A Trick for Insomnia: Salt and Sugar

We can experience insomnia for many reasons, but one important one is because of stress. The blend of sugar and salt may help control the hormones that cause stress by returning hormones back to their normal levels to avoid interference with your sleep cycle.
A Trick for Insomnia: Salt and Sugar
Elisa Morales Lupayante

Reviewed and approved by the pedagogue in physical education and nutritionist Elisa Morales Lupayante.

Last update: 26 May, 2022

Insomnia is a disorder that makes it hard for people to either fall or stay asleep. It may cause difficulty staying asleep during the night or it might even cause you to wake up too early in the morning.

Actually, insomnia is considered the most common sleep disorder in the general population. It affects a disproportionate number of women, the elderly, and people who have psychological disorders like depression and anxiety.

Difficulty sleeping and a lack of sleep can have a negative impact on the quality of life if you suffer from insomnia. It could lead to a deterioration of your social life, quality of work, or some other aspect of your life. We have a solution: a simple combination of salt and sugar.

Considering how harmful insomnia can be for physical and mental health, there are numerous medications and treatments available today that can help fight insomnia and stop it from becoming a bigger problem. Although effective, commercially available drugs should only be taken following the recommendation of a doctor and in moderation.

The salt and sugar treatment is a popular trick for some people who have trouble sleeping. Those who use it say it’s a very effective way to win the battle against insomnia.

What is the salt and sugar trick for insomnia?

Tipped over salt shaker with spilled salt

One of the main causes of insomnia is the physical or emotional stress due to a biochemical reaction that interferes with your body’s production of sleep hormones. When stress hormones are high, your sleep pattern is disrupted, and this results in your inability to fall asleep or stay asleep. This is where sugar and salt can play an important role. Both may exercise some control over stress hormones, bringing the hormones back to normal levels, to try to keep them from interfering with your sleep cycle.

In the book Eat for Heat, researcher Matt Stone describes this trick we mentioned above as a solution to help you sleep better.
“The mix of salt and sugar is absolutely necessary for stressful situations during the night. When insomnia occurs between 2 am and 4 am accompanied by a feeling of excess adrenaline flowing through your body (adrenaline spikes during this time), salt and sugar under the tongue is the only way forward.”

Salt and sugar for insomnia?

Today most people are aware that eating too much salt or sugar can be harmful to your health. More so, they can trigger a number of diseases and disorders. However, consuming them in moderation is acceptable because your body does require small amounts of both of these substances.

Woman staring at an alarm clock. not able to sleep

The benefits of combining salt and sugar

While the taste may not be exceptional, the benefits of salt and sugar are strong enough to consider trying it from time to time. This combination can:

  • Strengthen the immune system
  • Help alleviate headaches
  • Increase energy levels
  • Increase serotonin production and electrolytes
  • Relieve stress

We recommend you read: How does Stress Affect Women?

An amazing recipe for the cure

Brown sugar to help insomnia


To prepare this insomnia-fighting trick, you’ll need:

  • 1 teaspoon of sea salt (5 g)
  • 5 teaspoons of brown sugar (25 g)
  • 1 tablespoon of panela or raw sugar

Place all ingredients in a bag or small jar and shake them well. Panela is an ingredient that tends to separate itself from the rest, which is why it must be combined with brown sugar. You can find Panela in some health food stores or online.

The recommended ratio for this recipe is one part salt to five parts sugar. However, if that’s too salty you can reduce the amount of salt you add.

How should you take it?

Before going to bed or during the night, place a small amount of this mixture under your tongue and wait for it to dissolve completely. You can leave the rest of it on your bedside table, or somewhere you can easily access it during the night if needed. See how your insomnia problems slowly start to drift away.

All cited sources were thoroughly reviewed by our team to ensure their quality, reliability, currency, and validity. The bibliography of this article was considered reliable and of academic or scientific accuracy.

This text is provided for informational purposes only and does not replace consultation with a professional. If in doubt, consult your specialist.