Honey is a unique superfood, and there is nothing in this world quite like it. It has been an essential part of every culture, commonly used for thousands of years.
In Ancient Egypt, it was used as a form of currency, like gold, and added to the wines that they offered to their gods. In Germany, it was used to sweeten alcoholic beverages like mead, cider, and beer, while the American Indians used it as powerful herbal medicine and a fruit preservative.
Loaded with minerals and vitamins and 18 amino acids, honey is a potent antibiotic, powerful natural remedy, food, and a beauty product.
People have used it as a natural sleeping aid for centuries as well, and since the Middle Ages, Europeans drank warm milk with honey before bedtime.
Also, the Chinese have consumed honey before going to sleep since the ancient times, and the traditional Mexican healers have long prescribed a teaspoon of raw honey in a cup of warm te de Manzanilla or chamomile tea.
According to the Scottish pharmacist, researcher, and author Mike McInnis, when taken before bedtime, honey boosts and lengthens sleep in at least three ways:
-It regulates blood sugar levels
-Ensures adequate liver glycogen stores for eight hours of sleep
-Stimulates the release of melatonin, that recovers and rebuilds body tissues during rest.
McInnes calls these mechanisms “the honey-insulin-melatonin cycle or HYMN cycle”, which starts with the ingestion of one to two tablespoons of honey in the hour before bedtime.
Then, the honey passes from the gut, through the liver circulation, and into the general circulation, elevating blood glucose levels, and releasing insulin from the pancreas. This, in turn, drives tryptophan into the brain, where it is turned into serotonin, that is then converted into melatonin in the pineal gland.
This hormone lowers the body temperature, prevents the additional insulin release, and prevents a rapid drop in the blood glucose levels.
Melatonin stimulates the release of growth hormone, and numerous other recovery hormones work to repair, maintain and rebuild the muscle, bone, and other body tissues.
While melatonin requires the formation of neural cell adhesion molecules during REM sleep, it improves memory, and the liver converts fructose from honey into glucose, and then to liver glycogen, preventing the release of stress hormones. Fructose will also stimulate the release of glucokinase from the hepatocyte nuclei and prevent insulin spikes during the night.
Here are some effective natural ways to treat chronic insomnia with the help of honey:
-Drink a glass of warm milk with 2 tablespoons of honey before bedtime
-Add a teaspoon of honey to a cup of warm chamomile, orange blossom, lemon balm or linden flower tea before going to bed
-Mix water and orange juice in equal amounts and add two tablespoons of honey. Drink before going to sleep
-Mix 2 ounces of honey with 5 drops of lavender oil. Add a tablespoon of this mixture to your warm bath. Soak in it for 15 minutes before bedtime
-Add a teaspoon to your cup of warm peppermint tea and drink it at bedtime
When it comes to the best honey type you can use to reap its benefits, I Dream Of Sleep writes:
“When it comes to honey, organic raw honey is THE best honey to use as a sleep aid. Most supermarket honey has been heated, processed, and pasteurized. By the time it gets to you, all the nutrients like bee pollen, vitamins, and enzymes have been cooked out of it. Store bought honey could contain GMO’s, antibiotics, and high fructose corn syrup. Organic raw honey is honey that was harvested straight from the hive. It hasn’t been heated or processed.”