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< class="article__title title"> The Benefits of Reishi Mushroom For Sleep>
The Benefits of Reishi Mushroom For Sleep
Jan 21, 22
Tags: Reishi
This article has been vetted by the Onnit Advisory Board. Read more about our editorial process.
Author: Sony Sherpa

The Benefits of Reishi Mushroom For Sleep

    TABLE OF CONTENTS

Reishi mushrooms are much sought after in the world of functional mushroom products. They have a long history of use in traditional medicine that dates back to 4000 years. Red Reishi mushroom, scientifically known as Ganoderma lucidum, grows naturally on dried tree trunks of oak, pisonia, and plum. 

Originally found in the Asian continent, the mushroom can now be found widely distributed over North America. As fresh mushrooms are expensive, the demand for their supplements is rising. The rising demand for reishi is primarily because of the health benefits the compounds of the mushroom carry. From boosting the immune system to helping with stress, reishi is one of the few foods that carry a large number of positive effects. 

Some mushroom enthusiasts say the mushroom should be taken in the morning while others cannot stop raving about the reishi mushroom sleep benefits. 

So can you take reishi at night? Is reishi mushroom before bed a good idea? Or will reishi keep me awake? These are some of the most common questions asked by people wondering whether reishi mushroom benefits sleep. In this article, we are going to delve deeper into the relationship between reishi mushroom and sleep.

Why Is Reishi So Popular?

Reishi mushroom has many benefits, ranging from immune-boosting, cancer-protecting, and blood sugar lowering among a few others. Nicknamed the mushroom of immortality, Reishi has gained widespread popularity to treat anything from flu tocancer

People have now started to incorporate the mushroom into their wellness regimen. Adults include the mushroom in their diet and also share it with family to benefit from the numerous ways the mushroom reishi support well-being. 

Many research studies(1) have explored the numerous benefits of Reishi. But the mushroom is mostly used for its sleep-boosting abilities. Due to the paramount pharmacological value of the mushroom, Reishi has earned the moniker “king of mushroom”.

What Are Reishi Mushroom Sleep Benefits?

Research information shows that when used at the right dose, reishi sleep benefits can treat poor quality sleep. What's more, Japanese and Chinese herbalists recommend the use of the reishi mushroom for sleep, mainly as a treatment for insomnia. 

Using Reishi before bed reduces anxiety and depression, and boosts calmness. This is one of the reasons people take reishi for sleep. A calm and relaxed mind will help you get a good night’s sleep.

The sleep-enhancing properties of the mushroom can help you maintain a natural biorhythm.  Taking reishi tea for sleep promotes deep sleep so that you wake up refreshed.

Reishi and sleep seem to be synonymous in the world of mushrooms. One of the best mushrooms for sleep, the fungus is known as the superhero of Non- REM (Rapid Eye Movement) sleep. NREM sleep or light sleep is the phase in which the body recovers and recharges. NREM sleep is essential for daily focus, productivity and performance.

Numerous studies have been conducted to determine the relationship between the reishi mushroom and sleep. Seeking to answer the question "does reishi help with sleep?", these studies have proven that taking reishi before bed is one of the best things anyone can do. In the following section, we will take a look at some of the studies that give a deeper answer to the question "does reishi help you sleep?" 

A randomized double-blind placebo-controlled study found that extracts of Ganoderma lucidum help battle chronic fatigue(2). An eight-week supplement of the mushroom significantly lowered the scores for fatigue. The study also reported an increase in the sense of well-being by up to 38.7%. 

A study(3) looking at the effects of taking the reishi mushroom before bed determined that the mushroom extract decreased sleep latency and the length of time that it takes to transition from fully awake to being asleep. 

The mushroom was also found to increase NREM time, and sleeping time. The herb may have some benzodiazepine-like hypnotic activity and may potentiate phenobarbital-induced sleep—this is one of the few things that make reishi mushroom sleep aid so effective. 

Another 2012 reishi mushroom for sleep study(4) found that Reishi mushroom extract significantly increased non-REM sleep and total sleep time without influencing slow-wave sleep. There was an observed increase in the levels of Transforming Growth Factor-Alpha (TGF-a), a key molecule of sleep regulation. The elevated levels were seen in the blood, in the dorsal raphe nucleus of the brain that controls learning and memory, and in the hypothalamus which regulates the sleep-wake cycles.

Ganoderma lucidum promoted sleep in the phenobarbital-treated test subjects(5). Different doses of the mushroom were given for 28 days which also decreased the time to fall asleep and increased the total duration of sleep. The researchers found that administration of the mushroom extract increased the levels of the sleep-promoting neurotransmitter, 5-hydroxytryptamine. It was also evident from the study that the mushroom influenced the sleep-regulating serotonergic synapse pathway.

From the research studies mentioned above, it is easy to see that reishi is one of the mushrooms that help with sleep. The best mushroom for sleep, reishi has been proven to create a positive impact on all cycles of sleep. 

