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.
The Simple Solution for Restful Sleep
- Instead of reaching for the tablets or suffering silently when insomnia strikes, try this simple mixture each night before bed:
- Mix together raw, organic honey (2 teaspoons) with sea salt (1/4 teaspoon) and eat up. That’s all there is to it!
- It may sound too good to be true, but the proof is in the empirical pudding—the research I mentioned above has shown that these two ingredients can improve sleep and make for a well-rested tomorrow. By combining the two together, you can beat back insomnia with a one-two punch powered by Mother Nature. But don’t just stop here – read on to find other natural ways to get a better sleep (including how to train your brain to fall asleep in less than 1 minute).
Other Ways to Get Better Sleep
How to train your brain to fall asleep in less than 1 minute
- A simple exercise can help you sleep soundly and manage stressful situations in a better way.
- Promoted by Harvard educated Dr. Andrew Weil, the breathing technique, known as 4-7-8, changes your body’s physiology and alters your state of mind. This yogic method might be the easiest and cheapest way to achieve some deep relaxation amidst your busy life schedule which will enable you to go to sleep fast.
Other Foods for Better Sleep
1. Foods containing zinc and magnesium
- These minerals are important for healthy sleep. You can use magnesium or zinc supplement for sleep support, or you can get it through nutrition.
- Good sources of magnesium are dark leafy greens, nuts, and seeds (especially pumpkin seeds), fish, legumes, whole grains, avocado, bananas, plain yogurt, dried fruits and dark chocolate.
- Good sources of zinc are seafood, beef and lamb, beans, nuts and seeds, wheat germ and dairy products. Combine these foods and eat them for dinner to get into the sleepy mood.
2. Foods containing melatonin
- Melatonin is a hormone made by a small gland in the brain. Melatonin helps control your sleep and wake cycles. Cherries are one of the most concentrated sources of melatonin, and very small amounts of it are found in foods such as banana, rice, tomatoes, almonds, seeds, and oats. You can also buy it as a supplement.
Essential oils for better sleep
Essential oils have become popular as sleep remedies in the natural health community and they can help you to treat insomnia and get better sleep.
Herbs for better sleep
There are certain herbs that can help you get better sleep.