Garlic boasts many attributes in addition to its unique flavour, but we bet you've never been told that it can tackle insomnia!
Can garlic help you sleep?
Amongst its other valuable nutrients, garlic contains zinc and high concentrations of sulfurous compounds like allicin, which naturally promote relaxation, helping you fall asleep faster. Garlic can also help clear blocked nasal passages if you are suffering from a cold - easing nocturnal breathing and reducing snoring, which in turn aids restful sleep.
How can you use garlic to treat insomnia?
Enjoy Granny Boswell's garlic-rich chicken soup recipe for supper, to give your body a generous dose of fresh allicin and zinc - or try a warm, milky drink infused with a little garlic and honey. Some people claim one can benefit from garlic's soporific side-effects without actually ingesting it. A fresh clove of garlic placed beneath a pillow is believed to bestow a calming effect on the nervous system, thanks to the sulphurous compounds which are released from the garlic. Of course, the garlicky scent may take some getting used to, but it's surely worth it for a good night's sleep!
Traditional recipe for a garlic nightcap
To fully benefit from garlic's amazing health properties, try this traditional remedy at bedtime:
•1 cup of milk
•1 clove of garlic, crushed
•1 teaspoon of runny honey, or to taste
Add a clove of crushed garlic to a cup of milk, and heat the mixture gently in a saucepan.
Once the mixture has simmered for around three minutes, take it off the heat and add honey to taste.
Drink it around half an hour before your preferred bedtime to enjoy its soporific benefits.
Further advice for insomniacs
Anyone suffering regularly from unexplained sleep disruption should try to:
1.Keep to a regular sleep schedule, and get up at the same time each day.
2.Have a relaxing bedtime routine - try yoga, read a book, a warm bath or evening stroll.
3.Avoid stimulants like caffeine and sugar after lunchtime. Even decaffeinated drinks contain traces of caffeine.
4.Use a good quality mattress so that you are comfortable in bed - mattresses should be replaced after eight years. Or rejuvenate an old mattress with a mattress topper.
5.Fit blackout blinds or use an eye mask so that you do not suffer from light pollution.
6.Similarly, use ear-plugs if necessary to guarantee a peaceful environment.
7.Reduce screen-time before you go to bed, or dim the brightness on your device. And avoid watching TV in the bedroom; it should be your sanctuary.
8.Try to exercise regularly, but not too intensely before bedtime.
9.Spend time outside during the day - even a short walk in daylight can benefit your sleep pattern.
10.Eat a healthy, balanced diet, and stay hydrated throughout the day.