When we have in mind of what are the best foods to eat at night, raw honey is for sure not in your heads list because of how sweet it is, and if you eat anything sweet before bed you might know that doesn’t end well.
But raw honey has a different story because of the natural composition it has, to the point where some doctors are even recommending it be taken before bedtime.
Among them is Dr. Ron Fessenden, MD, who authored the book ‘The Honey Revolution: Restoring the Health of Future Generations.’
Fessenden is one of those that think recommending honey as a perfect food for a lot of great reasons and to be taken at many different times of day, but perhaps most interestingly before bed in order to support a healthy night’s sleep.
Honey could be one of the sweetest foods that are known to people, but that does not mean it can’t be helpful for your body as it undergoes the repairing process overnight.
As always make sure your honey is raw and organic, since most grocery store brands are imported, contain GMOs, and are oftentimes heated so that many of the beneficial compounds are destroyed in the name of “safety.” In this case it’s best to buy it directly from the farmer.
How raw honey aids in sleep quality (and quantity)
As noted by Fessenden, raw honey has “an ideal ratio of fructose to glucose,’ that will help to support the liver, an organ that is working overtime literally and figuratively, during the body’s sleeping process.
Eating honey makes sure that the liver is going to have the right supply of liver glycogen thru the whole day, and if you take it before you sleep it can serve as the perfect liver fuel at night. Combined with adequate, pure water, your body should have most of what it needs to perform its restorative and detoxing functions.
First, it gives us the right amount of supply of liver glycogen overnight when your body is fasting and stores are low. He notes that the average adult liver only has about 75 to 100 grams worth of storage space for glycogen, which varies between men and women of different body sizes.
Per hour the body consumes about 10 grams of glycogen during the day, leaving our stores quite low by the time our heads hit the pillow at 11 p.m.
That leaves less liver glycogen than is needed for eight hours of sleep if you ate dinner at 6 p.m., Fessenden says.
However, if you take a teaspoon or two of honey before bed, you’ll be re-stocking your liver with glycogen so that your brain doesn’t activate a stress response, which often occurs when glycogen is low. Honey also contributes to the release of melatonin in the brain, as it leads to a slight spike in insulin levels and the release of tryptophan in the brain. Tryptophan leads to serontonin which is made into melatonin in the dark.
Finally, when adding honey to your diet at night, you’ll be supporting a healthy metabolism as your liver goes to work breaking down the toxins that are ultimately stored in fat cells.