Best Adaptogens for Sleep

by Benjamin Bunting BA(Hons) PGCert

Ben Bunting BA(Hons) PGCert Sports and Exercise Nutrition Level 2 Strength and Conditioning CoachWritten by Ben Bunting: BA(Hons), PGCert. Sport & Exercise Nutrition. L2 Strength & Conditioning Coach.

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What is an aptogen?

An aptogen is an herbal substance used for stabilizing physiological processes and promoting homeostasis. The word aptogen can also mean "adapt" in Greek. In this article, we'll explain what an aptogen is and how it can benefit you. You'll be surprised how powerful adaptogens can be. In addition to their anti-inflammatory properties, adaptogens are also effective for reducing inflammation and promoting healthy cellular functions.

The term adaptogen was first coined in the 1950s, though the medicinal use of certain plants and mushrooms dates back thousands of years, to Ayurvedic and Chinese medicine. These plants and mushrooms all propose to increase the body's ability to adapt to stressful environments and prevent collapse. Because they can enhance our body's resistance to a variety of stressors, they've been gaining popularity as a coffee additive. In addition to enhancing mental focus, mushroom coffee is especially beneficial to caffeine-sensitive people.

An adaptogen can enhance the body's ability to respond to stress, which helps to balance our internal physiology. It works by increasing neuropeptide Y production, which regulates mood, appetite, and exercise. It can also help our immune system. Adaptogens are useful in reducing stress and increasing our body's capacity to use oxygen. If you suffer from digestive issues, an adaptogen may be a great way to potentially alleviate any problems. 

Adaptogens are generally extracts of herbs or other plant sources that can boost our body's ability to cope with stress and maintain homeostatic balance. Although most of these compounds are safe when taken in small doses, it's important to consult your doctor before taking them. Some can interact with other medications and may not be safe for you to take. However, there can be some disparity regarding FDA regulation so you should consult with your doctor before taking adaptogen supplements.

The Importance of Good Quality Sleep

Lack of sleep can affect your mood and overall health. It can contribute to the development of high blood pressure, diabetes, and heart disease. It can also weaken your immune system. One study showed that men and women who slept for less than seven hours were three times more likely to contract a cold. However, there are many reasons why you should get a full night's sleep. Here are just a few:

Stress affects sleep

The way we spend our nights can either affect the quality of our sleep or have a negative impact on our health. Even though some stress is natural, too much stress can cause long-term health problems. There are many factors that can cause stress, including internal and external pressures. Regardless of the source, getting enough sleep is essential to our well-being. Below are some tips to help you get a better night's sleep.

A study included three hundred and sixty-six medical students at King Abdulaziz University in Saudi Arabia who were analyzed. Participants were asked to fill out questionnaires about their sleep quality, their stress level, and their overall health. In this way, researchers could compare the effects of various factors on sleep and health. The study's results revealed that the effects of stress on sleep quality can be quite striking.

Lack of sleep can lead to depression

Insomnia is a common symptom of depression, and it has been linked to higher rates of this mental disorder. It is estimated that more than one in three adults in the United States suffer from some form of insomnia, and the problem can worsen as people age. Lack of quality sleep can affect your mental health and make you unable to function normally. Therefore, a regular bedtime and wake-up time are crucial to get a good night's sleep.

A lack of sleep can also affect teens' mental health. According to research by the University of Texas Health Center, teens who get less than seven hours of sleep each night are more prone to depression than those who get more sleep. But despite the fact that sleep is crucial for teens' mental health, many fall short of the recommended nine to 10 hours a night. For this reason, the issue of sleep deprivation is becoming increasingly common among teenagers.

Lack of sleep can affect immune system

A lack of quality sleep can have negative effects on the immune system. People who do not get the recommended amount of sleep are more susceptible to colds and flu. Furthermore, a lack of sleep can slow the recovery from a cold. Sleep deprivation affects the production of certain protective proteins in the body. These proteins play a key role in the immune system. A lack of sleep weakens the immune response and lowers the body's defenses against common illnesses.

Animal studies have suggested that insufficient sleep may cause inflammatory markers and suppress the immune response. These findings are consistent with previous studies demonstrating a link between inadequate sleep and the risk of chronic diseases. However, human investigations have yet to confirm this association. Lack of sleep is associated with an increased risk of NDDs, but there is still plenty of room for further research. In the meantime, researchers are focusing their efforts on finding ways to improve the quality of sleep for people with sleep problems.

Lack of sleep can affect mood

Poor sleep is not only detrimental to our physical health, but it can also affect our mood. Lack of sleep can cause a variety of health problems, from neurodegenerative diseases like Alzheimer's disease to attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD). Poor sleep also contributes to an increased risk of depression and bipolar disorder. It may also lead to an increased risk of psychosis. Lack of sleep has been linked to depression, and it can worsen it.

