Honey & Salt: A Magical Mix For Sleep & More.

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I used to often find it difficult to fall into a deep, restorative sleep, and also remain rested all through the night.

Just the thought of going to bed could bring on mild anxiety as I knew I would likely lie awake for hours drifting in and out of light sleep, but rarely reaching the highly sought after delta state. I would regularly wake up during the night alerted, often from high-stimuli dreams that just added to my anxious state.

Sleepless nights would be particularly common if I was enduring a stressful or anxious period, as even if I entered sleep, I would wake through the night and feel the adrenalin circulating through my body, without knowing why. I would then struggle to rebalance my hormone levels enough to drift back into a sleep.

I decided to research a little further and came a across a few biological and physiological reasons that explained why this was happening.

Disturbances in sleep are most often linked to biochemical reactions due to a high level of stress hormones that flush through our system between approximately 2 a.m. to 4 a.m. The spike in our hormones dramatically affects our ability to remain calm, which is why it interrupts our sleep.

I also found that I was lacking in sodium. I had believed that I should be consuming a low sodium diet, so I had reduced my salt intake at every opportunity. I didn’t realise that I was actually ingesting the wrong salts. I rectified this by reducing my intake of processed food which contain high table salt levels, and instead switched to natural unrefined salts, which I add to fresh-food meals during preparation.

Dr. Vitiello, director of the University of Washington in Seattle, carried out research that found low levels of sodium cause blood volume to decrease and the sympathetic nervous system responds by activating to compensate. The sympathetic nervous system activates adrenalin and triggers the fight or flight response that then makes it difficult to get to sleep, and also remain asleep.

Sleep had long been a nemesis of mine, that was until I started to make up a magical therapeutic little potion which consisted simply of honey and salt.

I now mix together one teaspoon of pink Himalayan rock salt, which contains around 80 minerals and elements that aide our bodies with recovery, added with five teaspoons of organic raw honey that supplies the cells in our bodies with energy. I keep the mixture in a small glass jar by the side of my bed.

Approximately 20 minutes before I want to enter sleep I put a small amount of the mixture underneath my tongue and allow it dissolve naturally.

The mixture of honey and salt allows the body and mind to de-stress naturally by regulating our hormones, so that by the time we are ready to sleep we are already in a peaceful, harmonious and restful state. They also both work to sustain the body so that we do not wake up hungry during the night.

Honey provides a stable amount of liver glycogen to the brain, which aids healthy sleeping. If we do not have enough liver glycogen stored, our adrenal glands are triggered to respond by pumping out adrenalin and cortisol, which are both stress hormones.

Honey is believed to be a remedy that has been used to promote sleep for thousands of years. The reason honey is so beneficial is that it contains tryptophan which produces serotonin, which promotes relaxation. When we are in the dark serotonin converts to melatonin, which promotes restorative sleep.

Melatonin assists with our sleep/wake cycle as it works in schedule with darkness and light. When our melatonin levels are balanced we will fall into sleep easily and stay asleep naturally during the dark and wake when light gradually enters the room.

There is also no known proof that eating late at night causes weight gain, which is one reason many of us are deterred from consuming a bedtime snack.

Although many of us believe that salt isn’t good for us, the right salt and a healthy balance of it provides us with a vital nutrient that stabilizes our metabolism. Our metabolism needs to be healthy to ensure that it is able to absorb fuel and transform it to energy. Salt has anti-stress and anti-excitatory qualities, therefore a healthy supply of salt helps us to remain calm and balanced as it reduces our stress levels.

We often crave salt without realising that it eases anxiety and promotes our overall well-being, though unfortunately we reach out for processed quick fix products that contain table salts which offer little or adverse health benefits. When we replace refined salts with unrefined salts such as Himalayan, Celtic or Real salt, we will immediately notice an increase in energy levels, a reduction in stress levels and a clearer emotional and mental state.

Evidence also shows that a late night snack helps us to remain asleep as when we are hungry our brain activates the adrenal stress hormones, which can then put us on a high state of alert, known as fight or flight.

