Have you ever woken up suddenly—only to see a glowing alarm clock reading 3:00 in the morning—and couldn’t fall back to sleep?
(And then that that annoying Matchbox 20 song pops into your head, too? Ugh.)
If so, you’re not alone. 42% of Americans reported waking up in the middle of the night, with 29% finding it difficult to fall back asleep, according to a research study done by the National Sleep Foundation. That’s the reason why there’s even special prescription drugs out there now that aren’t just sleep aids, but getting-back-to-sleep-aids. So many people struggle with this and don’t know how to fall back asleep.
Of course, I’m not exactly a big advocate for pharmaceutical drugs. Especially when there are natural remedies that work better, and without a paragraph of scary side effects attached to the label. This remedy is a lifesaver for those suffering from insomnia—which is not just the inability to fall asleep, but the inability to stay asleep, too.
Why you’re waking up
There’s a reason why your eyes snap open at 3 am—you’re stressed! I mean literally, you’re having a biochemical reaction to excessive amounts of stress hormones floating throughout your poor body that’s trying to sleep.
In a healthy body with a healthy metabolism, hormone levels cycle moderately through highs and lows throughout the 24 hour cycle—what’s known as your circadian rhythms. 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.
What’s the solution? Believe it or not, something as simple as a hit of sugar and salt can send those stress hormones packing, and get you back on track to a better night’s sleep.
Independent health researcher, Matt Stone, explains how this works 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.”
Sugar and Salt? Are you nuts?!
No, I’m not. And neither is Matt.
Despite all the vilifying of both these substances within the mainstream and alternative nutrition establishments, sugar and salt are undeniably critical nutrients. Everyone knows you can’t live without some amount of sodium and glucose (that would be sugar) in your body.
But what many people are still in the dark about is the fact that both of these nutrients are critical in managing a healthy metabolism. These are nutrients which keep your stress hormones in check, and allow your cells to do their job, which is to take in fuel and produce energy. That’s what metabolism actually is—how well your cells are able to generate energy for your body to function optimally.
Sugar and salt 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.
But both nutrients are also powerful nutritional tools in managing stress—sugar signals the body to shut down the production of the stress hormones which are putting a serious damper on your metabolism, and keeping you awake at night. Salt also is critical in maintaining a homeostatic state in which adrenaline does not spike out of control.
So, if you can think of using both of these nutrients as therapeutic tools to manage stress events due to a lowered metabolic state, they really shouldn’t seem all that scary anymore.
And no, sugar does not cause hyperactivity. That’s a complete myth. (Google it.) When used as a therapeutic nutritional tool in this way, it has precisely the opposite effect.
The therapy as I use it, inspired by Matt’s advice in Eat for Heat, is taking a small amount of a sugar and salt mixture straight up—like medicine—under the tongue, whenever my sleep is compromised. It’s my special “sleepy dust!”
Both my husband and I have tried this, and did it regularly for a while, and it worked like an absolute charm. But, we no longer have much of a need for it now. We’re both sleeping through the night without issues. Try it out and you’ll see just how quickly it can snap your body out of a hyped-up, adrenaline-filled wired state of mind, into sweet, dreamy sleep!
How to Make Sleepy Dust
Here’s what you need:
- 5 Tablespoons organic cane sugar (I like this kind as it’s not bleached or heavily refined, and is fair-trade)
- 1 Tablespoon sucanat/rapadura (this is completely unrefined sugar cane juice, with all minerals intact)
- 2 teaspoons real sea salt
Put the mixture in a baggie or a small container, and shake well. The sucanat has a tendency to separate from the rest, which is why you can’t use only sucanat and salt—the salt sinks to the bottom and doesn’t “stick” with the sucanat granules. But it does add a nice flavor, and a little boost of minerals, too! You can add more salt, if you can handle it. Matt recommends a 1:5 salt-to-sugar ratio, but I find that that’s too much salt for me. Experiment to see what works best for you.
Now, keep this handy by your bed where you can easily reach it in the middle of the night. 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, then let it dissolve under your tongue, to get it straight into your bloodstream. You really only need a small pinch. I’ve even skipped the spoon and just stuck a wet finger into my little sleepy dust container and licked it off, and that works, too. Puts you back to sleep in no time!
Want to learn more?
Big news! I wrote a whole book about sleep.
Sleepy Dust is an excellent remedy for getting back to sleep, but if you really want to address the true causes of your insomnia, you need to do more than mix up a little batch of sugar and salt.
Sleep health is all about regulating blood sugar and balancing hormones—both dependent on metabolic health. That’s where The Sleep Solution comes in. Once you understand why you’re not sleeping as you should, you can take simple steps to change that and reset your body’s biological clock back to a healthy sleep-wake cycle.
If you want to end the midnight wake-ups and sleepless nights for good, and address the root of your sleep problems rather than the symptoms, this book is for you.
