Monday, September 14, 2015

Having Trouble Sleeping? Try Sleepy Dust

When one of my patients asked me if a mixture of sugar and salt would help her fall asleep I instantly wanted to say, 'Of course not!'. Such a thing is something she read online and even when asking me my professional opinion she said that maybe she was asking as an excuse to feed her sweet tooth. But instead of saying no, curiosity got the best of me and when she sent me the link and I did my research I was surprised at how the data did add up. I was aware of how many good minerals was in sea salt but not necessarily aware of the mineral content of unrefined sugar. In this medicinal mixture we are not using regular table salt or your basic sugar but unrefined sugar and salt that still have all their natural minerals intact.

I love to test new things on myself first before recommending it to patients but this natural remedy is hard to test unless you have trouble sleeping. So for those of you who try it I would love the feedback!

How to Make Sleepy Dust:

5 Tablespoons organic cane sugar
1 Tablespoon sucanat/rapadura (this is completely unrefined sugar cane juice, with all minerals intact)
2 teaspoons sea salt or Himalayan salt

Put the mixture in a small glass container, and shake well. The sucanat (you can find at Whole Foods or any other health food store) has a tendency to separate from the rest so always shake before using. Keep it next to your bed where you can easily reach it in the middle of the night with a glass of 8 ounces of water. You can use it before you go to bed to de-stress and get ready for sleep, and when you wake up in the night.

To use it, just keep a small spoon nearby and scoop a tiny bit out and stir it into the water. You really only need a small pinch. If you are afraid the water will wake you up
later in the night then do less water.

The recipe comes from Matt Stone in his book, Eat for Heat:
“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.”

There’s a reason why your eyes snap open at 3 am. You’re having a biochemical reaction to excessive amounts of stress hormones floating throughout your body that’s trying to sleep. In a healthy body with a healthy metabolism, hormone levels cycle moderately through highs and lows throughout the day. When you have a stressed metabolism, natural peaks of stress hormone levels spike to abnormal highs, initiating a stress response. When this happens at night, it seriously disrupts sleep patterns, and often causes you to wake up—often leaving you so wired up that you’re unable to fall back asleep.

Sugar and salt are known to be detrimental to the body because we over eat them and we don't eat them in their natural form. But in their natural form they are loaded with minerals that help the body balance out the stress response. To see more on the mineral content of salt, click here. Sugar and salt in their natural form act as “batteries” for the cells—glucose provides direct fuel to the mitochondria while a balance of sodium in the intercellular fluids allows for proper cellular respiration and energy production.

Once the body has the right balance of minerals and especially if you are not as stressed you won't necessarily need the sleep dust but if you take it when it's not needed it definitely won't do any harm. Either way have, 'sweet dreams'!

For other tips on sleeping well, read my other blog on sleeping tips.