Blossom honey, made by healthy bees collecting nectar from flowering plants, is one of the main ingredients within Sleep Toniq. It provides sweetness, mouthfeel, and most importantly – helps improve sleep and digestion.
When I created Sleep Toniq, I had been already been adding honey to my diet for a few months after reading about its health benefits in books such as The Honey Prescription by Nathanial Altman. I wanted to find a convenient and consistent way of incorporating it into my routine, and I found that adding it to drinks that I was already making was the best way of doing that.
Despite honey being an everyday staple in most people’s houses, there is very little public knowledge about its biology, history and uses.
Honey's story begins in ancient times, with evidence of its consumption dating back to prehistoric cave paintings. Ancient civilizations, such as the Egyptians, Greeks, and Romans, revered honey for its healing properties, culinary delight, and religious symbolism.
Honey owes its existence to the diligent work of honeybees. These remarkable insects gather nectar from flowers using their long proboscis, storing it in a special honey stomach. Enzymes in the bees' stomachs then break down complex sugars in the nectar, transforming it into honey. Once back at the hive, the bees deposit the honey into cells, and through the process of dehydration and fanning their wings, reduce its moisture content to preserve it for long periods of time.
Honey's diverse flavour profiles arise from the specific types of flowers visited by honeybees. Each floral source imbues the nectar with unique characteristics, resulting in an array of honey varieties. From the light and delicate flavour of acacia honey to the robust and aromatic notes of chestnut honey, every variety offers a distinct taste experience. The honey we use currently comes from a variety of blossoming flowers, giving it a well-rounded floral aroma.
However, honey offers more than just a sweet taste. This remarkable natural substance provides a range of health benefits, including its potential to improve sleep quality. It does this in the following ways:
- Regulation of Blood Sugar Levels: Consuming honey before bed can help regulate blood sugar levels. Stable blood sugar levels throughout the night prevent spikes or crashes that can disrupt sleep, promoting a more balanced and restful state.
- Release of Sleep-Inducing Hormones: Honey triggers a slight increase in insulin production, which promotes the release of tryptophan in the brain. Tryptophan is an amino acid that converts to serotonin and then to melatonin, the hormone responsible for regulating sleep-wake cycles.
- Calming and Relaxing Effects: The natural sugars present in honey provide a gentle and sustained source of energy during sleep. This prevents hunger pangs or discomfort that may wake you up, allowing for a more continuous and undisturbed sleep.
- Soothing Effects on the Throat: Honey's smooth and soothing texture can help alleviate coughing and irritation in the throat. By soothing the airways, honey reduces disturbances that can disrupt sleep, especially for those with nighttime coughing or respiratory issues.
- Antioxidant and Anti-Inflammatory Properties: Honey is rich in antioxidants and possesses anti-inflammatory properties. These qualities contribute to overall well-being and a healthy sleep environment by reducing oxidative stress and inflammation that may interfere with sleep quality.
This is why honey is such a vital ingredient in Sleep Toniq. Making the drink not just tasty, but effective.