Click here to get The Sleep Solution
The Sleep Solution is now on sale for 50% off! Click here to check it out. Sweet dreams! 🙂
I am making this today. My husband has to get up at 3:30 am to get ready for work and he starts waking every half hour or so beginning around 1 am. Plus, when he comes in to say good bye to me, I get an adrenaline surge and struggle to get back to sleep. Thanks for sharing the formula, hopefully it will help with more consistent sleep. 🙂
So, this is intriguing because this describes me so well… via the saliva cortisol test my cortisol levels spike during the night, and that 2-4am window is when my adrenals are working overtime when they aren’t supposed to be.
I don’t eat sugar though. Can I substitute something else for glucose? Do you have any recommendations? The only sugar I get sometimes is in BBQ sauce or ketchup, etc. Could I use honey and salt?
Perhaps the fact that you don’t eat sugar is contributing to your problem. Sugar isn’t as bad for you as you think. Maybe look around Matt’s website or read Eat for Heat.
Good advice, Rachel. 🙂
I’m making the recipe as is but just curious what you think about maple sugar or date sugar? scientifically would they work as well as the sucanat and cane sugar?
As long as it’s a source of real sugars (not stevia, xylitol, etc.), you’re pretty much good. Most alternative sweeteners are primarily sucrose, which is what that “evil” white sugar is composed of. 😉
Just to be clear, the sugar found in sugar cane and sucanat IS sucrose, a disaccharide made up of glucose and fructose. White sugar is also sucrose. As for alternative artificial sweeteners, most are not, in fact, composed of sucrose. Many are comprised of sugar alcohols.
My guess is that the glucose in this “sleeping dust” is what is helping people because you’re topping off the liver’s glycogen stores.
More “natural” alternative sweeteners have various disaccharide profiles, but they are all roughly a 1:1 ratio of glucose to fructose, except agave nectar, which has significantly more fructose than glucose. Our bodies need glucose for energy at the cellular level. Using pure powdered glucose is one option for an easily-metabolized, moderately sweet sweetener that our bodies can quickly use for fuel. In fact, corn syrup (the non-high-fructose variety) is just glucose, and it’s a very good option for people looking to reduce fructose consumption.
Fructose causes a variety of health problems when used as a sweetener, and it’s probably why sugar in general causes us so many issues. It’s not the sucrose, in other words, it’s the 50% of the sucrose that is fructose. Naturally-occurring fructose in fruits and vegetables doesn’t cause these problems because it’s combined with fiber and other nutrients present in whole foods, but for people who are insulin-resistant, a low-carb diet and moderate consumption of lower-sugar fruits is probably a good idea.
The tl;dr here is that one might consider using glucose and salt at bedtime, too.
I think you might have misunderstood my comment, here. We’re in agreement. I’m saying the only types of sweeteners that wouldn’t work are artificial ones, devoid of actual glucose. Just as you said, the replenishment of glycogen stores is exactly the mechanism we’re after. I’m saying that any of those “natural” alternatives to plain old white sugar, are primarily made up of the same thing white sugar is. Like with sucanat, it’s sucrose, just as with refined sugar. My point is that to go out of your way to use an “alternative” (not artificial) source of sugar that is supposedly healthier than plain sugar, is fine, but you’ll be consuming basically the same thing once it’s digested. What you need is glucose, and any source will do. Although, yes, the more easily/quickly digestible the source, the more effective it would be. Straight powdered glucose would likely be the most effective–I agree.
Insightful comment though, thank you!
I wouldn’t use honey; it doesn’t have the same mineral profile. (Keep in mind here, even though we’re talking sugarcane, we’re *not* talking white sugar. It’s closer to molasses. You’re sensible to not be eating white sugar, just like you wouldn’t eat white rock salt.) If you’re really that against it, you could try maple syrup.
Katherine Arehart says
You can use Xylitol in place of sugar but I agree with this site. Organic, sugar isn’t bad for you. It is the bleached refined sugar that is the problem.
No, you actually can’t. Xylitol does not provide glucose, and therefore doesn’t support glycogen synthesis, which is the purpose of the sugar. But, yes, there’s nothing wrong with consuming moderate amounts of minimally-processed sugar.
Another blog I just read stated that Xylitol DOES provide glucose because the sweet taste tricks your body into thinking you have consumed sugar and begins the glycogen synthesis. This is the problem with blogs, everyone is expert and they all conflict. I love blogs and the vast amount of things I can learn, but lately all the back and forth (almond flour is good, no- its bad! Xylitol is the way to go, no, wait, its not!) is making my head spin :/
Consuming a source of glycose, and causing your body to synthesize it are two different things.
Totally understand the frustrating confusion from all the conflicting info out there. My advice is generally to do your own research and read things from multiple points of view to see what makes the most sense to you. And also to understand that the field of nutritional science is in its infancy–what you read about it at one time can’t always be trusted to hold true 5-10 years later. That’s why I try to base my nutrition choices off of what was working for people before nutritional science was even a thing—real, balanced food.
