Why Experts Say You Should Eat A Spoonful Of Honey At Night

There’s a laundry list of expert-approved bedtime noshes (find ‘em all here). But a mere spoonful of honey? Surely it’s too good to be true. Not so: According to clinical psychologist and board-certified sleep specialist Michael J. Breus, Ph.D., also known as “The Sleep Doctor,” a teaspoon of raw honey about 30 minutes before bed can keep you full, thereby enhancing your snooze. “It can actually keep blood sugar somewhat stable,” he notes on the mindbodygreen podcast.

In case you need a refresher: When people wake up to stomach pangs in the middle of the night, it’s usually because their blood sugar has spiked, sending messages to the brain that it’s time to release cortisol and get some food in your system, like, right now. Perhaps that’s why professional biohacker Dave Asprey, founder of Bulletproof and author of Fast This Way, says in his mbg podcast interview that “Even if I’m fasting, a teaspoon or two of raw honey before bed can make me sleep all night long.” 

Here’s the science: Your brain turns to the liver glycogen (aka, your glucose storage tank) to power itself during times where glucose is limited—like, say, when you’re fasting, exercising, or clocking hours of beauty sleep. Honey—with its equal amounts of fructose and glucose—can help restore your liver glycogen so your brain doesn’t use up all that storage. And, thus, no hunger pangs waking you up at odd hours. Not to mention, another study even found that honey activates hormones that suppress appetite and delays the body’s ghrelin response (that’s your hunger hormone).  

Aside from keeping you satisfied and snoozing, some studies have shown honey can even enhance the quality of your sleep. Take this randomized controlled trial, for instance, which found that drinking a milk-honey mixture before bed improved participants’ sleep quality. Another study found that children with upper respiratory tract infections who supplemented with honey 30 minutes before bed were able to sleep through the night easier

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