Disturbed sleep is more than an inconvenience that leaves you feeling drained the next day; it can affect your daily functioning. It has a negative impact on memory, mood, and concentration and boosts the risk of depression, high blood pressure, heart disease, and type 2 diabetes. While you may be tempted to turn to sleeping pills, natural remedies such as medicinal mushrooms are a much safer and healthier option.
Medicinal mushrooms are known to have a host of therapeutic benefits and have played an important part in supporting natural sleep cycles for centuries. Today, mushroom capsules for sleep are becoming an increasingly popular choice for those looking for a natural and safe way to get a better night’s rest.
Are Medicinal Mushrooms for Sleep Effective?
Certain medicinal mushrooms are known to have adaptogenic effects. Adaptogens are a class of herbs known to reduce the effects of stress on the body. They are also touted for their ability to help promote relaxation and restful sleep. They work to bring the body into better balance, thereby giving the body the power to respond to certain external stimuli better.
As the name suggests, adaptogens help us deal with (adapt to) stress and react to what the body needs at the time. This is especially helpful when it comes to getting a good night’s rest.
Therefore, medicinal mushrooms with adaptogenic properties may be able to help with sleep. Additionally, the active compounds found in mushrooms may also have sleep properties, along with an array of other health benefits. Here are a few of the compounds to look out for:
- Ergosterol: Has antioxidant and immunomodulating properties
- Glutathione: Antioxidant that reduces oxidative stress
- Ergothioneine: Antioxidant that helps reduce the effects of stress.
- Polyphenols9: Antioxidants present in the fruiting body to reduce free radical damage
When shopping for medicinal mushrooms for sleep, it’s important to buy only the highest quality products. Not all mushroom supplements are created equal, and one of the most important things to look at is what part of the mushroom is used to create the product.
Some companies use mycelium, which is the root structure of the mushroom. Instead, look out for products that are made using the fruiting body, which is the actual mushroom. The fruiting body ensures mushroom supplements that produce maximum potency and optimal effects.
What Are the Best Medicinal Mushrooms for Sleep?
Just like herbs and oils, mushrooms are available in many different species and varieties with different properties supporting different functions. Therefore, if you’re thinking about using mushrooms for sleep, some types will be more effective than others.
Here are the top medicinal mushrooms when it comes to improving sleep.
- Reishi Mushrooms
Reishi is often referred to as the “Queen of mushrooms” and has been used in traditional Chinese medicine for thousands of years. Not only does it boast immune-supporting properties and anti-inflammatory antioxidants, but reishi also has an anti-stress effect that can help improve sleep quality.
According to a 2007 study, reishi helps users fall asleep quicker and increase the amount of deep sleep. The study reported that reishi increased the time spent in non-REM (NREM) sleep, which includes the deepest phases of sleep. During this phase, the body performs much of the crucial recovery work that’s necessary for day-to-day focus, productivity, and performance. Additionally, a 2012 study found that reishi prolonged sleep time in rats.
- Lion’s Mane
Another great mushroom for sleep is lion’s mane. This one is well-known for its neutral benefits and support with cognitive function. More importantly, though, according to a 2016 study, it has the ability to advance the sleep-wake cycle and decrease wakefulness during the active phase of sleep (REM). Therefore, consuming these medicinal mushrooms before bed could help with delayed sleep phase syndrome.
According to Nature’s Rise, Lion’s Mane also carries adaptogenic properties. The mushroom helps the body adapt to stress and anxiety, two factors often associated with poor sleep. The anti-anxiety and stress-reducing properties of Lion’s mane mushroom calm down the overactive brain, reducing the time the body needs to fall asleep.
Although cordyceps are best-known for their ability to increase energy levels and improve exercise performance, these mushrooms could also help with sleep. This is because cordyceps contain an adenosine analog called cordycepin. Adenosine plays a part in modulating sleep and wakefulness, and since the cordycepin is similar in structure, it could display similar effects as it interacts with adenosine receptors.
Final Thoughts on Using Medicinal Mushrooms for Sleep
Medicinal mushrooms may be just what you need if you’re looking for a natural way to improve your sleeping patterns. However, different mushrooms have different effects, and some will be more effective than others when it comes to sleep. Reishi, lion’s mane, and cordyceps are considered to be the best mushrooms for sleep.
It’s also important to buy your medicinal mushrooms from a reputable source that uses the fruiting bodies rather than the mycelium of the mushroom. Additionally, check what other active compounds are found in the supplement since they may also have sleep properties.