What would you say if I told you there was a healthy and natural way to battle with annoying insomnia and get restful sleep each night? You don’t always need sleeping pills or big, sweeping dietary changes to improve your sleep.
Using just two common ingredients that you are likely to have in your pantry right now can improve your sleep so that you will never wake up feeling groggy again!
The Importance of Sleep
Anyone who has ever been deprived of a night of good rest knows that the effects can be felt well into the next day.
Sleep deprivation can be devastating to our health. Lack of sleep impairs next-day cognitive functioning, making you groggy and making tasks like driving downright dangerous. It can even increase the risk of developing cancer and weaken your immune system.
Honey for Better Sleep
- Many people have heard about the tryptophan-releasing power of food like turkey, inducing a relaxed state that is jokingly referred to as a “food coma”.
- In a 2009 study performed by Swiss researchers, tryptophan ingestion was found to improve sleep quality and overall mood in adults with sleep problems.
- The natural sugar found in honey raises our insulin slightly and allows tryptophan, the compound famous for making us sleepy after eating turkey at Thanksgiving, to enter our brains more easily. So rather than eating a turkey supper each night, try a spoonful (or two) of honey instead!
- Seth Roberts has shown through rigorous self-experimentation how honey might very well improve sleep, perhaps by keeping liver glycogen full.
Salt for Better Sleep
- Although we often hear that salt can be seriously problematic when it comes to heart health, the truth is that we all need some sodium in our diets to survive. Salt is not the enemy, and when it comes to getting a good night of sleep, it can actually be a friend!
- A study, conducted by the Dept. of Experimental Medicine Charité-Universitätsmedizin, Berlin found that sodium depletion had the power to cause “…at first a stimulation and then exhaustion of the sympathetic system” (Blank, et al, 2012). This means that lack of salt can cause the body’s sympathetic nervous system, or “fight-or-flight” system, to go into overdrive.
- By adding salt to a deprived body, you can ensure that your parasympathetic nervous system is engaged instead, allowing for a good night’s sleep and less grogginess when you wake up in the morning.