Do you have difficulty sleeping at night? Do you wake up in the morning feeling like you never even slept? Do you have racing thoughts, difficulty focusing and sometimes find yourself clenching your jaw? These are signs and symptoms of stress and it’s common for people who lead busy lives or are constantly anxious.
There are many ways to deal with stress. One is by taking a break. You can go on a short vacation so you can relax and unwind. Taking time away from work or from anything that’s causing you to lose sleep will enable your mind to become refreshed and rejuvenated. Eating a well balanced meal also keeps you from being anxious or stressed because they provide an array of vitamins and minerals that reduce stress levels and even eliminate the long-term effects of stress. Other strategies include exercising regularly, limiting alcohol and caffeine intake, and meditating.
Most of us are already aware of these methods. But there’s one way to beat stress that you probably don’t know about – consuming honey.
How Honey Helps Fight Stress
Scientists have long been studying the wonderful benefits of honey. It is, after all, something that’s been used by man for thousands of years. Some ancient Egyptian tombs that were unearthed by modern archeologists even contained pots of honey that were thousands of years old.
In one particular study, the researchers tested the effects of honey on rats. They were administered different amounts of honey and they underwent testing to determine how it affected their anxiety levels and locomotion. The test subjects consumed 0.5, 1.0 and 2.0g of honey per 1 kg of body mass. The highest dose (2.0g/kg) showed a 2-fold change in the behavioral indices of the test subjects.
The researchers tested the rats on the Hole Board Test and they concluded that the ones given the highest dose were more relaxed. Their experiments showed that honey has a marked ability to relieve anxiety and increase the research, motor and grooming aspects of behavior even with just a single dose.
The study didn’t exactly explain how honey combats stress so let’s go ahead and try to understand this phenomenon.
Honey Equals Better Sleep
To begin with, honey aids in sleep. Remember that when you’re under a lot of stress, you will have difficulty sleeping. As a result, you’ll feel even more stressed the next day and worse, your immune system will be affected as well.
So how is honey able to promote sleep? The first thing it does is provide enough supply of glycogen to the liver. Most people will have 50% less glycogen in the liver by 11PM which causes them to sleep fewer hours because the brain will start looking for fuel. But honey re-stocks the liver with this energy source to ensure you sleep through the night.
Another way honey improves sleep is by triggering the release of the sleep hormone melatonin. Because honey can cause a little spike in your insulin levels, this stimulates the release of the hormone tryptophan which is then converted to serotonin and in turn, becomes melatonin.
By taking a teaspoon of honey before bedtime, you’ll be able to sleep well and wake up feeling refreshed, and ready to face the day.
But that’s not the only way honey helps fight stress.
A Natural Medicine for Anxiety
Honey is a great remedy for anxiety. If you’re one of the 40 million Americans who have anxiety disorders (which may or may not be triggered by stress), consider incorporating honey into your diet. According to a review published in the Journal of Wound, Ostomy and Continence Nursing in its November 2002 issue, honey contains anti-inflammatory, antibacterial and immune response-boosting properties. Ayurvedic medicine also believes it can improve feelings of mental balance. In addition, it may contain antioxidant properties that can reduce a person’s anxiety.
Choose Raw Honey for Stress
Honey offers numerous benefits. It helps make your immune system stronger, aids in sleep, fights obesity, keep you fit, and enable you to lead a healthy lifestyle. I have found that by including honey in your diet, it can work wonders for your health and help you fight stress in many ways.
You can put a teaspoon of raw honey in a cup of tea and drink it before you sleep, or you can also pour it to a glass of milk. For snacks, pour a bit of honey on banana or even fresh berries and add some yoghurt.
These simple changes can have a significant impact in your life and you’ll certainly notice that you’ll be better able to manage stress.