How This Helps

Are you struggling to sleep well during the night? Does your insomnia problem turn into a nightmare for you? Having a good sleep after popping a pill can make you dependent and give you side effects. In such a case, natural therapies could be a choice for treating insomnia. Getting eight hours of sleep every day wakes you up feeling refreshed and energetic for your daily activities. A night of good sleep cannot only keep you healthy but also make you feel good about yourself. Ayurveda suggests sleep problems are connected to the body lacking energy reserves, instead of having too much energy. The Ayurvedic philosophy for sleep isn't to medicate an already exhausted body but to rejuvenate internally. We can then have the energy after a sound sleep to be completely rested the next morning.

Millions of Americans have difficulty getting a good night's sleep. New research has linked numerous health issues to inadequate sleep. Brain lymphatics drain three pounds of toxins annually during sleep. The worse you sleep, the less efficiently the brain drains, and the less the brain drains, the less likely you'll find a good night's sleep. Taking ashwagandha before going to bed can support a night of healthy sleep.  Ashwagandha is known as one of the world's most powerful adaptogens, so it helps the adrenal gland regulate hormones and helps the body deal with stress. In actuality, somnifera in Latin literally means sleep inducer. Ashwagandha massaging the internals of the body to address stress and exhaustion. 

It's apparent that the many variations of stress can dramatically affect one's ability to sleep. Stress can change the circadian clock, throw off blood glucose, flood the body with stress hormones, disturb the production of hormones, change the microbiome and deplete the body's energy reserves--all factors associated with healthy sleep.

Ayurveda views sleep as one of the three pillars of wellness that heals the human body. These three pillars are Ahara (diet) Nidra (sleep), and Brahmacharya (abstinence). Happiness, distress, nutrition, emaciation, strength, fatigue, virility, sterility, knowledge, ignorance, life and death happen based on improper or proper sleep. In accordance with Charaka, once the mind is exhausted and they dissociate themselves from their objects, then the person sleeps.

Sleep occurs because of the body and brain have depleted the very important energy that keeps the body moving. The Ayurvedic strategy to induce sleep isn't to sedate the exhausted body and mind, yet to revive and rejuvenate the sattva quality of the brain and balance the Kapha dosha. Additionally, it is required to mitigate the rajas triggered by the excess Vata aggravation, so the body has a relaxed, natural sleep and a calm and peaceful mind on waking up the next morning. Research has also confirmed that high-concentration ashwagandha root extract can be an effective sleep and anxiety aid.

What causes sleep problems?

Inadequate sleep and irregular sleep patterns can affect your quality of life. Insomnia and other sleep disorders may increase the risk of developing problems like cardiovascular diseases, obesity, anxiety, depression, and mania deficits by altering the hormonal and neurochemical levels in the body.

Insomnia and other sleep disorders like snoring, sleep apnea, restless leg syndrome, and sleep deprivation are some of the common symptoms that may affect your sleep. Many conventional therapies may help you sleep better. But, these therapies tend to possess adverse effects making people reluctant to use them.

See: Sleeping on the left side health benefits

Ashwagandha before bed for a sound sleep

Ashwagandha before bed for sleep problems:

Ayurveda mentions a herb called Withania Somnifera (Ashwagandha) whose root or whole plant extract has the potential to induce sleep. So, this can be the best natural remedy for people who are suffering from Insomnia. Numerous research studies have proved ashwagandha to treat a variety of diseases related to the brain like anxiety, depression, mania, sleep-related problems, and neurocognitive disorders.


Ashwagandha reduces stress hormones and promotes sleep

When our body is exposed to long term stress, it stimulates a series of responses in our body and increases the stress hormones. Increased cortisol levels exert their effects on the multiple aspects of brain function. It may cause degeneration of neurons, impair sleep mechanism, leads to anxiety, promotes emotional events by modulating the neurotransmitters and neuropeptides.  Ashwagandha intake before bed has shown an inhibitory effect on stress hormones by attenuating the impact on the HPA axis. Thus, ashwagandha causes reductions in the morning cortisol levels, thereby promoting brain health and proper sleep cycle. 


Lighten the brain with toxic loads and promotes sleep by relaxing your brain:

The environmental toxins can congest our brain lymphatics with toxins. Research has shown that oxidative stress can disrupt your sleep patterns. The free radicals generated through oxidative stress may damage the nerve cells and disrupt your sleep pattern. In such cases, the intake of ashwagandha before bed promotes antioxidant activity by scavenging the free radicals. It also supports proper lymph drainage that can relax your brain and aid in sound sleep.


Mood enhancing property of ashwagandha

Ashwagandha root extract relaxes your brain by rejuvenating the brain cells. It acts as a potent regenerative nervine tonic by exerting GABA mimetic activity. Ashwagandha before bed can reduce the hyperactivity of the nerve cells and contribute to a relaxing effect on the brain. Ashwagandha also enhances mood and promotes feelings of well-being and happiness.


Ashwagandha regulating your sleep cycle

Regulation of the sleep cycle has two components: Sleep generation and sleep maintenance.

