Do you struggle with getting a good night’s rest? Are you never really fully replenished, even if you sleep for 8 hours or more? Do you often wake up feeling groggy, faint or fatigued? You might be surprised to find out that getting up to 9 hours of shut-eye every night doesn’t necessarily mean you’ll wake up refreshed and ready to tackle the day. This is because sleep quality is equally as important as the time you spend resting. While there are certain lifestyle changes that you can make to help you with this issue, here’s a quick natural remedy (follow the recipe below) that has proven to be very effective in improving deep sleep quality.
The link between salt and sleepless nights
Disturbances in sleep are generally caused by certain biochemical reactions that occur at night time. Towards the mid-period of our sleep, high levels of cortisol (the stress hormone) overflow your system, causing you to wake up and disrupting your sleep patterns. The association between this response and salt is that low sodium levels reduces the blood volume in your body and prompts the sympathetic nervous system to react in order to compensate for the loss. This, in turn, causes a fight-or-flight response which makes it very difficult for you to stay asleep. Healthy, unrefined salt like Himalayan salt can help by restoring blood volume and raising oxytocin levels (the “feel good” hormone that keeps you calm and relaxed). In addition, Himalayan salt contains over 80 minerals and trace minerals that lower cortisol levels and promote high-quality deep sleep.
The wonders of Manuka honey
The many health benefits of medicinal honey have been extensively examined and documented over the past few years and Manuka honey, in particular, has been shown to fight off infection, prevent antibiotic resistance and improve sleep patterns. Although the ways in which honey works have not yet been fully elucidated, more and more information is gathered on its chemical structure and compelling health benefits.
A recent study conducted at the University of Sydney analyzed the concentration of Manuka honey and how certain substances in its composition can inhibit problematic bacteria, boost immunity and improve blood circulation. In 2008, two independent laboratories finally identified the substance that stunts pathogen growth – methyl glyoxal. In addition, the phenolics in Manuka honey have been proved to function as antioxidants and diminish restlessness during sleep, as well as lower stress levels. Moreover, these phenolics also enhance cellular function, balance out hormones and help detoxify the liver. Raw honey consumption has been linked to increased melatonin production which promotes restful sleep. It also provides glycogen for the liver, which prevents the adrenal glands from pumping out adrenaline and waking you up during the night.
Do this if you struggle with sleep disturbances
If you wake up feeling exhausted or dizzy, you can’t fall asleep or you don’t feel replenished after resting for over 8 hours, try this simple trick to help you get a good night’s sleep.
INGREDIENTS : You only need a jar of Manuka honey and a bowl of Himalayan salt.
METHOD: Take a teaspoon of the salt and 5 teaspoons of honey and mix them together. Right before bedtime, take a spoonful of the blend and let it dissolve under your tongue.
Combining this easy step with healthy lifestyle changes will ensure that you’re not bothered by sleep disturbances during the night and will allow you to wake up feeling refreshed and fully rested.
Pay attention to unhealthy habits
Remember to allow your body and mind a few minutes to unwind right before you go to sleep, in order to lower stress levels. Pick a relaxing activity you enjoy and make it part of your bedtime ritual.
Also, shut off any electronics half an hour to one hour before rest, as the screen light can disturb your serotonin and melatonin levels.
Lastly, don’t drain your body with digestion before sleep – make sure you’ve had your last meal of the day at least 3 hours before hitting the sack.