The problem isn’t with blogs. It’s with people relying on bloggers to explain biology. The experts can’t figure out biology there sure isn’t a blogger who will 🙂 Xylitol does not provide glucose.
Cane sugar is made of sucrose, which is part glucose, part fructose. Honey is also glucose and fructose. But sure, you can certainly take a bit of honey with some salt and it would provide the same benefit, just not as conveniently.
I second Rachel’s suggestion that perhaps the sugar avoidance is contributing to your hormonal imbalances. Hopefully trying some sleepy dust, (or sleepy honey) will help you sleep better at least!
Michele K says
I’m gonna try this using Himalayan Pink salt with my local honey… to make sleepy syrup!! I’ll try to remember to post how it works for me! I have family and friends who could stand to benefit from this remedy! Thanx,Butterbeliever for the info and recipe!
This is something I’m going to HAVE to try…I have this trouble sometimes. I’m wondering if using maple sugar would work in stead of the other two though…although the other two would probably be what my hubby would prefer, I love the maple taste. LOL
Sure! Give it a try. Like I mentioned, I did try all sucanat and the salt just sank right to the bottom. I don’t have any maple sugar on hand to try that out, but maybe it’ll work better than the sucanat did!
I wonder if you pulse it a bit in a blender or food processor if the sucanat might be finer and blend better. I only have sucanat right now, so I might try that.
That’s a great idea! I bet that would make it work.
I am trying this. Probably tonight! I prioritize sleep, but I wake up almost every single night. The week before my period is the worst. 3-4 hours max for the whole week. Thank you!!!!!
I’ve got a jar of (local, raw) creamed honey that’s been blended with cinnamon. I am seriously thinking about sprinkling a little sea salt into it and putting next to the bed. 😀 I suspect what’s needed is a burst of carb plus salt to get one’s adrenaline to settle down so speaking as a layperson, any natural sweet (as opposed to something like asaparatime or a sugar alcohol) would probably work.
What would you do if you were on GAPS or another diet for significant health reasons and were being strict about having no sugar (GAPS only allows honey, not even sucanat or maple syrup)? Does salt work by itself?
I would do a little dab of honey, sprinkled liberally with salt, if you are on GAPS. That will work just as well. Salt alone will help, but not as much as combining with a natural sugar.
This sounds really stupid. I thought you were into real food. Refined sugar is processed. Not found in nature like that. Honey I would understand. But this?
Honey is processed, too. By bees.
Coconut oil is processed. Do you eat that?
If you actually read the post, I made it clear that I recommend minimally-processed organic cane sugar. The only difference between that and Sally Fallon-approved sucanat is that it’s missing some of the minerals from the molasses which is filtered out. When you take away some of the nutrients from a food, that doesn’t magically transform what’s left into something harmful. Have you ever eaten an orange without the peel? Think about it.
Excellent reply! People get really carried away sometimes. Ignorance.
Dave Asprey advises some glucose before bed for sleep but only if its raw honey.
Did you actually read the post?
*snort* Then just do the sucanat, which is to cane syrup what raisins are to grapes. Pick your ingredients dude, but sugarcane isn’t the devil. It grows out of the ground just like everything else. Honey is great, but it doesn’t have the same nutritional profile, but whatever floats your boat, it’s your life.
I do this and it works. I use 5 parts sugar to one part salt. I have Matt’s book and pretty sure that’s what it said (too lazy to look). Anyway, if you are worried about this being healthy or not. Not sleeping enough on a regular basis is a lot more unhealthy then eating a bit of sugar.
Yeah you’re right, he does recommend 5:1. I updated the post to explain that’s the recommendation, but for me it’s like way too much salt overload, even under the tongue. I guess what I have here is a 9:1.
Haha, yeah, great point! Even if I believed sugar was so unhealthy (which I don’t), if it’s going to help me sleep, then it’s worth it. No question.
Gonna try this.
I also read that before electricity, people went to sleep @ sundown, slept for a few hours, woke up and played around for a few hours then went back to sleep….Perhaps in addition to stress, some of our primal sleep patterns are trying to emerge…..
I tend to think that a lot of it is panic. We psych ourselves up about being awake, because zomg there’s only three hours of sleep left! We’re awake at a natural time for a natural reason, but instead of lighting a low lamp and leisurely writing a letter to a loved one for half an hour, or having sex, like we’re supposed to, we flip on all the florescent lights in the house and stare at the clock and get more and more and more wound up.
Not that I don’t think this will help people sleep; I’m sure it will. But this is also eerily similar to shock treatments, and I suspect there’s a reason. 😉
Nice post. I’m always open to trying new things when it comes to sleep because I have several rare sleep disorders that have no cures. A couple suggestions though…
First, I would use the National Sleep Foundation as a cautionionary source. The reason I say that is because they don’t have accurate info on there about sleep disorders and several Non-Profit groups are trying to correct that. While this doesn’t exactly apply to your post, it is important that people are aware of that.
