If you were to stand up in a biology seminar and announce that honey activates sleep, you would risk being laughed at.

If you then further stated that not only does honey activate sleep but also refuels the liver prior to bed, promoting fat burning during sleep, you would be dismissed as confused at best and deranged at worst.

Health professionals tend to equate honey with refined sucrose and high fructose corn syrup, which activate hyperinsulinism, fat synthesis, obesity, diabetes type 2 and cardiovascular disease. But this is profoundly mistaken.

The effects of eating honey before sleep are easy to demonstrate, despite being counter-intuitive. Scientific principles are sometimes in tune with intuition - if you jump from a building you will fall down, not up - but not always.

Eating honey before bed helps you sleep as it optimises liver glycogen plenitude, via fructose and glucose uptake, which activates sleep via insulin and melatonin.

Honey also promotes optimal recovery, otherwise known as fat burning. During the night’s fast, it does this via stable blood glucose and activation of the pituitary gland. It also promotes good health via prevention of overproduction of adrenal stress hormones.

Mike McInnes is author of The Hibernation Diet - "the diet that works while you sleep". He is a firm believer in the health benefits of honey

Each month, British Baker will ask an industry expert to give their views on the latest health trends.