The relationship between lack of sleep and depression has been shown to be mediated by SWS. In addition, the partial loss of SWS in both groups could explain the strong comorbidity between insomnia and depression. The two groups showed similar partial SWS deficits during sleep deprivation, which may be due to the fact that SWS is under robust homeostatic control. The FA group carried forward a greater relative deficit of SWS than the RSO group during sleep deprivation, which mediated the differential deficit in positive mood. This effect accounted for 14% of divergent linear slopes of positive mood in both groups. 

The Relationship Between Sleep and Testosterone

The relationship between sleep and testosterone has been a subject of several investigations, particularly in males. Testosterone is known to have androgenic effects on circadian activity and has been found to increase during waking hours. The relationship between testosterone and sleep has also been examined, with studies looking at hormonal changes during chronic sleep deprivation. In addition, the relationship between sleeping and testosterone has been examined in females.

When men do not get enough sleep, their testosterone levels drop significantly. The decrease in testosterone can result in a reduced libido, erectile dysfunction, and lower sex drive. It is also known that less sleep reduces the body's ability to burn fat. Studies have linked reduced levels of testosterone with increased body fat. During sleep, testosterone levels increase by up to 15%. The increased testosterone levels promote sex drive, and less sleep can increase body fat. 

The Importance of Sleep For Muscle Recovery

Getting adequate sleep is essential to muscle recovery. During the deep, non-REM sleep phase, the body produces growth hormones and healing substances to keep the muscles healthy. A good night's sleep can restore the strength and endurance of muscles after rigorous exercise. The benefits of sleeping are numerous.

REM sleep is essential for muscle recovery. Growth hormone is produced during this deep sleep stage. Growth hormone is a hormone released from the pituitary gland to promote tissue growth and repair. Lack of sleep decreases growth hormone secretion, which decreases the muscles' ability to recover after exercise. 

The body needs rest to repair muscles after intense workouts. While the body is asleep, the muscles are able to repair themselves by absorbing nutrients and oxygen from the blood. Therefore, if you're too tired to sleep, your workouts will be slower and less effective. If you're an athlete, getting adequate sleep is crucial. If you're serious about enhancing your performance, you've got to make time for rest and recovery. Research shows that adults should have 8-9 hours of sleep per night, and growing adolescents can benefit from having up to 10 hours. 

Ashwagandha For Sleep

Ashwagandha is one of the most ancient Ayurvedic remedies, and it can be used in many ways to improve sleep. It is often taken hot or cold, but it is best taken with milk or warm water. The recommended daily dose is about two grams. As with all ayurvedic herbs, you should always consult a doctor before taking a supplement. You should take the supplement no later than one hour before bedtime.

Many people who take it have reported that it improves sleep, especially when anxiety was present. Other users have reported a greater ability to fall asleep, and that ashwagandha increases the quality of their sleep. The optimal dose for each person varies, but for muscle recovery and strength 600 mg daily has shown to be optimal.

Researchers have conducted several studies comparing Ashwagandha with placebo, and some of the results suggest that ashwagandha is effective in improving sleep quality. In one study, 80 people took ashwagandha for two months. Results showed a significant improvement in sleep quality and a shorter time to fall asleep. The study was conducted by the National Sleep Foundation, and was presented at the SLEEP 2022 conference.

Intake of ashwagandha is recommended during the evening hours, as it helps the body relax. However, it can take six to twelve weeks before you see results. 

Mucuna Pruriens for Sleep

Mucuna pruriens is a popular supplement that has been used to help people sleep. It has been used by people for centuries for its sleep-promoting benefits.  Some research suggests that it may increase dopamine levels and focus. In a study of 85 ADHD patients, Mucuna pruriens significantly reduced symptoms in 77% of the cases. 

Mucuna pruriens has been shown to increase L-dopa levels in the brain, which is crucial for healthy sleep. The amino acid L-dopa is present in the brain and is necessary for the production of dopamine. The benefits of Mucuna can be felt right after consumption, but it takes around 30 minutes for L-dopa to reach its peak level in the bloodstream.

Mucuna pruriens has long been known as a male health enhancer. This is because it contains L-DOPA, a precursor to dopamine. It may also improve the quality of sleep. It is recommended to take 30 minutes before bedtime. And it is a natural plant that is native to tropical Asia and Africa. 

Mucuna pruriens is one of the most powerful superfoods, with benefits that can improve your mood, energy level, and ability to sleep. It is also great for weight management, too. With today's hectic lifestyles, it's important to sleep well. 

Fenugreek Sleep Benefits

This seed is rich in vitamins and minerals that are essential for sleep, including zinc, iron, and magnesium.

Fenugreek has a long history in Indian cuisine. Its seeds have been used for centuries to help with weight management and proper body function. They are also used as a spice in Indian food and have been proven to reduce anxiety, reduce dizziness, and improve sleep. .

You can find fenugreek in several forms: seeds, tea, and capsules. The seeds are the most convenient way to take it. The seeds are not very palatable unless they're flavored. 