More importantly though in reading some of the comments on here- if you’re waking up a lot at night- that can be a sign of Sleep Apnea. You can swear up & down that you don’t have it but I can tell you for a fact my Sleep Dr did the same thing & so did I & we both have it. So if you’re waking up more than once a night, exhausted during the day, gaining a lot of weight, etc please see a sleep doctor. If not, try this concoction lol! 🙂
This sounds interesting however my only concern would be you are putting sugar into your mouth and letting it sit there until morning. Won’t the sugar feed the mouth bacteria that is there gradually weakening teeth or aggravating gingivitis? Sorry I’m the daughter of a dentist. I have switched to making my own tooth paste and oil pulling but there are something that stick with you.
Hi Kirstin, it dissolves pretty quickly so I’m not sure there’ll be too much hanging around in the mouth.
Hi ButterBeliever, I tried it for the first time last night and it worked for me too! Thanks so much for this… and to my wife for finding it and making up the mix!
There would still be traces of sugar in your saliva and hanging around in pockets of your mouth. You could rinse your mouth with water but I think that would wake you up more.
Kristin, would you mind sharing the toothpaste recipe you use?
I use a tooth powder. I use this recipe http://frugallysustainable.com/2012/03/the-benefits-of-brushing-with-tooth-powder-and-a-make-your-own-recipe/ but I only use 1/2 the amount of baking soda they say. It works great. I have been using it for almost a year and all my check ups have been great.
Great theory, and one I full-heartedly believe!… Why?… I am one who eats HUGE dinners (giant bowls of grass-fed meat and steamed veggies with tons of sea salt and butter or some other oil that complements the meal, along with 2-3 glasses of wine, followed by a pint of ice cream) around 6/6:30 until 7ish every night, and then I’m under the covers by 8:30 PM. I sleep great every night, get up at 5 AM every morning, and go for a walk with the birds. Every health expert out there would say I’m crazy, but I don’t have a weight problem, so for now, I’m stickin to what I like. 🙂
Oh yes, ice cream especially is a perfect pre-bedtime snack! Good for you! 🙂
I wonder if this could be used to manage stress hormones during the day also?
Yes, although snacking on a little bit of food that provides both salt and glucose will be a little more enjoyable. 🙂 A piece of fruit and some cheese works marvelously!
YES! I find a terrific pick-me-up (or calm-me-down) to be salty orange juice. A generous pinch of unrefined salt mixed into orange juice can solve all sorts of problems!
If you don’t like OJ, then salt in water works too. It’s my go-to if I’m jittery or headachy or whatever.
I am intrigued by this sleep powder. I have wacky cortisol and have not slept really well in years. Apnea tests have been negative…twice. Trying to ditch the sleeping pills is a long-term project, but I”m determined.
I know that high cortisol (stress hormone) can result in insomnia. I like using sea salt and agree that it is an essential nutrient. I also agree that these is such a thing as glucose-deficiency.
Interesting article. I also wrote of other tips that might help people with insomnia: http://blissfulwriter.hubpages.com/hub/Sleep-Tips-Help-Insomnia
To all the people who have or are trying to ruthlessly eliminate all traces of sugar from your diets: Please bear in mind that for centuries before sugar became a common place source of sweet+energy, it was used nearly universally as a medicine. A medicine for the kinds of issues we now know are related to hormonal disturbances, particularly those related to physical or emotional stress. So even though the notion sounds completely radical, using small amounts of sugar or honey as a medication is actually an ancient medical practice.
What an insightful comment. Thank you!
in its natural state yes. not the way we buy it in the supermarket. suger has’evolved’ unfortunately, as we have. ive been off suger for 3 months now and have a ramarkable change in my mood/stress/sleep/adrenal function. natural sugers, found in fruits/some plants (in the food inself). we have been eating suger for generations but if you want to talk about the ‘old days’, our ancestors never ‘added’ suger to their diet. it came naturally in the foods they ate.
June Saxton says
Your brain needs glucose to function & if you don’t get it from natural sugars you could be in serious trouble!
Do you think this would help for a child suffering from occasional nightmares? I’ve sometimes wondered if a nutritional imbalance is the cause of my daughter’s nightmares & would love to have a “quick fix” for those evenings when she wakes up in a panic.
Hannah- I would definitely try this with your daughter….It can’t hurt!! I have been healing from adrenal fatigue for a while now and I do remember reading somewhere that some adrenal experts believe that nightmares are caused by low blood sugar. I know when I first crashed with adrenal fatigue, my sleep schedule was completely turned around. I was awake all night and slept only a couple hours each morning. Those few hours were ALWAYS riddled with terrible, terrible dreams. Since I’ve been following Matt Stone, I can’t recall a time where my dreams were anything but pleasant! Good Luck!
