Does Reishi Help You Sleep? Yes & Here's How to Consume It
Have you ever struggled with getting a good night's sleep? The tossing and turning, the endless thoughts racing through your mind—it's a common problem. But what if there might be a natural solution, in the form of a humble mushroom?
Yes, you heard that right. Reishi, a wildly popular adaptogenic mushroom, could be your key to a restful slumber. Follow us as we explore the question: Does Reishi Make You Sleepy? And not just that, we'll delve into how to consume it for the best results.
Table of Contents
Reishi, an adaptogenic mushroom, can indeed help you sleep better by reducing stress, balancing hormones, boosting immunity, and offering nootropic benefits.
There are various ways to consume Reishi, including Reishi tea, capsules, tinctures, and culinary creations, making it adaptable to different lifestyles.
The quality of the reishi supplements you choose is important and will heavily impact efficacy and safety.
Understanding the Power of Functional Mushrooms
Before we dive into the specifics of Reishi, let's take a moment to appreciate the world of functional mushrooms. These incredible fungi have gained quite a reputation in recent years for their health benefits. They're often referred to as the "mushroom superfood" because of the numerous ways they can support our well-being.
Functional mushrooms contain bioactive polysaccharides called "beta glucans" that interact with the gut in a positive way. In fact, they have a beneficial impact on the functions of the gut-brain axis, and can therefore regulate common neurological and physical functions like conginition, memory, mood, and sleep.
Reishi: The Natural Sleep Aid
1. Stress Reduction
Imagine stress as a monster lurking under your bed, preventing you from sleeping soundly. Reishi, our trusty knight in shining armor, comes to the rescue. It contains compounds that help reduce stress and anxiety, allowing you to slip into slumber more peacefully.
In fact, one animal study found reishi to act similarly to prescription diazepam for managing anxiety.
2. Balancing Hormones
3. Boosting Immunity
4. Nootropic Benefits
Reishi for Sleep According to Research: Does It Really Work?
Chinese and Japanese herbalists have long regarded Reishi mushrooms as a valuable remedy for individuals struggling with sleep-related issues. Often referred to as a "Shen tonic," Reishi is believed to restore one's consciousness and emotional balance.
According to this traditional perspective, when the Shen (or spirit) is in equilibrium, it positively influences mood, cognition, and sleep patterns. The incorporation of this adaptogenic herb into your daily health regimen may provide a solution for alleviating stress and facilitating relaxation of both the body and mind, leading to a more restful night's sleep.
Research has shed light on the potential effectiveness of Reishi for improving sleep quality. Here's what some studies have found:
Study 1: Journal of Ethnopharmacology
A study published in the Journal of Ethnopharmacology investigated the impact of Reishi mushroom consumption on sleep. Test subjects were administered Reishi at a dose of 80 mg/kg for three days. The results were promising as they revealed a significant increase in total sleep time and non-rapid eye movement (non-REM) sleep in these subjects.
Researchers also observed an increase in the levels of tumor necrosis factor alpha (TNF-a), a substance crucial for sleep regulation. Additionally, Reishi appeared to affect key brain regions, including the hypothalamus, responsible for regulating sleep/wake cycles, and the dorsal raphe nucleus, associated with learning and memory.
Study 2: Pharmacology Biochemistry and Behavior
Another study published in the Pharmacology Biochemistry and Behavior journal explored the effects of Reishi extract on sleep. In this study, Reishi extract was administered to test subjects, leading to decreased sleep latency (the time it takes to fall asleep), increased total sleeping time, extended non-REM sleep duration, and more light sleep. These findings suggest that Reishi extract helps individuals fall asleep faster, stay asleep longer, and experience more restful sleep.
Furthermore, the test subjects displayed reduced spontaneous activity, such as fidgeting or anxious behaviors. Scientists concluded that Reishi might exhibit "benzodiazepine-like hypnotic activity," although further research is necessary to understand its potential synergy with other natural sleep aids or medications.
Study 3: Journal of Medicinal Food
A randomized, double-blind, and placebo-controlled study published in the Journal of Medicinal Food explored the potential impact of Reishi on neurasthenia, a condition characterized by weariness, fatigue, headache, irritability, and emotional disturbance. Over the course of eight weeks, patients treated with Reishi extract experienced "significantly lower scores" for fatigue and reported an increased sense of well-being.
