Reishi Mushrooms and Sleep

Last Updated on August 22, 2022

Do you find it hard to get a good night’s sleep? You’re not alone. According to the National Sleep Foundation, 50 to 70 million Americans have a sleep disorder.

Moreover, 10% to 30% of adults struggle with chronic insomnia. Additionally, the prevalence of insomnia is slightly higher in the elderly population, ranging between 30% to 48%.

Can Reishi mushrooms improve sleep?

Yes, they can. Reishi mushrooms have been used for centuries in traditional Chinese medicine to promote sleep and good health. Today, Reishi mushrooms are gaining popularity as a natural remedy for sleep problems.

There is some scientific evidence to support the use of Reishi mushrooms for sleep. A study published in the Journal of Traditional and Complementary Medicine found that Reishi mushroom extract improved sleep quality in people with insomnia. The participants took Reishi mushroom extract for four weeks and reported improvements in their sleep quality, including falling asleep more easily and sleeping more soundly.

reishi mushroom

If you’re struggling with sleep problems, Reishi mushrooms may be worth trying.

Like in this 2021 study, researchers found that components in Ganoderma lucidum mushroom promote sleep through a pathway involving the happy hormone serotonin and microorganism in the gut.

The acidic part of the alcohol extract of Reishi mushroom mycelia was used in the study. It was administered in dosages of 25, 50, and 100 mg/kg for 28 days. Results showed that Ganoderma lucidum mushroom increased the levels of sleep-promoting neurotransmitters as well as reduced lipopolysaccharides. The mushroom extract also enriched gut bacteria and its metabolites which positively influences sleeping time.

In another study, rats were given extracts from the fruiting bodies of Ganoderma lucidum orally for 3 days. Sleep parameters were then analyzed. The three-day administration of Reishi mushroom significantly increased total sleep time and non-rapid eye movement (NREM) sleep time at a dose of 80 mg/kg. This dose did not influence slow-wave sleep or REM sleep. These results suggest that Ganoderma lucidum has hypnotic effects and may help promote sleep.

rem sleep cycle

How to take Reishi mushrooms for sleep

There are several ways to take Reishi mushrooms for sleep. You can consume high quality Reishi supplements in the form capsules, powders, and tinctures. You can also brew Reishi tea or add Reishi powder to your favourite beverage.

Reishi tea is one of the most common methods for using Reishi as a sleep aid. Tea has long been used as a natural way to relax and unwind before bedtime. And there’s good reason for that. Tea contains an amino acid called L-theanine, which has been shown to promote relaxation and improve sleep quality.

In addition, tea is a great source of antioxidants, which can help protect your body from damage caused by free radicals. These harmful molecules are thought to contribute to aging and disease. Reishi tea is made by steeping Reishi mushrooms in hot water. This tea has a bitter taste and is usually taken before bedtime.

If you’re taking Reishi supplements, it’s important to start with a low dose and gradually increase the dosage as needed. The recommended dosage of Reishi for sleep is between 1 and 3 grams per day.

When taking Reishi mushrooms for sleep, it’s important to choose a quality product. Look for Reishi supplements that are made with organic mushrooms and have been third-party tested for purity and potency.

Reishi mushrooms are generally considered safe, but they can cause side effects in some people. The most common side effects include upset stomach, dry mouth, and constipation. If you experience any of these side effects, stop taking Reishi and consult your healthcare provider.

The benefits of combining Reishi mushrooms with sleep

Sleep is one of the most important pillars of health. Sleep is critical for our overall health and well-being. It helps to restore our energy, reduce stress, and improve our mood and mental clarity. Unfortunately, many of us don’t get enough sleep on a regular basis.

There are a variety of health benefits associated with getting enough sleep. For example, sleep can:

  • Help to boost your immune system
  • Improve your heart health
  • Reduce stress levels
  • Improve your mental clarity and focus
  • Help you to maintain a healthy weight
  • Improve skin health and skin related issues such as eczema and psoriasis

In combination with sleep, Reishi mushrooms can add an incredible holistic benefit to help aid sleep.

