Its 2am, your eyes wide open and you hopelessly try to get back to sleep. You look desperately at the clock knowing you have to head off to work in the morning.
Don’t worry, as we’ve all had a taste of it – having to get up early in the morning and for no apparent reason, lying wide awake in the middle of the night. The National Sleep Foundation reported that 42% of Americans are in the habit of waking up in the middle of the night with 29% finding it difficult to fall back asleep. No wonder there are special prescription drugs on the market to prevent insomnia. In case you are not exactly a big supporter of pharmaceutical drugs, there are natural remedies that work better. This magic ‘sleepy dust’ consists of two ingredients you most likely keep in your home, plus a secret ingredient.
Why you’re waking up
Stress is the key factor that keeps you awake. What happens actually is a biochemical reaction to excessive amounts of stress hormones which move throughout your poor body when attempting to sleep.
Hormone levels oscillate between high and low in a healthy body over the 24-hour cycle and this is known as your circadian rhythms. In case your metabolism is stressed, natural peaks of stress hormone levels soar to abnormal highs, thus prompting a stress reaction. Sleep patterns are seriously disrupted when this happens at night, which consequently leads to insomnia, often leaving you so anxious that you’re basically unable to fall back asleep.
Where should you look for the answer? As unbelievable as it may sound, a mix of sugar and salt can appease your stress hormones, helping you to get back to sleep easily.
In his book, Eat for Heat, Matt Stone, an independent health researcher, gives an explanation of how this works:
“The salt and sugar mixture is an absolute must for nighttime stress events. For wakeups between 2-4 am, 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 wakeups.”
Although this may sound absurd as sugar and salt are quite notorious within the mainstream and alternative nutrition philosophies, both of these are actually indisputably vital. It is widely recognized that no life is possible without some amount of sodium and glucose (or sugar) in your body.
A lot of people are still suspicious of the fact that these two nutrients are crucial for proper metabolic function. What salt and sugar actually do is keep your stress hormones in level, thus allowing your cells to function properly, which is to use up the fuel and generate energy. This is what metabolism actually means – how capable your cells are of producing energy for your body to work optimally.
What sugar and salt actually do is function as ‘batteries’ for the cells—glucose providing direct fuel to the mitochondria whereas a balance of sodium in the intercellular fluids stimulates proper cellular respiration and energy production.
In addition, both of these are potent nutritional tools for stress management. Sugar alarms the body to turn off the production of the stress hormones which are seriously hampering with your metabolism and keeping you awake at night while salt is also vital for preserving a homeostatic state in which adrenaline stays within limits.
You should no longer see these two nutrients as a threat in case you opt for using both of them as natural remedies to manage your stress resulting from decreased metabolic function.
Also take notice that it’s a total myth that sugar leads to hyperactivity. You can make sure by simply googling it. Surprisingly, when used as a remedy in this way, it has quite the reverse effect.
The therapy as advised by Matt Stone in Eat for Heat, is taking a small amount of sugar and salt mixture, like medicine, under your tongue, whenever your sleep is disrupted.
Many people have tried it without experiencing any side effects. You too can have a go and discover how quickly it can take your body out of an adrenaline-packed, anxious state of mind into deep and peaceful slumber.
How to Make Sleepy Dust
Ingredients you need:
- 5 tablespoons of organic cane sugar (this one is recommended as it’s not bleached or heavily refined, and is fair-trade)
- 1 tablespoon of sucanat/rapadura (this is completely unprocessed sugar cane juice with intact mineral content)
- 2 teaspoons of real sea salt
What you need to do is put the mixture in a small container (or a baggie), and shake well. The sucanat tends to detach from the rest (which is why you can’t use only sucanat and salt), whereas the salt sinks to the bottom and doesn’t blend with the sucanat granules. On the other hand, it adds a nice flavor as well as a little boost of minerals. If you can stand it, you can use more salt. The recommended ratio of salt and sugar is 1:5 respectively.
You can use this homemade remedy before you go to bed to relieve your stress and prepare yourself for sleep or when you wake up during the night. Thus, it’s advisable to keep it easily accessible.
Also, keep a small spoon nearby and scoop some of the mixture (you actually need just a small pinch) then let it dissolve under your tongue, so that it gets straight into your bloodstream. It’s guaranteed you’ll be back to sleep in a jiffy.
Want to learn more?
Although, ‘sleepy dust’ is a great way to fight insomnia, should you really want to deal with the true reasons behind your sleeplessness, you ought to do much more than blend some sugar and salt.
What sleep health actually stands for is regulating blood sugar and balancing hormones, both of which are reliant on your metabolic health. The Sleep Solution is a book tackling insomnia and everything related to it so if you want to understand the reasons why you’re not sleeping as you should, this book is a great guide to addressing the root of your sleep problems rather than the symptoms.