Will Reishi Keep Me Awake?

Who doesn’t want a great night’s sleep? We spend one-third of our lives sleeping, and that is what keeps us healthy throughout the day! On average, adults need between 7 and 9 hours of sleep per day. This is the time during which important processes happen, including detoxification, tissue repair, new cell production, and healthy cognitive processing.

Missing restorative sleep can result in more susceptibility to infection, poorer recovery from injury, and increased risk of illness and disease. It can also mean that we make more mistakes, perform worse at our work, and respond badly to challenging situations and people. We all know how much more difficult it is to take the high ground when we are exhausted.

With busy schedules and endless to-do lists, it is harder than ever to truly recharge your batteries. Despite your best intentions, you might end up staying up later than anticipated. Worse yet, you lie there wide-eyed, unable to sleep despite the fact that you are exhausted. “Tired but wired” seems ever more common.

Our bodies need sleep to work properly. So, if you have heard that mushrooms can improve your energy but worry that they might interfere with your sleep pattern, fret not. Mushroom supplements have played a critical role in the support of natural sleep cycles for centuries. Truth be told, medicinal mushrooms have a long list of benefits, including increased energy, longer life, and improved immune function.

Read on to learn why reishi is the perfect nighttime elixir to help you sleep like a baby and bring balancing energy to your mind and body.

Nature’s answer to a better night’s sleep

While many of us think that a substance can either be stimulating or sedating, but not both, welcome to the world of adaptogens. Adaptogens are natural substances that help the body find homeostasis, a self-regulating process that maintains internal conditions necessary for survival.

Reishi mushrooms can help provide of a feeling of energy during your waking hours, while their active compounds can assist in sleep when it’s bedtime, helping you recharge and rejuvenate and be better prepared for another full day. Unlike prescription or over-the-counter sleeping pills or even some natural sleep remedies, reishi mushrooms won’t cause you to feel drowsy the next day.

For hundreds of years, Traditional Chinese Medicine (TCM) has classified reishi mushrooms—called “ling zhi”—under the category of “calm the mind” herbs. Though the stressors of centuries or even decades ago may be quite different than today, we are wired for survival and have always had to deal with stresses, whether from illness and disease or worries about potential issues in the days to come. In TCM, it is the fruiting body (stem and cap) that is used to soothe the nervous system, creating a feeling of calm. It’s thus important to make sure that you choose a reishi supplement that includes the fruiting body and not just the mycelium. The medicinal mushroom compounds will not only improve tranquility, but also support healthy liver, heart, and kidney function, helping you deal with the body’s physical stresses, providing a better night’s sleep.

Modern day research has found the reishi mushroom to have promising results as a sedative. In an animal study, supplementation with reishi demonstrated that the mushroom increased the duration of sleep in rats.

How to use reishi mushrooms for optimal sleep

In TCM, herbal formulas are generally prescribed by someone skilled in assessing an individual’s constitution and current health situation. A variety of chosen herbs are mixed together and taken for a specified duration of time. It is rare that individual herbs are recommended.

Reishi mushroom is unique in this regard. Because of its adaptogenic properties, safety, and wide range of applications, it may be recommended to take on its own. If you suffer with insomnia, or simply want to enhance your sleep routine, reishi mushroom supplements should be taken every evening before bedtime. As a mushroom with sleep-enhancing properties, it can help you maintain your natural biorhythm. You will fall into a deeper sleep and wake up feeling refreshed. Simply add the reishi mushroom supplement to your favourite drink or recipe or consume it in capsule form.

Coping With the Daylight Saving Time

Like it or not, autumn is here. While it’s only an hour difference, the switch out of Daylight Saving Time can disrupt your daily routine and alter your body clock, affecting your mood, energy, and sleep patterns.

It’s particularly difficult for those who already have sleep issues, and for those with children or animals that don’t understand the change of time. And if you are not getting enough proper sleep, you can put your memory, productivity, emotional stability, and physical health at risk.

While there is much talk in some regions about doing away with Daylight Saving Time changes, for many of us, we still have to do this for at least another year.

Fortunately, there are some sleep-better tips you can do to ease yourself back to the fall time jump.

​Start preparing early

Believe it or not, even just one hour can wreak havoc on your sleep pattern if you are not prepared for it. Attempting to acclimate to the fall time change all at once can be tough for many people. A more effective plan? Ease into the fall time schedule by staying up a little later and getting up a bit later too for a few days prior to the new time change.

If you have young children, you may want to start this routine even a bit earlier, with gradual adjustments to the bedtime and waketime routine.

​Avoid alcohol and caffeine

Stimulants like alcohol and caffeine can disrupt your body’s internal clock, especially when you’re are trying to adjust to the time change. Caffeine can stay in your system for a long time, so stop with the caffeine at least four to six hours before you plan to wind down for bed. While you may think that alcohol can help you sleep, the truth is, that it reduces rapid eye movement (REM) sleep, resulting in a less restful and restorative sleep.

Instead, drink an herbal tea like chamomile. It will not only help you unwind after a long day, but also help you get a good night’s sleep.

​Get some exercise

The fall time change means earlier morning sun. So, why not make the most of it with some exercise? Getting the body moving early in the day causes your brain to release serotonin, a feel-good hormone that can help your body better adjust to the time change.

​Use Japanese reishi mushrooms

Known as ling zhi in Traditional Chinese Medicine (or “divine mushroom” for the English speakers), Japanese reishi mushrooms have been used for centuries as a super sleep aid. This incredible herb has been shown to calm the mind, reduce anxiety, manage stress, and treat insomnia.

Though it sounds paradoxical, reishi can help you both relax enough to sink into a restful sleep and support your energy through the daytime. It is neither a sedative nor a stimulant.

And, it’s not just seasonal Daylight Saving Time changes that this can help. The same benefits apply for shift workers and time-zone-changing travelers.

Japanese reishi mushrooms also boost the immune system, helping you stay healthy when time changes can throw your body’s internal clock for a loop. Don’t let the fall time change get the better of you this year. With reishi to the rescue, you will be fully prepared for this annual autumn switch in time.