I am struggling to heal my adrenals. The doctors have not been much help. I have also been diagnosed in the last 4 years with hypothyroidism and fibromyalgia and all the problems that come with it, high blood sugars, high blood pressure, anxiety, sleep problems. All this happened within a year of being re-vaccinated for things I had already been vaccinated for as a child. I would be grateful for any advice you may have. Also does anyone know if it would be okay to use organic coconut sugar or raw honey with sea salt until I can buy the sucanat and organic cane sugar?
Dawn, I would look into the GAPS diet or try to find an acupuncturist/integrative health doctor in your area. You’re definitely suffering from vaccine poisoning. The human body is an amazing thing and with the right tools it can heal! I’m on my own long and windy path and while it can be frustrating, we must keep researching, researching, researching! I currently follow a Weston A. Price style diet and have had great success, altho I amended it to where I no longer eat any grains on starches. I have a leaky gut that needs healing!
I concur with the GAPS recommendation. I would also add to find a homeopath. There is a homeopathic vaccination detox remedy you can take to help your body heal from the vaccines.
Reading the comments made me wonder if my love of sweet/salty snacks, like fritos and M&Ms, is by body telling me i need salt/sugar to control stress?!
Our bodies are so miraculous!
How about coconut sugar, do u like that would also work in this? Just wondering
I’ve never used coconut sugar myself since it’s expensive and I don’t feel the need to avoid cane sugar, but sure, give it a try! Like cane sugar, the sugar content in coconut sugar is primarily sucrose, so I’m pretty sure it would work just as well.
HELP! Can I just use white sugar? I know you are all talking about how terrible it is but I just want to try this idea right away. I have white sugar, brown sugar, maple syrup, honey and agave nectar. I can’t go out a buy a bunch of new ingredients so what can I do with what I have? Thanks!
I am pregnant and haven’t slept well in at least 4 weeks. Can’t kick my cold because I can’t sleep and i also have a two year old. Really hoping this will help me sleep. And I have also been very stressed lately!
Absolutely!! White sugar really is not the devil incarnate. It’s simply devoid of nutritional value outside of the glucose/fructose it provides (no vitamins/minerals, etc.). But if you want to use an alternative, a small spoonful of maple syrup or honey salted liberally will work just as well!
Thank you SO much for getting back to me today! We try to eat healthy and teach our daughter the same. I am not scared or sugar or salt or fat but try to used moderation in all things.
This sugar/salt combo sounds like exactly what I need right now and am so grateful I found your page through pinterest!!! Really hoping for some good sleep tonight!
Katie- I would also try and have a little sugar/salt combo when you are feeling stressed. Suffering from adrenal fatigue, I often start buzzing when my day gets too hectic. I can literally feel my insides buzzing from my nerves. But following Matt’s advice, I eat something satisfying to me and make sure it has fat, sugar and salt. Not only do I stop stressing because I’m now focused on how yummy the thing is I’m eating, but I’ve come to realize that for a couple hours after I’ve eaten the yummy thing, I remain calm.
Best thing in the world? If you have a Great Harvest bread store near you, go buy some of their brownie mix. It uses 4 eggs and 2 sticks of butter. They taste divine! I follow it with a pinch of salt to keep my balance and I’m golden!! Good luck, Mama!!
Becca C. says
I’m allergic to cane sugar, is there any other options for me?
I’m a little leary abou this one. Most people consume too much sugar and salt as it is. Looking at traditional chinese medicine, they also talk about your own body clock. Each organ takes two hours to function and have a high time and low time. If you wake up every night the same time it is connected to an organ. I think there are better ways of getting your sleep at night.
Elena Skok says
I know this doesn’t help the person who needs to get up in the morning and wants to sleep through the night but…..I remember reading on a Paleo blog somewhere (and I’ve been looking for it for the last half hour)that two sleep periods were always considered normal (I mean in the days before adrenal fatigue. People would get up, read, write,have sex, etc. and then go back to sleep. So perhaps wanting/expecting to sleep through the night is not the way we were designed….
Yeah, waking up is natural. Being unable to fall back asleep is not. 🙂
Can Himalayan Pink rock salt be used in place of the sea salt? that’s all I use/have in the house.
After I gave up sugar for a year (part of my vlc paleo woe) I spiraled into severe anxiety/insomnia. I found this recipe and used it. It did help. Over 3 months into “recovery” and I no longer need it – yeah. The fear of “sugar” is not a good thing. Glucose is a nutrient that we need. Glycoproteins and polysaccharide molecules like glycosaminoglycans are important structural components of the body; certain cell types rely on glucose for energy; and the immune system relies on glucose for generation of reactive oxygen species to kill pathogens.
Absolutely. The trend of the glucose deniers who choose to ignore these basic biological facts, is a little frightening, given the amount of followers they’ve managed to amass.
Frightening that some of the glucose deniers are doctors.
Can I use coconut palm sugar?