While ongoing research continues to unveil the effects of Reishi mushrooms, you can already take advantage of their potential benefits by incorporating the recommended dosage into your daily health routine. Reishi's potential to enhance sleep quality, alleviate fatigue, and promote a sense of well-being makes it a compelling natural remedy for those seeking a peaceful night's sleep and overall improved mood and cognitive function.
How to Consume Reishi for Better Sleep
1. Reishi Tea
2. Reishi Capsules or Tinctures
3. Reishi Elixirs
4. Culinary Adventures
Navigating Reishi Dosage for Sleep
Before we explore the nuances of choosing the right Reishi supplement, it's crucial to understand how to navigate Reishi dosage effectively. The appropriate dosage can vary from person to person, depending on factors such as age, weight, and overall health. Here are some general guidelines to help you get started:
- Starting Slowly: If you're new to Reishi, it's advisable to start with a lower dose and gradually increase it. This allows your body to adapt to the mushroom's effects and helps you gauge your body's response. A beginner's dose may be around 1.5 milligrams of reishi extract. Some people even microdose mushrooms with great results.
- Consult a Professional: If you have underlying health conditions or are taking medications, it's wise to consult a healthcare professional before adding Reishi to your routine. They can provide personalized guidance on dosage.
- Pay Attention to Labels: When using Reishi supplements, carefully follow the recommended dosage instructions provided on the product label. These guidelines are typically designed to ensure safety and effectiveness.
- Monitor Your Body: Everyone's body reacts differently to supplements. Pay attention to how you feel after taking Reishi. If you experience any adverse effects, reduce the dosage or discontinue use and consult a healthcare provider.
Keep in mind that Reishi is generally considered safe when used responsibly. However, it's always wise to exercise caution and prioritize your well-being.
How to Choose High-Quality Reishi Supplements for Sleep
Whole Mushroom Powder vs. Mushroom Extract
- Whole Mushroom Powder: This form includes the entire mushroom, which means you get all the nutrients and compounds it naturally contains. It's like enjoying a whole fruit with its fiber and vitamins intact. Whole mushroom powder provides a holistic nutrition boost but it does NOT usually contain the beta glucans necessary for therapeutic benefits.
- Mushroom Extract: Extracts are more concentrated and contain specific compounds extracted from the mushroom. The extraction process helps to make the beta glucans more bioavailable in order to provide more consistent and effective benefits. However, mushroom extracts don't usually contain the fiber, protein, and other nutritional compounds found in whole mushroom products.
Fruiting Body Supplements vs. Mycelium Supplements
- Fruiting Body Supplements: Fruiting body supplements are derived from the mature part of the mushroom responsible for producing spores. They tend to be richer in the beneficial compounds you're looking for, making them a preferred choice for health purposes.
- Mycelium Supplements: Mycelium is the mushroom's root system. While it's a crucial part of the mushroom's lifecycle, mycelium supplements may not provide the same benefits as those derived from the fruiting body. It's like comparing the health benefits of an apple to the benefits of its roots. Companies may use mycelium to create cheaply made products, but the benefits don't weigh up.
When selecting a Reishi supplement, look for clear labeling that specifies whether it's made from whole mushroom powder or an extract, as well as whether it's sourced from the fruiting body or mycelium. A high-quality mushroom supplement will tell you its beta glucan content, which should be around 20% or more.
In the quest for a good night's sleep, Reishi emerges as a natural ally. Its adaptogenic qualities, stress-reduction abilities, and hormone-regulating functions make it a standout among other functional mushrooms. And with the various consumption options available, you can easily make Reishi a part of your daily routine.
In a world where sleep can often feel elusive, Reishi stands as a beacon of hope—a reminder that sometimes, nature provides the best solutions to our problems. Give it a try and embark on a journey towards more restful nights and brighter days.
If you want to take full advantage of the "functional" side of functional mushrooms, consider a mushroom super-blend like our Lucid Coffee, Chai, or Matcha powders. It takes full advantage of the benefits of these superfood mushrooms by pairing Cordyceps, Maitake, Tremella, and Lion's Mane, plus powerful nootropics, like BCAA's, L-Theanine, Alpha-GPC, and more.