It is also believed that the Reishi mushroom influences the delta wave activity. Delta waves are high amplitude brain waves that are associated with deep sleep. This fact further proves why reishi is one of the best medicinal mushrooms for sleep. 

The use of the Reishi mushroom as a sleep aid can be justified by its initial supersession of motor activity which leads to a night of natural and sound sleep. The mushroom is beneficial in the early stages of sleep and can also be used in a conjunction with other natural remedies for sleep—for example, you can decide to combine the reishi mushroom calming effect with Chaga mushroom sleep benefits to enjoy better sleep.

How To Take The Mushroom Before Bed?

How To Take The Mushroom Before Bed?

When it comes to medicinal mushrooms for sleep, one of the most asked questions is how one can make the mushrooms part of his/her sleep supplements.  The mushroom is best taken in the evening, around or after dinner. While the mushroom can be consumed raw, the bitter taste and chewy texture might not appeal to everyone.

Fresh Reishi can be added to a pot of boiling water and left to simmer. You can enjoy the cooked chicken-like texture of the mushroom with dinner. You can also mix it with other mushrooms, vegetables, and meat. The fresh mushroom can also be boiled until a dark coffee-like brew is ready. This can be mixed with honey and ginger, lemonade, or your favorite vodka. It is, however, difficult to find fresh mushrooms at supermarkets.

The dried forms of the mushroom are more readily available and more popular. Dried Reishi mushrooms can be consumed and added to tea, smoothies, and prepared meals. The dried mushroom is also available in readymade tea bags. 

Since the powder-dried mushroom is more concentrated and potent than the fresh mushroom, it is the best way to take the fungus before bed.  

So if you suffer from insomnia or want your sleep routine enhanced, Reishi mushroom should be taken every evening before bedtime.

If you are wondering about the reishi mushroom dosage for sleep, we have a detailed guide discussing thereishi mushroom dosage. On average, most people get their sleep benefits from a dose of about 1 gram per day. The reishi mushroom dosage for sleep, however, may vary from one person to the other. For this reason, talking to a health practitioner can help you determine your ideal dosage. 

Will Reishi Keep Me Awake?

Now that you know the answer to the question "do mushrooms help you sleep?", you also want to know whether the mushroom can keep you awake. Before we provide an answer to this question, we would like to address the question, "does reishi make you sleepy?"—this question is often asked by people who prefer taking their reishi in the morning. 

Reishi mushroom does not make you drowsy like over-the-counter or prescription sleeping pills nor does it keep you up at night. It can simply help you recharge and rejuvenate by assisting in sleep during bedtime. It can also provide you with an energy burst the next morning. Reishi mushroom is neither a sedative nor a stimulant.

Final Thoughts

Reishi mushroom is one of the most celebrated mushrooms in the history of traditional medicine—and this is well deserved considering the positive results the mushroom generates when it comes to disease, mood, and other issues. The reishi mushroom balances the sleep cycle and improves sleep quality. Itreduces anxiety, promotes relaxation and focus, andrestores hormone balance and tranquility. 

Reishi increases the NREM phase of sleep and the total sleep time. Ultimately better sleep is associated with a long and healthy life. Since the benefits of Reishi for sleep have now been established, grab a cup of mushroom tea before winding down for bed.

References

  1. Sissi Wachtel-Galor, Yuen, J., Buswell, J. A., & Iris. (2011).Ganoderma lucidum (Lingzhi or Reishi). Nih.gov; CRC Press/Taylor & Francis. (1) https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/books/NBK92757/ 
  2. Tang, W., Gao, Y., Chen, G., Gao, H., Dai, X., Ye, J., Chan, E., Huang, M., & Zhou, S. (2005). A Randomized, Double-Blind and Placebo-Controlled Study of a Ganoderma lucidum Polysaccharide Extract in Neurasthenia.Journal of Medicinal Food,8(1), 53–58. (2) https://doi.org/10.1089/jmf.2005.8.53 
  3. Chu, Q. P., Wang, L. E., Cui, X. Y., Fu, H. Z., Lin, Z. B., Lin, S. Q., & Zhang, Y. H. (2007). Extract of Ganoderma lucidum potentiates pentobarbital-induced sleep via a GABAergic mechanism.Pharmacology, biochemistry, and behavior,86(4), 693–698. (3) https://doi.org/10.1016/j.pbb.2007.02.015 
  4. Cui, X. Y., Cui, S. Y., Zhang, J., Wang, Z. J., Yu, B., Sheng, Z. F., Zhang, X. Q., & Zhang, Y. H. (2012). Extract of Ganoderma lucidum prolongs sleep time in rats.Journal of ethnopharmacology,139(3), 796–800. (4) https://doi.org/10.1016/j.jep.2011.12.020 
  5. Yao, C., Wang, Z., Jiang, H., Yan, R., Huang, Q., Wang, Y., Xie, H., Zou, Y., Yu, Y., & Lv, L. (2021). Ganoderma lucidum promotes sleep through a gut microbiota-dependent and serotonin-involved pathway in mice. Scientific Reports,11(1). (5) https://doi.org/10.1038/s41598-021-92913-6
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