1. Boosting immunity

Ganoderma is a potent immune system booster, thanks to its high concentration of polysaccharides and triterpenes. These active ingredients help to stimulate the production of immune cells and increase their activity. This makes ganoderma an excellent choice for preventing or treating infections, as well as helping the body to recover from illness more quickly.

Scientists investigated the effects of mycelium of Ganoderma lucidum on the enhancement of innate immune response, in this Taiwanese study published on 2006. Results found that the mushroom mycelia, at a dose of 0.2-1.6 mg/ml stimulated TNF-alpha and IL-6 production, the two key molecules of the immune system. It also enhanced the release of IFN-gamma. These results provide supporting evidence for the immunomodulatory effect of Reishi mushroom.

Similarly, in another clinical research, the polysaccharides from Reishi mushroom rapidly and effectively promoted the activation and maturation of immature dendritic cells. This means that they could play an important role in the regulation of immune responses in the body.

2. Regulating blood sugar

Ganoderma has been shown to help regulate blood sugar levels, making it a valuable tool for managing diabetes. One study in particular found that ganoderma was able to significantly reduce fasting blood sugar levels and improve insulin sensitivity in people with type 2 diabetes.

The anti-diabetic effects of Ganoderma lucidum water extracts were evaluated in a study from Hong Kong. The research was carried out on obese or diabetic mice who were given 0.003, 0.03, and 0.3g/kg of the mushroom orally for 4-week.  Different physiological parameters such as blood glucose and insulin levels were assessed.  0.03 and 0.3g/kg of Reishi mushroom lowered the blood glucose level in the first week of treatment. These data demonstrate that the consumption of Reishi mushrooms can provide beneficial effects in treating type 2 diabetes mellitus.

The blood glucose lowering effects of Ganoderma lucidum were also summarized in a review published in the Phytochemistry journal. The biologically active constituents such as proteoglycans, polysaccharides, triterpenoids, and proteins have been shown to have a blood sugar-lowering effect. This is a result of the ability of the Reishi mushroom to increase blood insulin levels and decrease sugar levels. 

3. Reducing inflammation

Inflammation is at the root of many chronic diseases, including heart disease, arthritis, and cancer. Ganoderma contains anti-inflammatory compounds that can help to reduce inflammation throughout the body and protect against these conditions.

Polysaccharides and triterpenoids are regarded as major constituents displaying the anti-inflammatory activities of Ganoderma, but according to this 2021 Chinese study, it could be attributed to sterols too.

Here, the sterols were isolated from Reishi mushroom, which inhibited inflammation and significantly attenuated the release of mediators of inflammation. Results also indicated that Ganoderma sterols may exert a synergistic anti-inflammatory effect with polysaccharides and triterpenes. Researchers concluded that Reishi could be a  natural and safe anti-inflammatory agent to prevent and treat inflammatory diseases.

Likewise, the anticancer and anti-inflammatory properties of Ganoderma lucidum extract were explored in the treatment of melanoma and breast cancer.

This study demonstrates, for the first time, how Ganoderma lucidum extracts can significantly inhibit the release of inflammatory markers in cancer cells. They were also found to decrease the viability and spread of cancer cells. These results indicate the possible use of Reishi extract for the treatment of melanoma and breast cancer.

Conclusion

Reishi mushrooms are a natural sleep aid with many other health benefits. If you are struggling to get a good night’s sleep, Reishi mushrooms may be worth trying. Choose a quality product and start with a low dose to reduce the risk of side effects. Please consult your healthcare provider if you have any questions or concerns about taking Reishi for sleep.

You may also be interested in reading about: Reishi Mushrooms and brain health

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DISCLAIMER

DISCLAIMER
The information on this website is not intended to diagnose, treat, cure or prevent any disease. All information found here is not meant as a substitute for, or alternative to, information from your doctor for ongoing medical treatment you currently receive. If unsure, please consult with your doctor before using medicinal mushrooms. Any content related to cancer should not be considered as prescriptive medical advice and should not be a substitute for any cancer treatment, unless advised by your doctor first. The efficacy of these products has not been confirmed by TGA and FDA-approved research. If you are pregnant or on prescription drugs that thin the blood, consult with your medical professional before using medicinal mushrooms.
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