Popular ways to induce sleep for thousands of year were the honey remedies. Since the middle ages, the European folk healers have recommended drinking a cup of warm milk mixed with a teaspoon of honey before bedtime every single night. Furthermore, there is another old-fashioned honey and sleep remedy which you have to mix two teaspoons of cider vinegar. With two teaspoons of honey in a glass of warm water before bedtime. In addition traditional Mexican healers have prescribed a teaspoon of raw honey in a cup of warm te de manzanilla, or chamomile tea long time ago.
Honey and Sleep or “The HYMN Cycle”
According to the Scottish pharmacist, researcher and author Mike McInnis, honey remedies can improve and lengthen restorative sleep by at least three mechanisms. Therefore, when taken before sleeping, he teaches that honey:
- For eight hours of sleep you will be ensured with adequate liver glycogen stores. (this prevents the early morning release of two stress hormones: cortisol and adrenaline).
- Can contribute to the release of melatonin, which is the hormone that is required for both the recovery and rebuilding of body tissues during rest.
- Stabilizes blood sugar levels too.
Nevertheless, the entire mechanism for this process can be described by what McInnes calls the honey-the insulin melatonin cycle or HYMN cycle. Hence, this cycle begins with the ingestion of one to two tablespoons of honey in the hour before bedtime, as follows:
- Firstly, the glucose moiety (portion) of honey passes from the gut then goes through the liver circulation and into the general circulation producing a mild glucose spike.
- Furthermore, the mild elevation in blood sugar (from glucose) prompts a controlled release of insulin from the pancreas.
- Additionally, the presence of insulin in the general circulation drives tryptophan right into the brain.
- A key hormone that promotes relaxation – tryptophan is converted to serotonin.
- On the other hand, in darkness, serotonin is converted to melatonin in the pineal gland.
- The great advantage of melatonin is that activates sleep by reducing body temperature and other mechanisms. It also inhibits the release of more insulin from the pancreas, thus preventing a rapid drop in blood sugar level.
- Moreover, the melatonin helps the release of growth hormone. Growth hormone is actually the hormone governing all of recovery physiology. Accordingly, this is the key first step in recovery that occurs overnight.
- What is more, a cascade of some recovery hormones initiates the repair, maintenance and rebuilding of bone, muscle and some other body tissues.
- Namely, the melatonin during REM sleep impacts memory consolidation by its requirement for the formation of neural cell adhesion molecules.
- Simultaneously, the fructose moiety of honey has the critical role. Likewise, the liver takes up fructose where first is converted to glucose and then to liver glycogen. In this way it provides the brain with a sustained supply of glucose for the night fast.
- Even more, fructose regulates glucose uptake into the liver by prompting release of glucokinase from the hepatocyte nuclei. There, fructose ensures good liver glycogen supply overnight and prevents a major glucose/insulin spike too.
- Eventually, an adequate liver glycogen supply means that stress hormones need not be released immediately.
The perfect honey remedies for insomnia
To specify, honey and sleep go hand in hand. All you have to do is to add one teaspoon of honey to one cup of warm chamomile, orange blossom, lemon balm or linden flower tea. You should drink this before bedtime.
- You should add one teaspoon of honey to one cup of warm milk. Drink this before bedtime.
- First of all, prepare one-half glass of orange juice diluted with an equal amount of lukewarm water. Then add two teaspoons of honey, and drink just before bedtime.
- Add just one teaspoon of honey to a cup of warm peppermint tea. Also a clove can be added if desired.
- You need to combine two ounces of honey with five drops of lavender oil. Add just one or two tablespoons of this mixture into a warm tub of water and enjoy a relaxing soak for about 10 to 15 minutes.