With our hectic schedules and seemingly endless to-do lists, rest and recharge are more complicated than ever. Despite having the best intentions, you might end up staying up later than planned. Or even worse, you find yourself unable to sleep despite being exhausted. Once even if you do fall asleep, it can be challenging to stay asleep or enter the deep sleep that our bodies and minds require to function at their best.
Although mushrooms might not be the first thing that comes to mind as a natural sleep aid, research and health professionals tell us they are. Several types of mushrooms for sleep have properties that can be used to control the nervous and hormonal systems in people (critical players in mood and sleep regulation).
Certain vital mushrooms, like Reishi, Lion’s mane, and Cordyceps, have been demonstrated to contain active compounds that can support you in getting a better night's sleep. Based on both traditional use and growing scientific evidence, these compounds are a safe alternative to sleeping pills or sedatives when taken regularly or in the proper doses.
How do mushrooms help you sleep, and why are health professionals saying yes to functional fungi to combat insomnia?
Let’s find out!
Best Mushrooms For Sleep
The three main mushrooms for sleep are Cordyceps, Lion's mane, and Reishi. These have been used in traditional medicine for thousands of years for their calming and sleep-restorative properties. More recently, integrative doctors and holistic experts have advocated their use to increase the quantity and quality of sleep, mainly when it is linked to high levels of stress or low mood.
So, can you sleep on mushrooms? When it comes to how these mushrooms might impact your brain, sleep habits, and even circadian rhythm, science has a lot to say. Check out how these valuable fungi can improve your sleep if you're still hesitant to try medicinal mushrooms at night.
1. Lion’s Mane Medicinal Mushrooms For Sleep
Lion's mane, also known as the mushroom for the mind, is generally associated with productivity and focus. So, this mushroom might not seem like a great option to end your daily routine at night. But its distinct effects on the brain might also assist you in overcoming insomnia.
In one study(1), eight Japanese undergraduate students' persistent sleep issues were pitted against Lion's mane. The group reported less anxiety and insomnia after taking a specific Lion's mane mushroom extract called Amyloban® 3399 for a month. The quality of sleep also slightly increased.
Lion's mane also accelerates the sleep-wake cycle and reduces wakefulness while the body is actively sleeping (in REM sleep). As a result, taking the mushroom may be beneficial for treating delayed sleep phase syndrome(2).
Lion's mane also has other immune-modulating qualities that support our ability to handle stress from outside sources. As a result, we can sleep more soundly.
In a 2019 study(3), participants who were overweight or obese were evaluated to see if Lion's mane treatment improved sleep after eight weeks of supplementation. Before and after supplementing with H. erinaceus, researchers measured the levels of biomarkers like brain-derived neurotrophic factor (BDNF) and its precursor pro-BDNF.
The investigation, which involved 77 individuals, revealed that oral Lion's mane supplementation reduced sleep disorders.
2. Reishi Mushroom For Sleep
Reishi is an adaptogenic fungus helping you destress and unwind before bed. You'll sleep better if your mind is relaxed and at peace.
The fungus is the superhero of Non- REM (Rapid Eye Movement) sleep. The period of NREM sleep, also known as light sleep, is when the body repairs and recharges. For daily focus, productivity, and performance, NREM sleep is crucial.
According to a study(4), Reishi mushroom extract significantly increased non-REM sleep and overall sleep time while not affecting slow-wave sleep. In addition, transforming Growth Factor-Alpha (TGF-a), a crucial molecule in sleep regulation, was present in higher amounts. The elevated levels were observed in the blood, the brain's dorsal raphe nucleus, which governs memory and learning, and the hypothalamus, which controls sleep-wake cycles.
In another study(5), the test subjects treated with phenobarbital who received Reishi showed improved sleep. Different dosages of the mushroom were administered for 28 days; this resulted in shorter sleep onset times and longer sleep durations overall. In addition, the administration of the mushroom extract, according to the study's findings, raised 5-hydroxytryptamine levels, a neurotransmitter that promotes sleep. The study also showed that the mushroom affected the serotonergic synapse pathway, which controls sleep.
3. Cordyceps For Sleep
Cordyceps contains cordycepin, which is similar to adenosine structurally. Adenosine plays a vital role in regulating sleep and wakefulness. Therefore, the mushroom compound exhibits a similar sleep-promoting effect when cordycepin interacts with adenosine receptors.
The energy-promoting effects of cordyceps also create a positive feedback loop on the sleep and energy cycle. When you get enough rest, you're much more prepared to handle your daily tasks than when you're tired, and cordyceps' added support could help you push through your day's most challenging moments.
Tips On Using Medicinal Mushrooms For Sleep
Should you take all the above-mentioned mushrooms before bed? Unfortunately, that is not the case, as the effects exerted by these mushrooms are different.
Use Reishi mushroom supplements every night before bed for the best results. This mushroom is great for regulating your natural biorhythm due to its beneficial effects on sleep. As a result, you enter a deeper sleep, and when you wake up, you feel refreshed.
Use Lion’s mane in the morning, right after you wake up. This mushroom aids in the restoration of your biorhythm by preserving your alertness and preparing your brain for peak performance.
Including Lion's mane mushrooms in your morning routine will ensure that you have a clear head and are prepared to face the day. Although we advise taking Lion's mane in the morning, some people believe taking the mushroom before bed aids in getting a good night's sleep.
According to experts, Cordyceps shouldn't be consumed as a supplement before bed. As it has a more energizing effect, it can counteract good sleep when taken before bedtime. So even if you want to reap the benefits of a good night's sleep, taking Cordyceps in the morning is advised.
To maximize the variety of benefits you receive, you can always mix the types of mushrooms you use. Talk to your healthcare provider to see what works best for you.
What Mushroom Is Best For Sleep?
Medicinal mushrooms like Lion’s mane, Cordyceps, and Reishi are known to promote a night of good sleep. The mushrooms help you fall asleep faster, stay asleep longer, and wake up refreshed the next day.
Can Mushrooms Help With Insomnia?
Cordyceps, Reishi, and Lion's mane are the three essential mushrooms that help with insomnia. These mushrooms' therapeutic properties and unique chemical makeup support a calm mind and restful sleep
Does Lion's Mane Help With Sleep?
Lion's mane is one of the top medicinal mushrooms for sleep. By lowering anxiety, stress, and inflammatory levels in the body, which all affect the quality and quantity of sleep, the fungi can improve your sleep quality.
Reishi, Lion’s mane, and Cordyceps are the three best mushrooms for sleep. Research has shown that Reishi supports the nervous system and reduces anxiety. Lions’ mane helps the formation of neurons, which is directly related to anxiety-reducing effects, and Cordyceps exerts a positive influence on the cycle of sleep and energy.
If you are having trouble controlling your sleep and need to increase your daytime wakefulness, trying medicinal mushrooms is a good, non-addictive solution.
- The effects of Hericium erinaceus (Amyloban® 3399) on sleep quality and subjective well-being among female undergraduate students: A pilot study, (1)https://www.researchgate.net/publication/276152143
- Hericium erinaceus extracts alter behavioral rhythm in mice, (2)https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/27544998/
- Hericium erinaceus Improves Mood and Sleep Disorders in Patients Affected by Overweight or Obesity: Could Circulating Pro-BDNF and BDNF Be Potential Biomarkers?, (3)https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/31118969/
- Extract of Ganoderma lucidum prolongs sleep time in rats, (4)https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/22207209/
- Ganoderma lucidum promotes sleep through a gut microbiota-dependent and serotonin-involved pathway in mice, (5)https://www.nature.com/articles/s41598-021-92913-6