Are you wondering if it might be time to add a teaspoon of honey to your nighttime routine?
Getting a good night’s sleep is essential for our overall health and well-being. But for many of us, getting enough restful sleep can be difficult. If you often find yourself waking up feeling groggy and unrested despite having gotten plenty of hours in bed, then a teaspoon of honey before bed might help.
Recent studies suggest that having a teaspoon of honey before bed can help improve the quality of your sleep by aiding in the replenishment of liver glycogen.
Let’s look at how this works...
1. What is Liver Glycogen and Why Is It Important?
You may be wondering how something as simple as honey can help you sleep.
The key lies in liver glycogen, a type of carbohydrate that is stored in the liver and muscles. It helps regulate blood sugar levels during fasting periods.
When you’re asleep, since you’re not eating, your body considers it to be a fasting period and uses your glycogen stores to keep your brain and other organs functional. So having adequate liver glycogen stores is important to sleep well throughout the night. Low levels of liver glycogen can result in disrupted sleep patterns or insomnia.
2. How Does Honey Help Replenish Liver Glycogen?
Honey contains natural sugars that are easily digested by the body. Consuming honey will increase your insulin levels which will release tryptophan into your brain.
Tryptophan is then converted into serotonin, which is later formed into melatonin, aka “the sleep hormone”.
But that's not all. Honey also contains small amounts of various vitamins and minerals, such as B vitamins, magnesium, and potassium, which can help to relax the body and mind and promote better sleep. It also has antioxidants and enzymes which can help reduce inflammation in the body and promote relaxation. This helps prepare your body for a good night's rest!
3. Honey as a Natural Sleep Aid
Honey has been used as a natural sleep aid for centuries. In fact, it has been found to be just as effective as over-the-counter sleep aids in some cases, without the risk of negative side effects or morning drowsiness that can sometimes occur with these medications. And because honey is a natural, whole food, it is generally considered safe for most people to consume.
4. What Is The Best Way To Use Honey For Sleep?
One teaspoon is a good amount to aim for. You can have it on its own or mix it into a warm drink, such as herbal tea or warm milk, about 30 minutes before going to bed. This should give the body enough time to absorb the natural sugars in the honey and replenish your liver glycogen stores. Just be sure to choose pure, high-quality honey, as some commercial brands of honey may be processed or contain additives that can negate the potential sleep-promoting benefits.
If you're not a huge fan of warm drinks, you can try my Homemade Honey Lemonade here. It's really easy to make and you get double the benefit of honey and lemon.
Also, make sure you are practicing good habits throughout the day such as regular exercise, avoiding caffeine late in the day, and eating healthy meals throughout the day so that you don't wake up feeling hungry at night.
If you're looking for another way to use honey as an immunity booster, try my super easy Ginger Shots recipe here.
A Note on Chronic Insomnia and Other Sleep Disorders
While honey can be a helpful addition to your bedtime routine if you have occasional difficulty falling or staying asleep, it is not a magic cure for all sleep problems. If you are experiencing chronic insomnia or other sleep disorders, it is important to speak with a healthcare professional for proper diagnosis and treatment. These conditions often require more comprehensive and targeted interventions, such as cognitive behavioral therapy or prescription medication, to address the underlying causes and improve sleep quality.
While it is not a cure-all for sleep problems, it can be a helpful addition to your bedtime routine if you have occasional difficulty falling or staying asleep. So next time you're having trouble nodding off, try having a teaspoon of honey before bed and see if it helps you get a good night's rest.