Freshly Grown says
This is awesome and I am giving this to my hubs stat! Thanks for this rad post, Emily! -Rama
Nice!! Thanks, Rama! Let me know how it works for him! <3
i don’t eat organic sugar will this work with cotton candy and salt?
Lol. Go for it.
I’d bet your cotton candy already has salt. LOL
Mara Sou says
I’m not against ‘refined’ or ‘processed’ sugar, but for those who are seeking a more natural food, would using honey, mixed with sea salt work in the same way? (It makes a nice face and hand scrub. ;0))
I’m also thinking if you put it in a magic bullet or grinder you could make it all the same consistency so it would blend well and then you wouldn’t have to use two kinds of sugar.
for people who want to use honey or crystals that dont mix well, why not make a solution and put it into a small spray bottle. easy to squirt under your tongue that way and doesnt leave you with sand if your saliva isnt up to snuff in the middle of the night. I use homeopathics this way, so I dont see why it wouldnt work for the sleepy dust (except it wont be dust anymore 😉
Elizabeth Towns says
I am so glad I read this today. A friend and I were just discussing this waking up and not being able to go back to sleep. I am going to share this with her right away. Thanks so much.
Elizabeth T, Early Rise
could Dextrose be used?
Could you use beet sugar? I buy it from my local heath food store and use it in coffee and baking…thank you!
I’m diabetic. Won’t this make my blood sugar spike?
Aschwin Wesselius says
If you’ve read the article thoroughly, it states it’s just about a pinch, enough to just cover the top of your finger.
If that is going to spike your blood sugar, you’re in a serious troublesome condition. I hope you can just take this without worries.
Becky Araoz says
Is the Sucanat necessary?
Good question. No, it is not. I just add it for the flavor and the little bit of nutrition (mostly minerals) it provides. Many people try to avoid more highly processed sugar, by substituting sucanat for white sugar, but as far as the function of this remedy, any source of sugar (sucrose) will do.
Aschwin Wesselius says
I made this just tonight. I added some black and szechuan peppercorns. Just as much as the salt.
Making this assembles a favorite Dutch candy called ‘zwart op wit’, or ‘black on white’. Making it organically is awesome and I didn’t knew this could be healthy during the night.
Instead of the pepper, licorice could be used as well.
Wow, I am going to try this! I am pregnant and can’t get any sleep at night, we just moved and I am under so weird anxious stress…plus I have to “go” all the time now. I have tried making a sleepy milk drink but that just aggregates my needing to “go” in the night.
Interestingly when I was a kid I would wake up in the night occasionally and go into the kitchen drink one sip of soda and go back to bed. I don’t keep soda in my house as an adult, but I have always thought it was strange that as a kid I would do that and go straight back to sleep. I guess sodas have sugar and salt in them.
Thanks for the cool tip!
Liz F. says
I just made this and will try it tonight. I used 3 parts coconut sugar, 2 parts cane sugar, and 1 part real salt. I CRAVE the salty taste, so it doesn’t taste to salty to me. 🙂
Cher Rosselot says
Wow What a life saver this has been for both my non sleeping husband and poor me who he keeps up at night. We have tried everything… and this works. How amazing and cheap and definitely feel better that it is non habit forming and no chemicals.
My daughter tried this the other night and used a pinch of Nunatural Stevia powder and real salt and it worked too… we don’t use real sugar for much anymore.
Well, the salt will help, but stevia won’t do anything to improve your glucose levels and suppress stress hormones.
Can this be made using regular granulated sugar and table salt? I really can’t afford to go out and buy that expensive stuff you suggested.
definitely going to try this out! lately, have been waking up around 4 am every morning due to some anxiety and have trouble going back to sleep. hoping this will do the trick!
I was intrigued by this advice and heck, it won’t hurt to try. However, you state “there’s nothing wrong with consuming moderate amounts of minimally-processed sugar” in your diet. I have to disagree with that statement, as a candida sufferer for years, processed sugar of any kind is not on my diet. The only sugar that does not affect my candida is Xylitol or else my energy level plummets and I can’t keep my eyes open. I will try this advice with Xylitol and see what happens.
I am a Type 2 diabetic. Is this safe for me?
SALLY RAWLINGS says
This totally makes sense and easier than the peanut butter by my bed for the same reason.I live in a hot climate and I eat real food so I know there are times I crave and need salt.. sans the packaged foods and much milk or dairy I need it some times.. sally ( Australia)
Especially since the time change, I wake up at 4:30 every morning, no matter when I get to bed! I really desire more sleep. Somehow I’ve got to get the STRESSERS under control! But until that, I’ll mix up some sleepy dust. Thank you.
Any idea if Himalayan salt can be used instead of sea salt? Looking forward to giving this a try. Thank you!
Janet M says
Thanks for the great tip! I don’t have any sucanat but was wondering if I could sub coconut sugar for it since it is also rich in minerals and has a tasty flavor.
