Have you ever put your head on your pillow, hoping for sleep to come quickly? But your wired mind, obsessing over your work or family problems, just perhaps it just won’t let you relax.
Not quickly falling asleep is one of life’s cruelties, exhausted from the day yet knowing sleep won’t come for minutes or possibly hours.
But what can you do about it? Certainly, there are many options, from sleep meditation, prescription sleep aids, white noise machines, optimizing your room for sleep, and more.
Let’s take a look at one of nature’s go-to-sleep helpers, Reishi mushrooms.
Instead of resorting to sedatives, many bad sleepers looking for a more natural way to deal with their racing minds have turned to adaptogens. Adaptogens originated from Eastern medicine and are a way for your body and mind to better cope with physical and emotional stress.
Stress is perhaps the most significant factor affecting how well you sleep. With their ability to promote a greater sense of calm, adaptogens, by extension, are proving to be very useful for those in the pursuit of a good night’s sleep.
Some well-known adaptogens include Ashwagandha, Rhodiola Rosea, and medicinal (functional) mushrooms. Mushrooms have been recognized as one of the more powerful adaptogens, with Reishi mushrooms, in particular, gaining popularity with those struggling with sleep.
The Stress-Reducing Effect of Reishi
The Reishi mushroom (Ganoderma lucidum) has long been revered in Asian cultures and is considered the mushroom of immortality. In Traditional Chinese Medicine, Reishi has been prescribed for over 2,000 years to help promote calmness and relaxation. As early as the first century BC, Reishi was recognized in “Shennong’s Herbal Classic” for its tranquilizing effect.
Several research studies on Reishi have shown an extraordinary ability to calm the body and mind and promote deep relaxation.
One study conducted using Reishi mushrooms for over eight weeks on 132 people with neurasthenia, a condition of exhaustion that includes symptoms of headache and irritability, found a significant reduction in mental and physical fatigue and improvement in overall wellbeing.
It’s believed that the terpenoid compounds found in Reishi may help soothe the nervous system. Studies show that long-term Reishi use helps increase slow-wave sleep, also known as deep sleep. With regular use, consuming Reishi mushrooms may help promote quality sleep. Unlike melatonin or sedatives, Reishi doesn’t make you feel drowsy. Instead, Reishi mushrooms help calm your racing mind and help you better respond to stress, which translates into falling asleep quicker.
How to Use Reishi to Fall Asleep
Reishi grows naturally in Europe and Asia in dimly lit forests, typically on dead oak tree trunks. Bitter tasting and tough to chew, they are not the type of mushrooms you’d include in your soup or salad.
The best way to use Reishi for sleep is to make a cup of tea using an extracted powder. Mix a quarter teaspoon with a bag of chamomile and let it steep in hot water. Add a little honey to cut the bitter taste. It takes a while getting used to but can be well worth it.
Medicinal Mushroom Supplements
Medicinal mushroom supplements that include adaptogens like Reishi, Chaga, and Lion’s Mane are becoming more and more popular. These mushrooms are known for boosting your resiliency to stress and offer health benefits that support your body’s natural functions for immunity, cognitive clarity, relaxation, and balance.
Stonehenge Health’s Dynamic Mushrooms is an expertly crafted blend that includes Reishi plus Lion’s Mane, Chaga, Maitake, and Shiitake. Include Dynamic Mushrooms in your daily routine as part of an overall healthy lifestyle and to boost your ability to adapt to physical and mental stressors, as well as supporting your immune system’s health.
3. Babu, P. D., & Subhasree, R. S. (2008). The Sacred Mushroom “Reishi”-A Review. American-Eurasian Journal of Botany,1(3), 107-110.