Did you know that you can find insomnia cure just from the kitchen?
Scientists suggest that sleep can be induced by consuming foods rich in a nutrient called tryptophan, as well as foods that contribute to the body's natural production of tryptophan and serotonin, a hormone which promotes relaxation by signalling the brain 'it's time to sleep'.
Superfood honey is said to contain the sleep inducing amino acid tryptophan that is useful for overcoming insomnia. Thus, to promote sleep, some people have inculcated the habit of mixing a teaspoon of honey into a glass of herbal tea or warm milk before bedtime. And for children who have bed wetting problems, taking a teaspoon of honey before bed is believed to be helpful as honey aids water retention, and promotes relaxation of the body.
Unlike processed sugars, eating honey raises blood sugar level only slightly. The controlled rise of insulin causes the tryptophan to enter our brain and get converted into serotonin. And in darkness, serotonin is converted into melatonin, a well-known cure for sleeping disorders.
The Hibernation Diet also advocates the consumption of one or two tablespoonfuls of honey at night to promote good quality sleep. Our body stores ready-to-use energy as glycogen in the liver. When the liver runs out of glycogen at night, our brain starts to trigger stress hormones such as cortisol and adrenalin to convert protein muscle into glucose. Long term metabolic stress from cortisol production as a result of inadequate liver glycogen stores leads to insulin resistance, diabetes, and risk of obesity, cardiovascular disease. Both short or poor quality sleep and prolonged sleep (ie getting up late) produces similar metabolic responses as the brain seeks to insure sufficient glycogen stores to fuel energy demands. Pure natural honey is believed to be the best food for glycogen storage as it contains the ideal 1:1 ratio of fructose to glucose. When taken prior to bed, it is able to provide sufficient glycogen storage for the necessary fuelling of the liver, ease stress hormones and help us get a restful sleep at night.
In the book "Honey Revolution" by Dr Ron Fessenden, it was further explained that restorative sleep is critical for memory, cognitive enhancement, as well as all of the reparative functions necessary for muscle, bone and other tissues. And honey is the optimum fuel for the brain to sustain restorative sleep while preventing metabolic stress during the night.
If you are part of the growing number of urban insomniacs, don't take sleep too lightly. A study by the University of Warwick showed that those who cut their sleep from seven hours a night to five or less faced a 1.7-fold increased risk of death from all causes and more than double the risk of cardiovascular death. Read Sleep Disorder Can be Detrimental.