Exploring the Benefits of Manuka Honey for Sleep

Exploring the Benefits of Manuka Honey for Sleep
Krista Bugden

Krista Bugden

7 minutes

Executive Summary:

  • Sleep is an essential requirement for a healthy, productive life.
  • Manuka honey contains unique nutrients that support wellness and the restorative processes of the body at night.
  • The sugar in Manuka honey may cause an insulin spike in the body that results in an increase of tryptophan (an amino acid) to the brain where it is converted into melatonin (the major sleep hormone).
  • Manuka honey can be enjoyed in various ways before bed, or simply eaten straight from the jar.


Manuka Honey and Sleep: Nature's Soothing Nectar for Restful Nights

Sleep is orchestrated and supported by Mother Nature herself. The gentle changes in light, the gradual decrease in your energy as the day slows down, and the delicate chemical processes in your body all contribute to a peaceful slumber. 

Sadly, in a fast-paced world full of bright lights, screens, stress, and rushed meals, the delicate balance and rhythm of our bodies is frequently disrupted. Instead of peaceful night, for many, climbing into bed marks the beginning of a restless night. 

Yet, what if a simple and delicious evening snack could support your sleep? In this article, we explore the Manuka honey and sleep connection. Can the nutrients in this sweet treat contribute to a good night's rest?


The Science Behind Sleep

Some consider sleep a waste of valuable time, but sleep is an essential part of your health and well-being and a worthwhile investment in all aspects of your life. 

When you sleep, your body and brain shift gears. Chemical processes take place that help restore and prepare your body for a new day. Cells are repaired or replaced, your brain processes and stores useful information, hormones are produced, and your energy levels are replenished.

Scientists have proven that sufficient sleep:

  • Supports immune health
  • Reduces the risk of cardiovascular disease
  • Enhances cognitive function (brain power)
  • Improves general mood and mental health—which positively impacts relationships

When you understand the powerful and detailed activities of the body and brain while you sleep, you’ll agree that the fuel and nutrients you feed your body can either help or hinder those essential processes. For instance, Manuka honey contains precious nutrients that support your body as it recovers during the night. So, let's dig into the details.


Manuka Honey: More Than Just Sweetness

Manuka honey is so much more than a delicious treat. This sweet blend of sugars is a superfood—it contains unique and powerful nutrients that support your body in different ways while you sleep. So, here are a few ways these nutrients do that.

Methylglyoxal (MGO)

MGO is a powerful compound found only in Manuka honey—it has antibacterial and anti-inflammatory properties that gently support your natural immune function.


Antioxidants neutralize free radicals that cause cellular damage in your body, especially during times of stress. Manuka honey is naturally rich in them and the only source of Leptosperin—a powerful antioxidant. These antioxidants support your body’s ability to repair and protect your cells while you sleep.

Fructo-oligosaccharides (Prebiotics)

Did you know that imbalances in gut bacteria have been linked to interrupted sleep? Manuka honey is a helpful source of fructo-oligosaccharides which act as powerful prebiotics and maintain a healthy gut microbiome. The microbiome, specifically, has the potential to enhance the quality of your sleep, amongst other functions.


The Gentle Relationship Between Manuka Honey and Restful Nights

Do you remember having a cold at grandma’s house and being swaddled in warm blankets and lovingly fed spoonfuls of honey before bed? Over the years and through the generations, aunties and grandmothers have held fast to the incredible properties of honey—and it turns out they were on to something!

Not only has honey been proven to support the immune system. There’s also reason to believe it may maintain the processes necessary for a good night's sleep.

When you eat Manuka honey before bed it causes a spike in insulin—the hormone that regulates your blood sugar. Raised insulin levels also increase the transfer of tryptophan (a specific amino acid) to your brain where it is converted to melatonin—the hormone that makes you relax and feel drowsy before you drift off to sleep. 

An additional way to support this chemical pathway is to include tryptophan-rich foods into your daily diet like milk, cheese, tuna, turkey, chicken, egg whites, seeds, and peanuts (and, of course, at least a spoonful of Manuka honey a day!).


