Among the many health benefits it offers, honey can also be used to improve your sleep. Yes, that’s true – the miraculous liquid will not only improve your overall wellbeing, it will also help you sleep better and wake up refreshed. In the past, people used to drink a cup of warm milk and honey before going to bed, while one ancient Chinese saying calls for consuming a teaspoon of honey every night. But, how exactly does honey work? Continue reading below to learn.
Honey and sleep
According to Dr. Mike McInnis from Scotland, honey uses 3 mechanisms in order to improve your sleep. It regulates your glucose levels, promotes the production of melatonin and promotes the storage of glycogen for 8 hours overnight. The mechanism is known as HYMN cycle (honey-insulin-melatonin) and is activated by consuming a few tablespoons of honey just before going to bed. Here’s what happens in your body afterwards:
- The glucose passes through the liver to the gut and slightly increases your blood sugar levels;
- This signals the pancreas to produce insulin, which results in more tryptophan released in the brain;
- The tryptophan is then turned to serotonin which promotes relaxation, while the serotonin is turned to melatonin, the sleep hormone;
- The melatonin also stops the production of glucose and prevents big glucose spikes;
- Afterwards, melatonin promotes the production of growth hormone which helps the body recover;
- A variety of hormones then start working on memory consolidation during the REM sleep phase;
- At the same time, the fructose from the honey gets converted to glucose in the liver and to glycogen later, providing the brain with energy overnight;
- With the proper glycogen supply, there’s no need for the release of stress hormones.
Here’s how to use honey against insomnia:
- Put a few teaspoons of the nectar in a cup of mint tea and drink it before going to bed. Instead of the tea, you can use a cup of warm milk;
- Mix 2 oz. of honey with 5 drops lavender oil, then add the mixture to a tub full of hot water and soak in it for 20 minutes to relax and fall asleep better;
- Mix some lukewarm water with some orange juice, then add a few teaspoons of honey and drink the mixture before going to bed;
- Finally, you can also add honey to a cup of chamomile, orange blossom, linden flower or lemon balm tea for the same effect.
Article and image source: http://besthealthyguide.com