I’m sure you have all experienced the sleepless nights of having a child. Heck, those interrupted nights start before they even make their appearance with aches, kicks, and late night potty breaks. I was a member of several online mommy groups and I had a couple friends with kids around Xander’s age, so I had a pretty decent circle of experiences surrounding me… so it got a bit flabbergasting as they all began to talk of their babies sleeping through the night. Xander still wasn’t.
After nearly four years, we could still count on one hand the number of times we had been blessed with more than three hours of sleep in a row. Xander was waking constantly. The reasons ran from the itchy skin of his eczema to random bad dreams. I probably don’t need to tell you that we’ve been living in a cranky, zombie-like mode for quite some time. We had tried everything that we could do for a toddler… warm baths, lavender in his bedroom, a multitude of lighting options, moving his bed, and much more. Nothing worked.
And then my mom began doing some research after coming across an image circulating around Facebook. The image was touting all the amazing benefits of honey and cinnamon. One thing she came across was that honey before bed can lull you to sleep.
The Honey Prescription gives a brief explanation of why it is believed that honey helps in relaxation:
The glucose portion of honey is digested and passes into the general blood circulation, producing a mild glucose spike. This mild elevation in blood sugar causes the pancreas to release a small amount of insulin into the bloodstream. This in turn drives tryptophan into the brain, where it is converted to serotonin, a key hormone that promotes relaxation.
There were varying opinions on how best to deliver the honey. The general consensus was that straight up as a spoonful was ideal. Ah, but I mentioned milk up in that title. ↑ What’s up with that?
See, in Mom’s studies she found that the most recommended, most versatile, and most effective honey is raw, local, buckwheat honey. You’re probably not going to find that at the grocery store unless your local shop has an awesome natural foods section. Buckwheat honey takes some getting used to. The smell is akin to a dirty dog. The taste is much richer and stronger than common “pure” honey from the grocery store.
Xander wouldn’t eat it as is, because the flavor was just too strong for him. So I combined ½ tablespoon of honey with 1 cup warm milk. If the honey gets too warm it can ruin the effectiveness, so I keep the milk under 120ºF. I give this to him half an hour before he goes to bed.
Folks, we have had real, actual sleep! Five nights in a row we have given him this milk and honey mixture… and five nights in a row, he has gone to bed at 8pm and slept straight through until 7 to 8am. He’s sleeping so soundly that I have done the ol’ mirror under the nose trick to check for air. It may not sound like a huge sign of success to everyone else, but we just more than doubled the full nights of sleep we’ve had in the last four years total. I am amazed! And rested!
As an extra I need to note that his eczema is improving. I can’t say if it is the honey at fault or if it is because he is sleeping instead of itching his night away. Whatever the reason, milk and honey is saving our sanity around here.
Come back soon. I’m also using honey and cinnamon as a weight loss aid and I’m looking forward to sharing my results with you!