Was also wondering if coconut sugar would work 🙂
Sure! Coconut sugar is very similar in sugar content to cane sugar—both are primarily sucrose. (Which is why I don’t bother to buy coconut sugar). Go for it!
My husband work late at nights. He sleeps during daytime and gets distubance from the tenant at the 2nd floor flat. Will this thing work for him and can sleep well even if there are too much noise around?
Belinda Hamilton says
I ordered Eat For Heat on this site for my Kindle. I put all my info in, but have not receive it.
Will Coconut sugar work? I have that instead of cane sugar. I have the sea salt. but not the other flavor ingredient you mention. Will these two ingredients work?
Eating sugar and then sleeping without brusging and rinsing is a recipe for dental cavities. Saliva production halts in deep sleep, so bacteria can grow like crazy. So clean your teeth and rinse sugar out afterwards.
i just want to say that i love the down-to-earthness you bring to the internet about good eating habits. you are a breath of fresh air after feeling stressed from other websites!
now to this post, oh my goodness, i tried this last night and it worked! granted, i did not have the sucanat, i just did the 1:5 salt/sugar ratio and put it by my bedside. i had to use it 3 different times and wondered if it was the sugar waking me up later? at any rate, it always put me right back to sleep, amazing! i have to admit, part of me was stressing about getting cavities from putting sugar in my mouth 3 times. the saliva made it go everywhere. i probably will not do this every night! any thoughts on that issue? i know this is meant to be a treatment until one sleeps through the night, but what if it causes cavities?
Aren’t organic cane sugar and sucanat basically the same thing, so why do I have to add both? I don’t have sucanat lying around the house and don’t know any stores around here who carry it.
You certainly do not have to add both! Sucanat is organic cane sugar, yes, but it is completely unrefined with all the molasses and minerals intact, whereas lightly-processed organic cane sugar (like I use in the recipe) is stripped of most of that molasses. They have different flavors. But you don’t need the sucanat!
Hate to ask the obvious but won’t this cause rotting teeth in a fairly fast time? Sugary saliva in your mouth, around your teeth all night?
Sure you maybe sleeping well but your dentist bill will be phenominal!!
Ah I just noticed the comment before mine above says more or less what I was saying about saliva with sugar sitting around the teeth all night.
Vereeeeeeeee bad idea guys!
Lily HAZEL says
I am so Pyched about this, i cant sleep at night ever, i tried this and it worked, do you have any suggestions for keeping it on the top bunk of a bunk bed?
I am up to try it, but leaving sugar in your mouth would not be good for your teeth. So how long until it dissolves? Maybe you can swish some water around in your mouth. I always keep water by the bed anyways.
Every time I take this before bed I sweat like hell during the night. It really helps to fall asleep, but the entire bedding is wet. What could be a problem?
Ah. Well, that’s kind of a good sign. Your body temperature is raising, and along with it, your metabolism. Matt Stone says that when he eats really metabolism-stoking foods like chocolate, his sheets are always dripping wet too. Maybe adjust the room temperature at night or crack a window so you’re not drenched by the morning!
I find it interesting that Matt Stone would think it was good and normal to be sweating and wetting the bed at night if he eats chocolate. I would think that a healthy body would be able to deal with eating chocolate. I am beginning to wonder about this Matt. Seriously he has everyone convinced that its good to sweat at night. It’s only good if it’s 80 degrees, otherwise the body is telling you that something is off. I am not well and I sweat at night regardless of what I eat, it’s telling me something is wrong. Matt is a young guy his body has not yet suffered the ill effects we all suffer from decades of poor eating habits.. When he hits 45 or 50 he is going to see so very interesting changes in how his body reacts to what he is preaching to us all to eat. Just wait, well I wish we would all be around to see but I don’t think I will be paying too close attention at that time years from now I mean. Seriously people can go for decades eating only fruit and come out on the other end with a failing pancreas. If you start eating only fruit later in live it will surely destroy your pancreas faster than a decade. The reason I believe so many people feel so good on this diet is because sugar gets you high, speeds your adrenals and you end up running on adrenaline.. years from now your adrenals will give out and you will no longer thrive on sugar and you will be so screwed, this includes carbs. Fats will help you but good luck by then you may have gallstones due to the poor eating. Good luck to all how follow Matt Stone like herd of sheep. He is not different from any other diet guru.. he just preaches the opposite. He isn’t old enough to have any personal experience. If you feel bad on a healthy diet it is only because your cells have not adapted..it takes 3 years for your body to adapt to a new diet.. I mean this literally because that’s what it took me. I grew up on sugar and went healthy and suffered for 3 years.. now my body adjusted to healthy eating and is much better. I don’t expect anyone to believe me but try and use your common sense when it comes the food you choose to chow down on.. Do you really think ice cream, cakes and pizza are food? They are not… common sense tells you this..
I just saw this post about the sleep dust. Have you tried your date sugar in the dust? If there is tryptophan in the date sugar won’t that boost the effectiveness? Do you not use it because it won’t dissolve under the tongue?
