Chronic stress coupled with hectic work schedules are two among the many reasons for an increasing number of people to develop insomnia. A sound sleep is vital to health because the human body undergoes repair and rejuvenation while you are asleep. Insomnia may be caused because of disruption of the circadian rhythm of the body or sleep-wake homeostasis. Circadian rhythm refers to the “body clock,” which is typically aligned with the day and night cycle. On the other hand, sleep-wake homeostasis refers to the increase or decrease in the levels of sleep-regulating chemicals in the brain.
Ashwagandha and Insomnia
The Sanskrit word “Ashwagandha” when translated literally means “smell of horse.” Its scientific name is Withania Somnifera. It has been traditionally consumed in India since ancient times to obtain horse-like vitality and strength. For several centuries, Ayurvedic medicine has incorporated the goodness of ashwagandha to help individuals combat stress, exhaustion and anxiety, to name a few. When it comes to Ayurvedic healing, Ashwagandha is one of the most potent herbs. Because of its sleep-inducing ability, Ashwagandha is the go-to Ayurvedic herb when it comes to combatting insomnia.
Ashwagandha for Insomnia
Let’s examine how ashwagandha can successfully treat insomnia:
Ashwagandha, the extremely popular Ayurvedic herb, is known to have a positive impact on numerous systems in the human body, including the neurological system, immune system, reproductive system and endocrinal system, among others.
(1) Ayurveda recommends consumption of Ashwagandha to improve strength and overall health as well as combat fatigue and lethargy.
(2) Ashwagandha enhances the functioning of the thyroid gland and boosts metabolism.
(3) The herb helps in the elimination of stress through the reduction in the levels of cortisol (the stress hormone) in your body.
(4) This Ayurvedic herb has excellent properties that can help in the reduction and repair of damage to cells of the brain.
(5) Ashwagandha possesses anti-inflammatory properties that can augment vital antioxidant enzymes in your body.
Because of these phenomenal properties, Ashwagandha is regarded as a vital and effective herb in countering insomnia. Thus, when it comes to the question, “Is Ashwagandha good for insomnia?” the answer is an overwhelming “yes.”
Ashwagandha Insomnia Dosage
Ashwagandha helps the body get more active by restoring the natural mechanisms of sleep.
You may consume 300 mg (milligrams) of Ashwagandha extract twice daily to tackle insomnia in a safe and effective manner. You need to consume full-spectrum and high concentration of this herb’s extract. Alternatively, you may also intake it as an everyday tonic by consuming 1-2 tsp (teaspoon) of its root extract.
Studies Involving Ashwagandha
According to a recent study, this ancient Indian herb can help in promoting sound sleep. This study is particularly important in these times when an increasing number of individuals across the globe are diagnosed with insomnia.
The team of researchers, which was led by Mahesh K. Kaushik from the University of Tsukuba in Japan, concluded that an active component of Ashwagandha leaves – Triethylene Glycol or TEG – works excellently to induce sleep and could be transforming the realm of natural, plant-based therapies to treat insomnia and other sleep-related disorders.
The researchers meticulously studied the diverse effects of numerous components of the herb on sleeping patterns in mice through electroencephalogram and electromyography recordings. It was observed that a water-based extract of Ashwagandha that was rich in TEG led to an increase in non-rapid eye movement sleep, which is also known as NREM sleep. There was a slight change in rapid eye movement (REM) sleep, too. In addition, it was noted that TEG that is commercially available led to an increase in the duration of NREM sleep, further reiterating their conclusion that TEG helped and aided physiologically sound sleep.
The Final Word
Insomnia is a common neuropsychiatric disorder that is plaguing the world, with 10% to 15% of the general population being affected. Of this, nearly 30% to 60% belong to middle-aged strata, according to recent estimates. Insomnia is also linked to several other diseases, including obesity, depression, cardiovascular diseases, anxiety, and many more. Synthetic drugs that are available in the market have their share of side effects. Considering these factors, the emergence of Ashwagandha’s sleep-inducing component, TEG, can be viewed as a welcome relief for those seeking sound sleep minus the side effects.