How to Incorporate Manuka Honey into Evening Routines

 For the best results, enjoy your honey about 30 minutes before you go to bed—and before you brush your teeth. Here are a few ways to indulge in Manuka honey in the evenings.

  • Stir a spoonful into a cup of cooling chamomile tea—which is also known for its relaxing properties. Avoid adding Manuka to boiling liquid as the beneficial nutrients aren’t preserved at high temperatures.
  • A warm cup of milk (rich in tryptophan) sweetened with Manuka honey is another delicious option.
  • Drizzle a spoon over a small piece of fruit but take care to avoid a heavy meal close to bedtime as it could lead to indigestion—the opposite of a peaceful night.
  • A spoonful straight out of the jar is a delicious and simple way to enjoy Manuka honey at night or any other time of the day. You may want to move your jar of Manuka honey out of your pantry and onto your nightstand to help you remember to take some.

Experiment with adding Manuka honey to your evening routine and you’ll look forward to bedtime in a whole new way. 

For an optimal experience, consider using the Manukora Dose Spoon to measure the perfect amount of honey. Whether you choose our MGO 200 Manuka Honey or explore our wider Manuka Honey Collection, you're sure to find a product that suits your taste and wellness goals.

Additionally, learning about the extraordinary antioxidant properties of Manuka honey can deepen your appreciation for this natural wonder. Understand the benefits of local honey and explore how honey can be a source of energy, all while satisfying your curiosity about the honey-making process, such as discovering if bees die after they sting.

Its beneficial nutrients support your general wellness and their harmonious role in the production of melatonin makes it a healthy and sustainable way to support your body’s natural sleep rhythm. 

Give it a try and let Manuka add a bit of sweetness to your dreams this eve.


What are the benefits of Manuka honey for sleep?

Manuka honey contains nutrients that may support the body's restorative processes during sleep. Its sugar content can cause an insulin spike, leading to increased tryptophan in the brain, which is then converted into melatonin, the hormone that helps regulate sleep.

How does Manuka honey support the body during sleep?

Manuka honey has compounds like Methylglyoxal (MGO) with antibacterial properties, antioxidants for cellular repair, and fructo-oligosaccharides that act as prebiotics to maintain gut health. These elements support immune function, cell repair, and potentially improve sleep quality.

Can eating Manuka honey before bed improve sleep?

Yes, consuming Manuka honey before bedtime can raise insulin levels, which helps increase the transfer of tryptophan to the brain. Tryptophan is then converted to melatonin, aiding in relaxation and the onset of sleep.

How can Manuka honey be incorporated into evening routines for better sleep?

Manuka honey can be enjoyed in several ways, such as stirring a spoonful into a cup of chamomile tea, adding it to warm milk, drizzling it over a small piece of fruit, or simply eating it straight from the jar. It’s best consumed about 30 minutes before bedtime.

What are the unique components of Manuka honey, and how do they benefit health?

Manuka honey contains unique components like MGO, which has antibacterial and anti-inflammatory properties, and Leptosperin, an antioxidant. These components support the immune system, help in cell repair, and maintain a healthy gut microbiome, contributing to overall wellness and potentially better sleep.

Are there any specific Manuka honey products recommended for improving sleep?

While the text does not specify brands, it suggests using products like the Manukora Dose Spoon for measuring the right amount of honey and exploring a range of Manuka honey products, such as MGO 200 Manuka Honey, to find one that suits individual taste and wellness goals.



The Extraordinary Importance of Sleep - PMC

Sleep, circadian rhythm, and gut microbiota - PMC

Honey for treatment of cough in children - PMC

On the stimulation by insulin of tryptophan transport across the blood-brain barrier - PMC

Previous Article Next Article

Shop Mānuka Honey

High-potency, MGO rated Mānuka honey
from remote regions of New Zealand.

MGO 850+



Daily Digestive Support

Shop Now

MGO 600+



Daily Immunity Support

Shop Now

MGO 200+



Daily Wellness and Vitality

Shop Now

MGO 1000+



Comprehensive Support

Shop Now