It definitely won’t dissolve under your tongue, but dates are a good source of sugar/glucose so I don’t see why you couldn’t try it. You’d just have to chew/swallow it rather than wait for it to dissolve.
Thanks for the tip. I pray it works. I need it to work as everything else I have ever tried to get back to sleep has not worked.
I will want to use the mix suggestion of the author of this mix, that you pointed out ie 5 parts sugar: 1 part salt. How much organic cane sugar to sucanat would you recommend I use to make up the 5 parts of sugar? 4 parts cane sugar: 1 part sucanat, or different mix proportion of the sugars?
Please respond as I need to try this.
Also does your body get used to it after using it for a while, such that it quits working?
Did not work for me at all. I used 5 tsps of coconut sugar to 1 tsp pink sea salt, did it twice and did not get back to sleep. I have the classic signs of waking a 2am not going back to sleep until 4 or 5am. meanwhile I am hot and my heart is getting faster as those hours go on. This is the adrenaline I suppose and the low blood sugar hypoglycemia thing. Anything else I can try? am I doing anything wrong?
I just want to clear something up about sugar… Sugar is NEVER bleached!!! I’ve been to a sugar processing plant when I was a kid. The way they make it white is by putting syrup that has formed crystals into a centrifuge and spin it to separate the molasses from the sugar crystals. It’s really neat to watch.
Just to clarify, I don’t have sugar- can I use bleach mixed with corn meal instead? Oh, and I don’t like how salty salt is so can I just lick the rim of my toilet for good measure…?
Apparently I nor anyone else commenting on these blogs has the remotest ability to problem solve. We are a nation of sheeple! Wake up!
LOL. Oh my. Thank you. I can’t stop giggling at this. 😀
Veronica Egan says
I have had great results with Sleepy Dust. I need to make a new batch, but I can’t find the recipe on your website, only the picture of the spoon. Please send link to recipe.
Voni Radlinger says
Trouble is, as soon as I put something under my tongue, my mouth immediately juices up and washes it away :/ Not sure there is time for it to get absorbed?
Sandra B says
I don’t have any of the required sugar So…I took a TBS of Unsulfered blackstrap molasses with a good pinch of celtic sea salt. For 2 nights I have slept well. Today, even though in pain I had lots of energy and got a bunch of things started and finished. I am 79 and have had insomnia for over 20 years.
Wonderful to hear. Thanks so much for sharing your experience!
Any suggestions for the person who has trouble waking up and stay groggy for a long time? (I know my fasting sugar is high in the morning)
I don’t see any real science behind this. The closest thing to any science is that it is that somewhat like the formula that was used by the World Health Organization as a base for making an electrolyte replacement for dying children and was later rejected because the levels of sodium were found to be too high. The formula was 2 tablespoons of sugar, 1/2 teaspoon salt, in 2 quarts of water. If I’m putting sugar and salt under my tongue, I’m stressing my heart with the salt, while the sugar stresses the pancreas, and liver when they should be resting, and feeding the bacteria in my mouth which also increases my risk of heart disease as well as tooth decay. I don’t know if it is worth the risk.
Care to divulge the science behind your theory that salt and sugar are inherently stressful to the heart, pancreas and liver?
Thanks for the informative blog post. It’s great that the salt-sugar is working wonders for some but I’m reluctant to take it as I’ve noticed that consuming sugar results in these horrid cystic acne that I didn’t have prior to developing adrenal fatigue- had healthy, radiant skin before this. Any alternative? Many thanks!
I used coconut sap sugar and pink himalayan salt which I think worked like a charm. 2 nights in a row I haven’t woken up. I can’t remember the last time I slept through the night. Even to pee. I hope it continues. Thank you! Sandra
I don’t have any sucanat sugar because I never heard of it but I’ve used 5tbsps of pure cane sugar and 1tbsp of sea salt and it works for me. I have Jactatio Capitis Nocturna and that alone is a nightmare but with waking up from frequent potty breaks it’s hard for me to fall back to sleep. I will toss and turn for hours! Whenever I get to tossing and turning I just wet my finger and put some of this under my tongue and poof! I’m off to sleep. I’ve used this before I go to bed, when I have to go to the bathroom and when I have to wake up to check my cat’s glucose-yes I have to get up in the wee hours of the morning to do this and this sleep dust works.
This sounds crazy, but worth a try. I read this while resting in a motel. When I went to dinner, I got a packet of sugar from the table. I had a little salt packed from fast food. Mixed them and put them by my bed. When I woke up, took a little bit and went back to sleep. When I came home, I mixed up some. For 3 nights, it has worked. I don’t know why or how, but I have gone right back to sleep. Most of the time I would be awake for 2-3 hours–and sometimes not going back to sleep at all.
Emily Benfit says
See? It’s magic! 😉
So glad to hear that worked for you!! Thanks for sharing.