Honey Remedies for Better Sleep
Honey has been used as both a food and a medicine, since the ancient times. This present of nature is high in beneficial plant compounds and offers several health benefits. Honey is particularly healthy ingredient when used instead of refined sugar, which is 100% empty of calories.
One of the well-known benefits of the honey remedies is the popular way of stimulating sleeping.
The Ancient Chinese practiced eating honey every night, and the European folk healers have recommended drinking a cup of warm milk with a teaspoon of honey before going to sleep, since the Middle Ages.
Also, many people used the old-fashioned honey and sleep remedy that is consisted of two teaspoons of honey with two teaspoons of apple cider vinegar in a glass of warm water. This remedy is also used before bedtime.
As you can see there are variations that are said to induce sleep, so you can try and find which one is best, but all of them have the huge effects.
Why is the Honey so good for Sleeping?
According to the Scottish pharmacist and author Mike McInnis, the honey remedies improve and lengthen restorative sleep. There are at least three mechanisms how they are acting when taken before bedtime:
1) Provides adequate liver glycogen stores for eight hours of sleep.
The glycogen prevents or limits the early morning release of two stress hormones, adrenaline, and cortisol.
2) Stabilizes blood sugar levels.
3) Contributes to the release of melatonin
Melatonin is required for the recovery and rebuilding of body tissues during the sleeping.
Those mechanisms are also called the Honey-Insulin-Melatonin (HYMN) Cycle.
Here are the effects of this cycle, which begins with the ingestion of one to two tablespoons of honey in the hour prior to bedtime:
1. The glucose portion of honey, producing a mild glucose spike, passes from the gut, through the liver circulation, and into the general circulation.
2. Due to the glucose, the mild elevation in blood sugar prompts a controlled release of insulin from the pancreas.
3. This amount of insulin in the general circulation brings tryptophan into the brain.
4. In the brain, the tryptophan is converted to serotonin, which has the ability to promote relaxation.
5. In the dark condition, the serotonin is converted to melatonin in the pineal gland.
6. By reducing body temperature and other mechanisms, melatonin activates sleep. At the same time, it obstructs the release of more insulin from the pancreas, helping in preventing a rapid drop in blood sugar level.
7. Additionally, melatonin promotes the release of growth hormone, which is the hormone that governs all of recovery physiology. This is actually the first step in recovery or restorative physiology that occurs overnight.
8. A flow of recovery hormones initiates the repair, rebuilding, and maintenance of the bones, muscles and other body tissues.
9. Melatonin impacts memory consolidation, too. It happens due to the requirement for the formation of neural cell adhesion molecules during REM sleep, which are necessary for the processing of short-term memory (in the hippocampus) into long-term memory (in the brain cortex).
10. At the same time, the fructose portion of honey carries out its critical role. The fructose is converted in the liver to a glucose, and then to liver glycogen. The glycogen is providing the brain with a sustained supply of glucose for the night fast.
11. Furthermore, fructose is able to regulate glucose uptake into the liver by prompting the release of glucokinase from the hepatocyte nuclei. On this way fructose provides good liver glycogen supply overnight, preventing a major glucose/insulin spike.
12. An adequate liver glycogen supply allows the releasing of the stress hormones.
These honey remedies can be used as a safe, effective, and inexpensive sleep aid. However, the further research is needed in this important field, but with carefully controlled and randomized human trials.
Natural Remedies for Chronic Insomnia
As we saw honey and sleep go hand in hand, so we are offering you some additional recipes here:
1) Combine 1 teaspoon of honey with one cup of warm chamomile, orange blossom, and lemon balm (or linden flower tea). Drink before bedtime.
2) To one cup of warm milk, add 2 teaspoons of honey and drink before bedtime.
3) Prepare one-half glass of lukewarm water with an equal amount of orange juice, and add 2 teaspoons of honey. Drink it just before bedtime.
4) Combine 1 teaspoon of honey with a cup of warm peppermint tea, and add a clove if you desire
5) Mix 5 drops of lavender oil with 2 ounces of honey, and add 1 or 2 tablespoons of this mixture to a warm tub of water. It will relax you for 10 to 15 minutes