Chinese and Japanese herbalists often recommend reishi mushrooms to patients who have difficulty sleeping. Reishi is considered, by some, to be a “Shen tonic” for restoring one’s consciousness and emotional balance. According to this approach, when the Shen (or spirit) is in balance, so are mood, cognition, and sleep function. Incorporating this adaptogenic herb into your daily health routine can be a solution for relieving stress and winding down both the body and mind for a better night’s sleep.
Does Reishi Help You Sleep? Here’s What Research Says
The short answer is: yes, reishi does help you sleep. With regular use, consumption of reishi mushrooms can help support quality sleep. Unlike sedatives or melatonin supplements, reishi does not make you feel drowsy. Instead, the naturally occurring compounds within reishi mushrooms work to support stress management and calmness.‡
A study published in the Journal of Ethnopharmacology found that three days of reishi mushroom use “significantly increased total sleep time and non-rapid eye movement sleep” at a dose of 80 mg/kg in test subjects. Researchers observed an increase in levels of tumor necrosis factor alpha (TNF-a), a key substance in sleep regulation; the hypothalamus region of the brain that regulates sleep/wake cycles; and the dorsal raphe nucleus associated with learning and memory.
Similarly, a study published in the Pharmacology Biochemistry and Behavior journal detailed findings that reishi extract “decreased sleep latency, increased sleeping time, non-REM sleep time, and light sleep time in pentobarbital-treated rats.” In other words, the test subjects fell asleep faster and slept longer after three days of use. The test subjects also displayed a decreased amount of spontaneous activity, like fidgeting or anxious behaviors. Scientists concluded that the mushroom “may be a herb having benzodiazepine-like hypnotic activity, at least in part,” and more research is needed to determine its potential synergy with other natural sleep aids or medicines.
A randomized, double-blind, and placebo-controlled study published in the Journal of Medicinal Food looked at the potential impact of reishi on neurasthenia—a condition characterized by weariness, fatigue, headache, irritability, and emotional disturbance. After eight weeks, patients treated with reishi extract had “significantly lower scores” for fatigue and an increased sense of wellbeing.‡
While scientists continue to discover the effects of reishi mushrooms, you can take advantage of the benefits by incorporating the recommended dosage into your daily health routine.
Reishi Mushroom Benefits
Reishi mushrooms have been found to be adaptogenic, have cardiovascular properties, aid in hormonal balance, and support natural immune and sleep functions. These benefits are a result of the naturally occurring active compounds, such as beta-glucan polysaccharides and triterpenes.‡
Reishi mushrooms—as well as chaga, turkey tail, lion’s mane, and cordyceps—have been used therapeutically for centuries and are referred to as adaptogenic mushrooms for their supportive role in the body's natural adaptation. As an adaptogen, reishi mushrooms offer potential health benefits that support the body’s natural functions for immunity, stress reduction, and hormonal balance.‡
Researchers have reported that active compounds in reishi, especially triterpenes, can support blood pressure and cholesterol management. The species has also been found to support blood flow and oxygen consumption in the cardiac muscle.‡
The adaptogenic qualities of reishi mushrooms also influence homeostasis, or balance. Reishi mushrooms help to balance levels of stress hormones such as cortisol and adrenaline.‡
Complex polysaccharide compounds within reishi mushrooms can help stimulate the immune system by activating immune cells such as macrophages and helper-T cells, as well as increasing immunoglobin levels to produce a heightened response to support the body’s defense against foreign cells such as pathogens and microbes.‡
By balancing levels of stress and aiding in the body’s response to anxiety, reishi mushrooms provide a sense of calm to aid in better quality sleep.‡
Ways To Incorporate Reishi Supplements Into Your Nightly Routine
The National Sleep Foundation recommends sticking to a set bedtime and reserving the bedroom for restful activities only. It’s also recommended you cut off caffeine intake by 2 PM and minimize electronics usage, such as mobile devices and TVs, at least 30 minutes before bed.
Having a healthy bedtime routine is vital to quality sleep. Good habits can go a long way, but with a little extra support from Om’s reishi mushroom supplements, for example, you can take confident steps toward better long-term health.
Om Mushroom makes it easy to incorporate reishi supplements into your daily diet, whether you’re looking to reduce stress, support your immune system, or sleep better. Simply add a teaspoon of reishi powder to your evening cup of tea. If you find the tea a bit earthy or bitter for your liking, simply add honey, stevia, or almond milk to taste. If you prefer an easier way to consume, Om offers reishi mushroom powder in capsule form.
Consistency is the key to achieving goals and maintaining health. If you’re incorporating reishi mushroom into your nightly routine, you might also consider consuming cordyceps mushroom supplements in the morning for an energizing start to your day.
Om Mushroom offers products created from functional, adaptogenic mushrooms that have been carefully grown, dehydrated, and milled. Each single-species product is tested for quality and contains 2,000 mg or more of mushroom powder in each serving—an efficacious amount for the maintenance of everyday health.
‡These statements have not been evaluated by the Food and Drug Administration. Functional mushroom products are not intended to diagnose, treat, cure or prevent any disease.