Matt Stone explains in his book Eat For Heat:

“The salt and sugar mixture is an absolute must for nighttime stress events. For wakeups between 2-4 a.m., accompanied by a feeling of excess adrenaline circulating through your system (adrenaline peaks at this time), salt and sugar under the tongue is the only way to go. You don’t want to be chewing anything, wandering around the house looking for food, opening the fridge and looking at bright lights when hoping to fall back asleep, and so forth. You want to remain as unstimulated as possible. Keep the sugar/salt mixture by the bedside for easy and thoughtless access until you stop having middle-of-the-night wake-ups.”

Since I have been consuming honey and salt at bedtime, sleep deprivation has become a thing of the past. I now sleep straight through the night, waking up refreshed and energized and I am less likely to have a dip in energy throughout the day. Most of all, though, I look forward to bedtime knowing that within moments I will very quickly drift and remain in a smooth, sound sleep. Now, not only do I sleep longer, but the quality of the sleep I am getting has dramatically improved.

As an added precaution I also have a Himalayan salt bedside table lamp which removes the negative ions from the environment and replaces them with positive ones. This removes the electric smog that is caused by electronic devices such as laptops and mobile phones, so the air is clear and therefore, improves air circulation and promotes healthier, fuller breathing.

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Author: Alex Myles

Editor: Travis May

Photo: Flickr/juanedc.com

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annavowler36 Dec 10, 2018 5:49pm

I’m trying this as I write. I’m hopeful it might help.

anonymous Apr 9, 2016 10:08pm

Thanks for the tip but we all would like to know HOW MUCH do you put under your tongue?
A drop? 1/2 teaspoon? 1 teaspoon?
1 tablespoon?

anonymous Feb 15, 2016 10:41am

I have tried this and it's 1.40am in the morning as well. I took a bit before I fell asleep earlier.

how much do i have to take and for how long before it works?

anonymous Feb 10, 2016 6:20am

Thank you for this valuable info….but please check your statement about positive and negative ions…..I believe it is negative ions that are good for us….

anonymous Feb 9, 2016 7:26pm

It would be very interesting to see some scientific references to support these statements. I know there are links to other pages within the article, but these do not have references either. Is this only anecdotal or have there been studies done on the effectiveness of this treatment?

anonymous Jan 22, 2016 1:02pm

I'm also wondering how much to put under the tongue. I've tried this now for three nights but it hasn't helped so far. Perhaps I'm using too little?

anonymous Jan 11, 2016 1:12pm

Interesting article. I, too, suffer the 2-4am wake ups and adrenaline rushes. You don’t mention HOW much to put under your tongue. Do you keep a little scoop in there or should there not be anything reusable in the container? I know, random questions, but ones that crop up when reading something new. I’m also curious, though, wouldn’t taking honey (aka nature’s sugar) in your mouth during the night just set one up for possible tooth decay?

Anything you can offer to shed some light?

anonymous Jan 7, 2016 4:28pm

I think your paper that you wrote for us was very interesting. I’m also going to try it. Honey and Salt. I’ll get the incredients an will see if it works. It’ll probably take time. Thanks for writing!

anonymous Dec 26, 2015 2:24am

Hi I’m really not over keen on honey could I desovle this mixture in warm water and drink it quickly?

anonymous Dec 20, 2015 10:20am

Salt lamps release negative ions, which bond with positive ions to neutralize them. They aren't replacing anything.

anonymous Dec 18, 2015 6:18am

How much do you put under your tongue? A drop? Half a teaspoon? Can you overdo it? Would live to get over the 2am wake up!

