Ashwagandha For Better Sleep: Consumption, Dosage, and More
“I have been suffering from a sleep disorder for a few months. I want to go for herbal treatment to avoid the side effects of prescribed medicines. However, I would like to know if I can use ashwagandha for sleep. Does it have any side effects if taken regularly? How is ashwagandha good for sleep? And the right way to consume the magical herb to gain maximum benefits?”
If you have similar questions, keep reading this article to learn the detailed answer.
What Is Ashwagandha
If you are new to the ancient ayurvedic system, you might want to know what is ashwagandha. So, below is the scientific information.
Scientific Name: Withania Somnifera
Common Name: Ajagandha, Asgandh
English Name: Indian ginseng or winter cherry
Parts Used: Root, Leaf, and Seed
For over 3000 years, ashwagandha has been a valuable herb in the Ayurvedic and indigenous medical systems. The herb is native to India and some parts of the Mediterranean and Africa. The scientific name somnifera means ‘sleep-inductive.’ Being sedative in nature, ashwagandha helps combat sleep disorders and insomnia. The herb lasts for many years, and its height is 1.5 metres. The smell is similar to the horse’s urine; thus, the ayurvedic scripture named it ashwagandha. ‘Ashwa’ means horse, and ‘gandh’ means fragrance.
Ashwagandha is an adaptogen in nature that can help your body manage stress. It consists of three different tastes, namely Tikta (bitter), Katu (pungent), and Madhura (sweet). It consists of laghu (light) and snigdha (oily) gunas. Ashwagandha is known to increase ‘pitta’ dosha and mitigate ‘vata’ and ‘kapha’ doshas. It is helpful in the proper nourishment of tissues, adrenals and reproductive system functioning, infertility, arthritis, depression, and mental disorders. Thus, the ashwagandha root for sleep is considered beneficial in the ancient ayurvedic system.
Can Ashwagandha Help Me Sleep
“Can ashwagandha help me sleep?” Yes, it helps you to get quality rest. A study showed that ashwagandha extract had beneficial effects in improving adult sleep. Moreover, mental alertness showed significant improvement. However, limited data is available on ashwagandha’s safe, prolonged use. Ashwagandha consists of triethylene glycol as a substantial component that helps induce non-rapid eye movement sleep. Also, a slight change in rapid eye movement was observed. How long does ashwagandha take to work? If you use ashwagandha as a sleep aid, it starts showing results in about seven days. Doctors recommend ashwagandha at night for sleep to get the desired results.
Benefits of Ashwagandha for Sleep
Modern lifestyle comes with stress, a byproduct of a highly activated sympathetic nervous system (SNS). In stress, our brain and body are in a fight or flight stage response. It is the body’s mechanism to be alert in threatful conditions. You must enter the parasympathetic nervous system (PSNS) to get out of stress. It is a part of the nervous system governing rest and digestion.
Ashwagandha consists of adaptogen, a non-toxic substance, aiding in managing stress and inducing sleep. Ashwagandha reduces cortisol, the stress hormone, thus reducing stress and anxiety. Hence, a reduction in cortisol level, less SNS, and high PSNS activation shows ashwagandha benefits for sleep.
How To Use Ashwagandha For Sleep
Ashwagandha is available in powder, tablet, and liquid extract forms. But when to take ashwagandha for sleep? Doctors recommend having ashwagandha 30 minutes before bed. Is there any recommendation on how much ashwagandha for sleep is good? Yes, the consumption of ashwagandha depends upon your body’s constitution. A general recommendation for ashwagandha dosage for sleep is ¼- ½ teaspoon powder or, 1-2 tablets once daily. Some people experience a burning sensation if ashwagandha is consumed on an empty stomach. Thus, it is best to consult your doctor about when to consume ashwagandha.
The powder can be mixed with water or warm milk and honey. Though ashwagandha provides many health benefits, using it for more than three months should be avoided. Reduce the dosage if you suffer from nausea, sleepiness, or upset stomach.
Side Effects Of Ashwagandha
Ashwagandha, the herbal ayurvedic medicine, has many benefits besides inducing sleep. However, you may suffer from specific side effects post consuming the herb as a medicine.
- Upset stomach
- Nausea and vomiting
- Weight gain
- Dry mouth
How Ashwagandha Compares To Other Sleep Aids
Multiple sleeping aids available in the market help you combat sleep issues. Therefore, you might want to know how ashwagandha compares to other sleep aids. As an alternative medicine therapy, ashwagandha has fewer side effects than prescribed or over-the-counter sleep aids. However, no research is available on the comparison between the two. Whether natural herbs or prescribed sleep aid drugs, prolonged use may cause adverse side effects such as nausea, drowsiness, headache, and vomiting. A herbal remedies review study found ashwagandha as an effective sleep aid.
Disclaimer: Consult your doctor before going for any treatment for proper usage of the alternative herbal medicine.
How To Decide If Ashwagandha Is Right for You
Healthy people who only suffer from stress and sleep issues can benefit from ashwagandha. Moreover, people who want an alternative therapy can try ashwagandha for sleep or energy boost. However, it should be avoided if a person has one of the following conditions.
- Pregnant and breastfeeding women
- Those with autoimmune issues
- Thyroid disorders
- Pre and post-surgery patients
Consult your doctor if you have other health conditions and medicines, as some medicines might interfere with the herbal medicines and create health problems.
Ashwagandha before bed can work wonders for you. Consume it for a short duration in lower doses to get absorbed by the body easily. Try this magical remedy for your sleep issues as per your body constitution and under expert guidance.
Is ashwagandha best taken at night?
According to early research, taking ashwagandha at night may promote quicker sleep onset, longer sleep duration, and higher-quality sleep. Participants in one actigraphy-based study said their sleep was 72% better after taking ashwagandha for six weeks. However, you can take it at any time of the day.
What happens when you take ashwagandha at night?
Ashwagandha can enhance sleep quality and may be used to treat insomnia. Triethylene glycol, specifically found in the plant’s leaves, helps induce sleep.
How quickly does ashwagandha work?
It may take days or weeks to notice the effects of ashwagandha. As per a study, it took more than 10 weeks for the 60 participants who took 300 mg of ashwagandha daily to notice its full impact on their sleep quality.
How long does it take for ashwagandha to start working?
When combined with a healthy lifestyle, ashwagandha can start to have a favourable effect on the body in as little as two weeks. However, depending on your health, it may take a few months to experience or even notice substantial changes. What will differ most is how well your ashwagandha supplement is made.
What are the ashwagandha side effects?
The side effects of ashwagandha include tiredness, nausea, and upset stomach. Avoid ashwagandha if you have an autoimmune disease or are pregnant because of its adverse effects. Ashwagandha should only be taken for three months to reduce adverse effects.
Can I take ashwagandha with water?
Yes, you can take ashwagandha with warm water or milk – based on your preferences.
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