Sleep is one of the most essential factors to our health. Lack of sleep can lead to various complications, and the prevalence of insomnia is only increasing as society becomes dependent on their phones and other electronics, which can negatively impact sleep quality. Believe it or not, 7 hours of restful sleep per night should be the minimum amount we get each night, and most people aren’t even achieving this! Not only this, but poor mental health can further impact sleep and this is becoming more and more prevalent in today’s world. It is important to remember that sleep is the process by which our bodies and minds recharge and recover, so prioritizing this specific foundation of health can do wonders for us. With inadequate sleep, we may suffer from impaired concentration, difficulties with memory, even difficulties with processing information. When we wake up, we should feel refreshed and ready to take on another day!
Of course, with increasing prevalence of insomnia, there is an increase in the need for sleep-inducing medications, which often lead to dependence and many side effects. Benzodiazepines are the most common pharmaceutical used to treat insomnia, but long-term use can lead to tolerance and dependency, not to mention a bounty of adverse effects . The search for a safe, but efficient alternative is the goal of many individuals as they struggle to keep up with day-to-day life.
Benefits of Reishi Mushrooom
Ganoderma lucidum, also known as Reishi or Lingzhi in China, is a medicinal mushroom that has been used for thousands of years . Primarily its function lies in its tranquilizing effect and ability to calm individuals and assist in sleep . Sleep is one of the most important aspects of our lives and insufficient sleep has been associated to a myriad of conditions . Chronic sleep issues have been linked to cardiovascular disease, obesity, mortality, even diabetes .
One study found that Reishi properties were able to increase levels of sleep-promoting neurotransmitters, which are chemical messengers used by the nervous system to transmit signals to different parts of the body . Reishi was also able to improve the gut microbiota, which is important as recent studies have indicated that alterations in the bacterial environment of the gut might be associated with sleep quality due to the function of the gut-brain axis . Overall, the study illustrated that Reishi mushroom extracts were able to improve sleep through microbiota-dependent and serotonin-associated pathways .
Another study that used the fruiting body extract of Reishi exhibited that a 3-day administration of the mushroom supplement has the potential to increase total sleep time and the length of non-rapid eye movement (NREM) sleep, which would result in a more restful and better sleep . The mechanism underlying this powerful action of Reishi may lie in its ability to modulate cytokines, such as TNF-alpha, which is involved in sleep regulation and the promotion of NREM sleep .
Does Reishi Help You Sleep?
Of course, it is easy to question whether natural products can produce the same effects as pharmaceutical options, but one study seems to believe that Reishi exhibits the potential to. An extract of Ganoderma lucidum was studied for its effects on sleep clinically and physiologically and found that not only did Reishi improve sleep time, sleep quality, and sleep latency, it acted in benzodiazepine-like fashion . Now, because of this, you may be asking yourself “is Reishi mushroom safe for sleep?” if it acts in similar fashion to benzodiazepines, and the answer would be that Reishi produces its anti-insomnia action without the adverse effects or dependence seen in pharmaceutical usage . Long story short, yes, it is safe!
Without proper sleep, our bodies and our brains will suffer and lack proper functioning. Achieving an adequate night of rest can be the difference between health and illness as deprivation puts us at risk for the development of various conditions. It is common knowledge that exercise and eating a balanced diet are important for our immune system, but sleep should be right up there at the same level of priority. Eversio Wellness carries a product containing the organic mushroom extract of the fruiting body of Reishi, high beta-d glucans, and conveniently packaged into small capsules. However, if you want to boost that night-time routine even further, why not add the contents of these capsules to a cup of cocoa a few hours before bed and end the night with the soothing treat of a Reishi hot chocolate.
By Silvana Jakupovic — BSc and 4th Year Student of Naturopathic Medicine (CCNM-Boucher)
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