Adaptogens and natural supplements are becoming increasingly popular as options for improving sleep quality. One such herb is Ashwagandha, which is known for its calming properties. However, not many people know the benefits of Ashwagandha for sleep.
Ashwagandha is a commonly used herb in Ayurvedic medicine, which is a traditional form of medicine from India. The herb is also referred to by its other popular name, Withania somnifera. The term ‘somnifera’ in Latin means sleep-inducer, highlighting its potential to promote better sleep. It is also known as Indian ginseng.
Knowing what ashwagandha is, let’s understand its benefits and how it works through science lenses.
Here are some of the most significant improvements that ashwagandha can offer:
Ashwagandha’s Benefits for Sleep
Many studies analyze such impact; for example, a study from 2019 found that ashwagandha helped reduce stress and anxiety levels in participants, leading to improved sleep quality.
Effects of Ashwagandha on Stress Response
Ashwagandha is primarily a natural stress-buster. That means that this root can help to alleviate symptoms of stress and anxiety by regulating the body’s stress response.
A published study investigating ashwagandha’s tress-relieving properties found that ashwagandha helped reduce cortisol levels in participants, a hormone often associated with stress.
Ashwagandha may also help in:
- Reducing inflammation
- Boosting brain function
- Improving heart health
- Balancing blood sugar levels
How Ashwagandha works
This natural herb is rich in biochemical components contributing to its medicinal properties.
Among the most notable are its alkaloids (somniferin, anferine) and steroidal lactones (withanolides, withaferins). These compounds are believed to interact with the body’s stress response system, specifically targeting cortisol levels.
The lowering of cortisol is one of the mechanisms through which ashwagandha promotes better sleep and reduces anxiety.
The herb also contains flavonoids and other antioxidants, contributing to its anti-inflammatory, immune-boosting, and overall health-promoting effects.
Gaba and Serotonin
Additionally, one of the key mechanisms through which ashwagandha exerts these effects is by enhancing GABA receptors and regulating serotonin levels in the brain.
GABA (gamma-aminobutyric acid) is a vital inhibitory neurotransmitter that helps regulate neuronal excitability, promoting calmness and aiding sleep.
Ashwagandha contains bioactive compounds that are thought to enhance the function of GABA receptors. The herb increases the efficacy of GABA’s natural calming effects by doing so.
Serotonin is another crucial neurotransmitter involved in regulating mood, emotion, and sleep. Ashwagandha is also believed to help regulate serotonin levels, thus improving mood and potentially alleviating symptoms of depression or anxiety.
Ashwagandha Side Effects
While ashwagandha is generally considered safe, there are some potential side effects to be aware of. These include:
- Upset stomach
- Allergic reactions
You should not take ashwagandha if you’re pregnant or breastfeeding! High doses of ashwagandha have been found to induce abortion.
You should not take it either if you have a thyroid disorder, or are taking medication.
Learn More: How Your Sleep Affects Your Day
How to Take Ashwagandha
If you want ashwagandha’a benefits for sleep to improve your sleep quality, keep a few things in mind, for example, how much to take and when.
The suggested amount of ashwagandha to take can differ based on the type you’re using. For capsules or tablets, a typical dose is 600 mg per day. A study showed how twice a day dosage of 300 mg helped improve sleep quality in patients with insomnia.
For those taking ashwagandha for sleep, Taking it about an hour before bedtime is recommended to really get ashwagandha relaxing effects. This allows the herb to take effect and help promote restful sleep.
How Long Does It Take for Ashwagandha to Work?
The time it takes for ashwagandha to start showing effects can vary from person to person, largely depending on factors like dosage, individual metabolism, and the specific issues being addressed. For some, improvements in sleep quality may be noticeable within a week of consistent use.
Others might take longer, often up to a month, to experience significant changes. It’s also common for people to find that the benefits of ashwagandha accumulate over time with consistent use.
Other Natural Supplements
Getting enough restful sleep is essential for our overall health and well-being. While there are many factors that can impact our ability to get the recommended 7-9 hours of sleep per night, there are several natural remedies that can help promote restful sleep.
One such remedy is melatonin, a popular hormone produced by the pineal gland. Melatonin helps regulate our sleep-wake cycles, making it easier to fall asleep and stay asleep throughout the night. It is often used as a supplement to help people with sleep disorders or jet lag.
A fellow root of ashwagandha is Valerian root. It is a natural sedative that has been used for centuries to promote restful sleep. The root is typically consumed as a tea or in supplement form to help people fall asleep faster and improve overall sleep quality.
Chamomile and Passion-Flower are other popular herbs that have calming properties and are often consumed as a tea before bed. It has been shown to promote relaxation and improve sleep quality, making it a popular natural remedy for people struggling with insomnia or other sleep disorders.
And if you are looking for natural leafs that are similar to ashwagandha’s benefits for sleep, you can check lemon balm, green leaf – or L-theanine – and Kava-Kava. Each one can be used as a natural supplement to aid in sleep issues.
By incorporating these natural supplements into your sleep routine, you can improve the quality of your sleep and wake up feeling refreshed and energized.
If you’re struggling with poor sleep quality, Ashwagandha’s Benefits for Sleep can be a natural solution worth considering.
Ashwagandha can help with stress, anxiety, alertness, and sleep, making it a good addition to your bedtime routine.
Disclaimer: The information provided in this article is for informational purposes only and is not intended to substitute for professional medical advice, diagnosis, or treatment.