That medicinal mushrooms for sleep have become popular in recent times is no surprise. In the United States alone, an estimated 70 million people have a sleep disorder. Insomnia is the most common, with 30% of adults reporting it in the short term and 10% in the long term. Incredibly, up to 40% of people admit falling to asleep accidentally during the day! Insomnia is a condition that costs the U.S. over $63 billion in lost productivity each year.
The amount of quality sleep we get has diminished in recent times. We work longer, consume more information, and generally fail to let our minds rest enough.
Sleeping pills are potentially addictive and often make users feel drowsy the following day, even after they wake up. In contrast, a supplement such as mushroom capsules for sleep can help the quality and quantity of your sleep. Let’s find out more in this article.
Can Mushroom Supplements Help You Sleep?
Not many people are aware that humankind has used medicinal mushrooms for millennia. Even today, Asian nations such as Japan and China regularly use mushrooms for their variety of therapeutic benefits. It is crucial to note that there is nothing ‘magic’ about these fungi. They don’t contain psilocybin, the famed psychedelic compound in the types of mushrooms banned in many locations.
Instead, medicinal mushrooms contain various enzymes, vitamins, minerals, and other compounds that support our body’s health. There is evidence that mushrooms could help boost immunity, reduce inflammation, improve brain function, support heart health, and much more. However, what about using mushrooms for sleep?
Compounds to Induce Relaxation
Medicinal mushrooms contain a huge array of active compounds believed to improve the sleep cycle. These include:
- Ergosterol: Possesses immunomodulating and antioxidant properties.
- Glutathione: An antioxidant linked with a reduction in oxidative stress.
- Polyphenols: These antioxidants reduce the free radical damage caused by oxidative stress. You’ll typically find them in the fruiting bodies of the mushroom.
- Triterpenoids: This compound is available in reishi mushrooms in abundance. It plays a major role in improved liver functioning.
- Ergothioneine: Another antioxidant known for reducing the impact of stress.
You see, one of the main reasons we’re unable to sleep is due to high-stress levels. Whether we’re worrying about money, employment, health, family members, friends, the news, or the stock market, stress is prevalent. It is with many of us in the morning, and we carry it through the day. Then, at night, when it is time to unwind, we find it almost impossible to relax.
What we all need is an injection of adaptogens into our diets. Adaptogens help the body react to mental and physical stress and support cortisol production. Guess what? Medicinal mushrooms have immense adaptogenic properties.
A study published in Chinese Medicine in 2018 found that adaptogens act as sleep aids.
Which Mushrooms for Sleep Should I Choose?
In reality, there are a multitude of options. However, most people tend to stick with Reishi, Lion’s Mane, or Cordyceps for sleep. Let’s briefly look into the properties of each one.
Known as the ‘mushroom of immortality,’ reishi is widely regarded as one of the best medicinal mushrooms for sleep. The Chinese began using it thousands of years ago to enhance calmness. They also believed that regular consumption of reishi mushrooms enhanced longevity.
Its immunomodulatory properties enable us to handle external stressors. The result is improved sleep.
Lion’s Mane Mushroom
The so-called ‘mushroom for the mind’ could improve memory and mental function. Many people use it to help with anxiety, depression, and cognitive decline. Lion’s mane mushrooms could even stimulate the growth of new brain cells!
Proponents of lion’s mane suggest it reduces the chance of waking up during the REM phase of sleep. It may also provide an overall benefit to the sleep-wake cycle.
There is also a Cordyceps Sinensis version, but it costs over $20,000 a kilo! In any case, cordyceps is linked with the resetting of biorhythms. This makes it the ideal mushroom if you want to recover from jet lag quickly. It seems as if Cordyceps speeds up the induction of the circadian phase by crossing the blood-brain barrier.
Final Thoughts on Using Medicinal Mushrooms for Sleep
Rather than relying on sleeping pills, perhaps you should consider using mushrooms for sleep. There are dozens of options online. While you can purchase powdered extract, you might find that capsules are preferable. Rather than tasting the mushroom powder, which isn’t always the best experience, you can swallow a couple of pills and conveniently get your daily mushroom intake.
VidaCap is a new brand that has already shown other companies the way forward. It provides five mushroom varieties, all in capsules, containing up to 750mg of extract per capsule. Also, it has specific mushrooms for sleep, which combine reishi mushrooms, melatonin, and valerian root extract to great effect.