Can Honey Help You Sleep?

Many people all around the world suffer from a lack of sleep but this is nothing new. Insomnia, as the condition is normally called, is something that can cause a lot of discomfort if it goes unattended.

But seriously, how does Honey help you sleep? Yes, it can. History has shown that many healers in the past have used honey as an ingredient in preparing mixtures that allow their patients to sleep better. Mexican healers, for example, prescribe that patients mix a teaspoon of honey and chamomile before going to bed. Some other healers from across the continent in Europe have also been known to recommend a cup of milk and honey for those who have a sleeping problem.

The above practices involve taking honey just before going to bed. In your bid to find a solution to your sleeping problem, you have possibly heard that you are to eat at least 4 hours before going to bed. This means that if your bedtime is usually 10pm, your dinner should be in your stomach already by at least 6pm.

This no doubt raises a series of possible questions in your mind. You might ask questions like, how exactly is taking honey before bed going to help me sleep better? Would I not become fatter if I consume honey late at night? Isn’t there going to be a problem with taking honey at night when my physician recommends that I eat my last meal hours before going to bed?

Background of Honey

Honey is a fluid that is produced from plant nectar by bees. Honey is sometimes dubbed as the golden liquid because of its benefits and color. Honey is a naturally occurring antibacterial agent. It also doubles as a product that provides relief from acne and other inflammatory issues. Honey assists also in getting rid of colds and other respiratory anomalies.

We can go on and on about the good that honey does but you are not really here for that so lets focus on how honey can help you to sleep better.

Can honey help you to sleep?

The answer is a straightforward. Yes! Honey can help you to sleep. Honey promotes sleeping and it is actually one of the best naturally occurring substance that helps to induce a sleep state.

Stroke, hypertension, arthritis and obesity are just some of the health problems that are caused by lack of sleep. You definitely do not want to be catching on any of these problems. This is why it is recommended that you take honey before going to bed.

To get the best effect, take one or two teaspoons of honey every night.

This amount might not seem much to the ordinary eye but the chain of reaction that it creates in the body goes a long way in making you sleep better. Here is how the chain reaction goes.

One or two teaspoons of honey every night increases the level of insulin in the body. This increase is minimal but it is enough to release tryptophan into the brain. Tryptophan, in turn, is then converted to serotonin. Serotonin is a “feel good” hormone in the body that makes us feel happy. Serotonin eventually converts to melatonin which plays an active role in sleep.

Melatonin helps to keep the blood sugar level under check and could ultimately help you to sleep better. There is also another way honey helps to improve sleep. Aside from melatonin, honey also helps to fuel the liver with glycogen. The liver of an average Joe has the capacity to store just about 100gm of glycogen at a time. The body, on the other hand, consumes about 10gm of glycogen every hour.

This means that if you have your dinner at 6pm and your bedtime is 10pm, you would have used almost half of the glycogen in your liver. Since the storage is almost depleted you keep waking at night because you do not have enough glycogen to take you through the night.

Since honey fuels the liver with glycogen, taking a teaspoon or two of honey before going to bed just a no-brainer!

What are the benefits of taking honey before going to bed?

1. Honey helps with weight loss

Honey helps if you are struggling to lose weight as well. As noted earlier, honey helps to fuel the liver with glycogen. This makes the liver to produce glucose. With enough glucose in the body just before bed, your body is able to burn more fat while you are sleeping.

It is a common fact that sleeping without enough food in the stomach can cause you to lose sleep. Since you cannot have a full meal in the middle of the night, chances are that you would snack on some junk which would definitely make you fatter. Honey helps to suppress your appetite which means that you would not have pangs of hunger at night any longer.

Honey is fat-free and one cup of contains less than 70 calories so this easily discards the popular notion that you will get fat. Honey really is healthy to consume before going to bed.

2. Honey fights off cold and cough

Honey also helps to reduce the effect of a cough. It acts as a cough suppressant. Children especially can enjoy this feature of honey as it will help your children to get rid of a night-time cough. I found a study that showed that children who were administered with honey coughed less frequently than those who did not. I’m not sure how verifiable this is over a broader sample of the population but it is encouraging.

3. Honey improves your liver functions

The simple truth is that your body cannot function properly if your liver is empty. Taking honey before going to bed raises the glucose level in your body which is paramount in the functioning of the brain and liver. Honey before bed makes your liver and brain function much better.

4. Honey reduces the risk of having diabetes

Yes, honey can help you reduce the risk of having diabetes. If you do not have diabetes just a teaspoon before going to bed would help you. Assuming that you have already developed diabetes, hope is not lost as honey can also help you manage and treat it but that’s probably for another article.

Mixing raw honey with cinnamon may help you to control your blood sugar levels and prevent diabetes.

5. Honey provides strength

It is true that you would not need the strength before going to bed, you can decide to use honey before going on a long walk or engaging in some form of exercise. Honey is known to provide strength as it contains 80 per cent carbohydrate.

Fitness companies also use honey as one of the ingredients for their pre-workout and post-workout snacks.

6. Burns and wounds can be treated with honey

Honey can help to relieve the pain on your skin after a burn or wound. Simply apply honey on to the affected area of your skin before going to bed. You will feel much better when you wake up the next morning.


Honey is great for sleep. One or two teaspoons before going to bed are all you need to give yourself the night rest that you so deserve. It is advised that honey should be taken in its raw form as against cooking it so that you can get the maximum effect.

It is also worthy of note that honey should not be taken alongside protein as this might cause you to have some complications. Also check with a Doctor before undertaking changes to your diet. Drinking a mixture of hot water and honey would go a long way in making you sleep better.

Related Questions

Is it right to consume honey before bed?

Like with anything else, when used and consumed in the right way, you can get to enjoy amazing benefits from using honey before you go to bed. Now you might be wondering whether it is advisable to consume honey before going to bed because of its sugar content.

You actually do not have to worry and that, neither do you have to worry about honey making you fat. You see, the sugar content contained in honey may actually help you to burn fat faster instead of making you fat. This is probably the first time you are hearing it, but it is true!

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