. You can then pinpoint the amount of sleep that you or your loved one needs to feel rested and to make nutritious and healthy food choices. It is also advised that you speak with a medical professional for more information on the proper nutrition and sleep that you need.