anonymous Dec 16, 2015 11:43am

Hi Alex, interesting article and I enjoyed it and have read elsewhere (fitness people) about the benefits of late-night carbohydrate and protein intake for restfulness and keeping the body healthy. I'm a big fan of salt and I think it gets a bad rap, but it is essential for a lot of life's functions. Yes, there are people who are sensitive to it, but not as many as you might think. One last comment on your final paragraph. (Warning: I'm a chemist) Negative and positive ions are like yin and yang, they must be in balance in nature. The physics of the universe seeks to balance things, sometimes dramatically, but it always will. Negative ions are not an emotional description but an electrical one, and in that sense kind of arbitrary. Remember the salt you are taking is an ionic compound. One negative (chloride) and one positive (sodium). They cannot exist without one another, and cannot function without one another. What you wrote (replacing negative ions with positive ones) is not only physically impossible, it is undesirable. Balance, always. Best wishes, John

anonymous Dec 16, 2015 9:37am

Interesting topic. Please fact check the following against the research: low levels of sodium cause blood volume to increase

    anonymous Dec 16, 2015 2:21pm

    Hi Joanne,

    Thanks for pointing this out. This was an oversight and the appropriate correction has been made.

    ~ Caitlin

anonymous Dec 15, 2015 1:23pm

Thanks Erica, really appreciate you letting me know this. I had no idea either and yes, when we nourish the adrenal glands and take good care of them, every other aspect of our emotional, mental and physical health seems to fall into line too. The adrenals are responsible for far more to do with our moods, mindsets and physical feelings than we give them credit for. Thank you again for your comment, lovely to hear you enjoy my writing! Alex

anonymous Dec 15, 2015 8:31am

First of all Alex, I enjoy your writing so much. It’s funny, I will click on something I want to read and there you are. Definitely one of my favs. Thank you! This is a great informative read. I do have the waking after 2 a.m. issue and I never considered the adrenal release at that time of night or what my body is processing while I give rest my best shot. I look forward to trying this method.

With gratitude,


anonymous Dec 14, 2015 5:56pm

I to have trouble sleeping,wake up w,3 times a night hungry alzo,,,I have hypertension should I take salt and honey

    anonymous Dec 15, 2015 2:22pm

    Hi, Honey does help to lower blood pressure, however, I would check with your doctor just to be on the safe side.

John Joannou Feb 12, 2018 6:28pm

Borderline Occultism. Crystals, messing with electricity and magnetic fields of the body. Very Magickal indeed.

Annette Bagsby Nov 16, 2017 12:19pm

I've tried the mixture of salt and honey and find it so repulsive it makes me feel sick. So can't use it to help me sleep better

Dawn Warburton Aug 1, 2017 12:14pm

When you say you, "put a small amount under your tongue". What is a small amount?

Claire Brummell May 10, 2017 11:47am

As a vegan, honey is not a part of my diet. Could you use maple syrup as a subtitute?

Vickers Vermeulen Apr 17, 2017 5:25pm

Himalayan sea salt? Really? I thought Himalayan salt is a rock salt and not from the sea. Isn't it either the one or the other?

Sue Hinkson Mar 28, 2017 1:47pm

She clearly gives you the answer above, "I now mix together one teaspoon of pink Himalayan sea salt, which contains around 80 minerals and elements that aide our bodies with recovery, added with five teaspoons of organic raw honey that supplies the cells in our bodies with energy. I keep the mixture in a small glass jar by the side of my bed."

Roseann Fiore Sep 19, 2016 4:46am

Right . . . and the negative ions are what is good for us.

Audra Storm May 2, 2016 2:16pm

Himalayan salt lamps emit negative ions, not positive ones!

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Alex Myles

Alex Myles is a qualified yoga and Tibetan meditation teacher, Reiki Master, spiritual coach and also the author of An Empath, a newly published book that explains various aspects of existing as a highly sensitive person. The book focuses on managing emotions, energy and relationships, particularly the toxic ones that many empaths are drawn into. Her greatest loves are books, poetry, writing and philosophy. She is a curious, inquisitive, deep thinking, intensely feeling, otherworldly intuitive being who lives for signs, synchronicities and serendipities. Inspired and influenced by Carl Jung, Nikola Tesla, Anaïs Nin and Paulo Coelho, she has a deep yearning to discover many of the answers that seem to have been hidden or forgotten in today’s world. Alex’s bestselling book, An Empath, is on sale now for only $1.99! Connect with her on Facebook and join Alex’s Facebook group for empaths and highly sensitive people.