Sleep is extremely important. Without it, the body can’t function well and can’t repair and heal quickly. A healthy sleep is also necessary for learning, metabolic regulations as well as the optimal functioning of the body during consciousness.
However many people are finding it more and more difficult to get a good and revitalizing night’s rest.
This is perhaps why a lot of effort has been put into discovering medications and natural remedies that can help improve sleep quality. Amongst those acclaimed to improve sleep quality is actually ashwagandha.
This article looks at the effectiveness of taking ashwagandha at night, and what effects you can expect.
We will also also show you the general effects of ashwagandha on your body, and the possible side effects, so you can make an informed decision about whether you should start taking ashwagandha at night.
But First: What Exacly is Ashwagandha?
Commonly known as ashwagandha or winter cherry, Withania somnifera is a medicinal herb native to India, Africa, and the Middle East.
Ashwagandha is used and sold in many countries as a dietary supplement and is also a well-recognized and useful herb in Ayurveda – India’s alternative medicine system – where it has been used for thousands of years to treat various diseases.
Ashwagandha is an adaptogen plant, meaning it can help your body’s response to stress and reduce your stress levels. That in itself can actually increase sleep quality.
Ashwagandha has been formulated into different medication forms and is available as tablets, capsules, powders, and cosmetics products.
Effect of Ashwagandha on Sleep
So what can you expect if you take ashwagandha at night? Well, there’s three main things that as a result of taking ashwagandha at night could actually help you sleep better.
1. Improves Sleep Quality
A study conducted in several facilities, including in WHO trials and others, confirmed that ashwagandha has a beneficial effect in improving sleep in adults.
That’s because the leaves of ashwagandha contain trimethylene glycol, which helps to promote sleep induction and is potentially useful for insomnia therapy.
Some claims also suggest that pairing ashwagandha with nutmeg, which is another sleep aid, can further enhance ashwagandha’s ability to improve sleep.
2. Regulates the Body’s Natural Stress Response
Stress is one of the most common causes of insomnia. When you’re worried or stressed about something, you will find it difficult to shut down your body and relax.
This is about 50% more than other placebos that were used.
So, taking ashwagandha at night regularly may help reduce your stress and anxiety levels, which can directly lead to a night of improved sleep.
3. Reduces Blood Sugar level
Ashwagandha has been proven to reduce the blood sugar level of diabetic patients and healthy individuals too.
A high blood sugar level is associated with hyperactivity, restlessness, and other symptoms that can reduce your ability to have a good night’s sleep.
For people with high blood sugar levels, ashwagandha’s blood sugar-reducing properties may come in handy, reducing the blood sugar level to a normal one and leaving you in a more primed state for sleep.
While conclusive evidence is yet to be made on the effectiveness of ashwagandha for the treatment of diseases, there is enough evidence to support the claims that ashwagandha is an excellent natural remedy for insomnia.
Five Research-Proven Health Benefits Of Ashwagandha
Ashwagandha is known as India ginseng because of the incredible health benefits it offers.
We show you some of the most notable below.
1. Blood Sugar Reduction
A study confirmed that ashwagandha has diuretic, hypoglycemic and hypocholesterolemic properties.
In essence, this means that ashwagandha can help in the reduction of blood sugar levels as well as cholesterol levels.
In fact, the study in question confirmed that ashwagandha worked as well as oral medications given to diabetic people.
2. May Improve Exercise Performance
A study that involved 12 men and women was carried out to test the effects of ashwagandha on physical performance. The volunteers were placed on doses between 120mg and 1250mg.
The results revealed that ashwagandha supplements may potentially improve physical performance and strength.
Ashwagandha may also increase muscle strength and the maximal amount of oxygen available for use during intense physical activity.
3. Improves Mental Health & Focus
Ashwagandha has been used for a long time for brain health in the ancient Ayurvedic practice. It is believed that the plant has youth-giving properties that can improve mental health and focus and also prevent loss of brain functions.
And in fact, cognitive functions, as well as mental abilities, may indeed be boosted by the use of ashwagandha. Memory and information processing was increased in the participants of one study.
Research is currently being carried out on the effectiveness of ashwagandha in the treatment of related neurological conditions like Parkinson’s and Alzheimer’s too. The research is promising as it suggests that this natural herb may help with brain cell regeneration.
4. May Increase Fertility in Men
Some studies have shown that ashwagandha can help to increase testosterone levels in men, thereby increasing their fertility rate.
DHEA – S is a sex hormone, and it is involved in the production of testosterone in the body. Ashwagandha has been proven to increase the level of DHEA – S production in the body, thereby increasing testosterone levels.
5. Good For Heart Health
Blood pressure and high cholesterol levels are two of the main triggers of heart diseases. When they are at a normal level, the risk of heart disease is reduced.
Ashwagandha has been shown to help lower cholesterol levels, blood pressure, and sugar levels.
Side Effects Of Ashwagandha
Although ashwagandha is deemed safe for consumption, some people might still experience the following side effects in a mild manner.
- Gastrointestinal discomforts
NOTE: Ashwagandha should not be used at all during pregnancy or breastfeeding.
Taking Ashwagandha at Night: Our Final Thoughts
Ashwagandha has several health benefits and has been confirmed to help improve sleep quality and even help with therapy for insomnia.
However, care should still be taken, especially when used with other supplements and prescription drugs. It can also lead to drug interactions which can cause some adverse effects.
Therefore, before you add ashwagandha to your medication or supplement list, make sure you consult your medical advisor.