Sleep generation involves some NREM episodes. Whereas, sleep maintenance is the duration of each NREM episode. Triethylene glycol, an active constituent of ashwagandha has shown to increase the frequency of NREM sleep episodes. Thus, promoting sleep by increasing the total amount of NREM sleep episodes, suggesting a beneficial role of ashwagandha in generating rest more frequently. 

See: How To Lower High Cortisol Levels Naturally

Studies in Ashwagandha for sleep

Is there any science and research conducted to showcase the efficacy of ashwagandha before sleep?


A Double-blind, Randomized, Placebo-controlled Study: Efficacy and Safety of Ashwagandha (Withania somnifera) Root Extract in Insomnia and Anxiety

The study included 60 individuals with Insomnia and anxiety-related disorders. The study aimed to evaluate the effect of ashwagandha for Insomnia. The 60 patients were randomly divided into two groups: A group containing 40 people received the test drug ashwagandha (300 mg). The remaining 20 people received a placebo treatment. 

The treatment was administered twice daily for ten weeks. The sleep parameters, anxiety, and depression scores were analyzed at the baseline and ten weeks. There was a significant improvement in sleep efficiency scores with ashwagandha when compared to the placebo. Similarly, significant improvement in sleep quality was also observed with test drugs as compared to placebo. Other sleep parameters, like sleep onset latency, PSQI, and anxiety Hamilton score, were also increased with Ashwagandha root extract treatment. 

See: Ashwagandha benefits for anxiety

Best ways to use ashwagandha for sleep before bed

How to use ashwagandha for sleep before bed 

Ashwagandha root extract is available in powder form, and you can find it at an Ayurvedic or pharmacy store. These powdered extract can be taken either with milk or directly with water. 

Heat the milk with one spoon of Ashwagandha powder, whisk it, and heat it for another 5 minutes at low flame. Consume it hot before going to sleep. See the best results of consuming it.

If you are not fond of milk, you can replace it with water with a pinch of ginger, cinnamon, and nutmeg and whisk it with ashwagandha. To sweeten it, you can add honey or maple syrup if desired. If you are lazy enough to boil milk with Aswagandha, then you can simply take a capsule of ashwagandha to sleep nicely at night.

See: Acupuncture for sleep disorders

Summary

Ashwagandha is an adaptogenic herb with medicinal properties. The highest concentration of ashwagandha can improve your sleep cycles by increasing sleep efficiency and maintaining the frequency of sleep episodes. Triethylene glycol, an active component of ashwagandha, is the best remedy for Insomnia that regulates the wake/sleep cycle. However, the mechanism of action for these properties still needs to be elucidated through more extensive research. 

See: Ayurveda For Brain Fog & Chronic Fatigue

References

1. Singh, Narendra & Bhalla, Manpreet & de Jager, Prashanti & Gilca, Marilena. (2011). An Overview on Ashwagandha: A Rasayana (Rejuvenator) of Ayurveda. African journal of traditional, complementary, & alternative medicines: AJTCAM / African Networks on Ethnomedicines. 8. 208-13. 10.4314/ajtcam.v8i5S.9. 

2. Chandrasekhar K., Kapoor J., Anishetty S., A prospective randomized double-blind, placebo-controlled study of safety & efficacy of a high-concentration full-spectrum extract of ashwagandha root in reducing stress & anxiety in adults. Indian J Psychol Med 2012;34:255–262.

3. Gannon, Jessica & Brar, Jaspreet & Rai, Abhishek & Chengappa, K. (2019). Effects of a standardized extract of Ashwagandha (Withania somnifera) on depression & anxiety symptoms in persons with schizophrenia participating in a randomized, placebo-controlled clinical trial. Annals of clinical psychiatry: official journal of the American Academy of Clinical Psychiatrists. 31. 123-129

4. Mahesh K. Kaushik, Sunil C. Kaul, Renu Wadhwa, Masashi Yanagisawa, Yoshihiro Urade. Triethylene glycol, an active component of Ashwagandha (Withania somnifera) leaves, is responsible for sleep induction. PLOS ONE, 2017; 12 (2): e0172508 DOI: 10.1371/journal.pone.0172508

5. Langade, Deepak & Kanchi, Subodh & Salve, Jaising & Debnath, Khokan & Ambegaokar, Dhruv. (2019). Efficacy and Safety of Ashwagandha (Withania somnifera) Root Extract in Insomnia & Anxiety: A Double-blind, Randomized, Placebo-controlled Study. Cureus. 11. 10.7759/cureus.5797. 

6. Deepak Langade, Subodh Kanchi, Jaising Salve, Khokan Debnath, Dhruv Ambegaokar, https://www.cureus.com/articles/22928-efficacy-and-safety-of-ashwagandha-withania-somnifera-root-extract-in-insomnia-and-anxiety-a-double-blind-randomized-placebo-controlled-study

See: Ayurvedic Diet

Dosha Quiz

Get a Consultation
(650) 539-4545
Get more information via email