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Sweet Size-Building Slumber

You’ve read it over and over: Getting enough restful sleep is imperative to gaining muscle. Your body regenerates when you sleep, and rapid-eye-movement phases are especially important for surges in growth hormone.

Unfortunately, lots of people have sleep problems. In fact, in the U.S. more than 40 million people are diagnosed as “ill” with sleep disorders, while another 20 to 30 million experience intermittent sleep problems. According to the July/August ’10 Well Being Journal, honey can help.

Author Nathaniel Altman cites Mike McInnis, a Scottish pharmacist and researcher, who claimed that honey had three sleep mechanisms when taken before bed: 1) It ensures adequate liver glycogen stores for eight hours—reducing early-morning release of cortisol and adrenaline; two stress hormones, 2) it coaxes the release of melatonin, the hormone “required for both recovery and rebuilding of body tissues during rest; and 3) it stabilizes blood sugar levels.

An ancient Chinese saying suggests “eating honey every night,” and Mexican and European healers have prescribed honey before bed for ages. If you’re having sleep difficulties or maybe you just want a deeper, more restorative sleep, try putting one to two teaspoons of honey in a cup of warm chamomile tea about an hour before bedtime. You may get some new muscle growth once your shut-eye is optimal.


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