Sleep Benefits of Stinging Nettle Extract

One of the most popular natural remedies for a healthy sleep is stinging nettle extract. This herb has many benefits, including the ability to reduce the symptoms of allergies and hay fever. Stinging nettle extracts are available in capsule form.

The leaves and other parts of stinging nettle contain significant amounts of vitamin K. Vitamin K helps the blood clot, and nettle can reduce the effectiveness of blood-thinning medications like warfarin (Coumadin). Stinging nettle leaf extracts are also used to treat osteoarthritis. The plant's leaves can be steeped in herbal tea or used as a condiment in soups and smoothies.

The plant's leaves are also used in skin care formulations. Nettle tea has been shown to improve sleep and improve health. It can also improve urinary function. It may also be used to treat kidney stones, arthritis, and poor circulation.

Ginseng Benefits For Sleep

If you're looking for a natural way to fall asleep, ginseng may be just what you need. Research suggests that ginseng helps promote restful sleep and restore energy. It may even help people who suffer from chronic fatigue, which can lead to insomnia. However, if you're planning to take ginseng as a supplement, make sure to talk to your doctor first.

In a study, 15 healthy men were given an extract of Korean red ginseng. These subjects were given a dose of 1,500 milligrams three times a day. The researchers measured their polysomnographic data before and after the treatment. The study concluded that red ginseng significantly improved sleep quality. Participants in the study showed an increase in stage 3 sleep and a decrease in stage 2 sleep. They also had fewer waking episodes after falling asleep.

Additional Natural Methods to Help You Fall Asleep Better

There are many natural and sleep-inducing techniques you can try to improve your sleeping habits.

Aromatherapy

Aromatherapy is one such technique. Inhaling essential oils such as lavender or chamomile can help you relax and drift off to sleep. The first step in good sleep hygiene is to associate your bed with sleeping. Avoid watching television or other activities that keep you awake, especially before you go to bed.

Music

Slow music can also be helpful. Music with soft, soothing lyrics can help you unwind. Other methods include listening to nature sounds, white noise, and meditation. These methods are effective when used regularly, and can even help you fall asleep faster. If none of these methods are working for you, it may be time to seek additional help from the NHS if you live in the UK or your local healthcare provider. 

Electrical devices

Another effective natural method for improving your sleeping habits is to get rid of your electronic devices before bedtime. Electronic devices such as cell phones, tablets, and laptops can keep your brain active throughout the night, making it difficult to get a good night's rest. Instead of constantly checking your phone and other gadgets while you're trying to sleep, set aside designated times for checking these devices. It's also important to make sure that you're not charging any devices in your bedroom.

The Benefits of Exercise to Get Sleep

Studies have shown that moderate aerobic exercise is beneficial to a healthy sleeping schedule. Moderate activity can include jogging, swimming, scrubbing floors, riding a bike, jumping rope, and walking briskly. Even yoga, which involves deep breathing, can be beneficial for a healthy sleep schedule. Some forms of exercise can also help you to relax and signal your body to get to sleep. Moderate aerobic activity may also help you to get to sleep faster, because it increases the heart rate but does not activate the chemicals that keep you awake.

Research shows that moderate exercise improves sleep quality and duration. Many experts agree that each of the stages of sleep is equally important for a healthy sleep. When a person is sleep-deprived, he or she will spend more time in the next stage of sleep. Moderate exercise will help the body to get through the different stages of sleep in a healthier way. It is important to choose an exercise that you enjoy because you will likely be more consistent with it.

The benefits of exercise include increased sleep quality, increased time in slow-wave sleep, and longer sleep. In addition, regular exercise increases self-esteem and reduces stress, which all promote better sleep. It can also improve your mood and minimize mild depression. The most common form of sleep disorder is insomnia, which is often caused by a variety of factors. While exercise doesn't cure insomnia, it can help alleviate the symptoms of depression, obesity, and sleep deprivation.

Drinking Alcohol Reduces Sleep Quality

There is some evidence that drinking alcohol can reduce the quality of sleep. The effects of alcohol on sleep were moderated by daily consumption. In people who are mildly anxious, alcohol consumption can improve sleep latency, whereas in people who are severely anxious, alcohol may reduce the quality of sleep. However, drinking alcohol as a cure for sleep problems should be avoided. Instead, patients should consider seeking cognitive behavior therapy and mental healthcare. The effects of alcohol on sleep quality and anxiety are often interconnected.

Alcohol can also increase the time that it takes to fall asleep and make you feel more tired. Alcohol can also alter the sleep-wake cycle by altering your body's chemistry. Alcohol acts as a sedative, affecting the body's ability to fall asleep. Therefore, it is important to limit alcohol consumption before bed. Drinking water can help people sleep better. Similarly, tapering off alcohol before bed can also help people avoid problems related to drinking alcohol.

Research suggests that heavy alcohol consumption increases sleepiness and decreases quality of sleep. Heavy alcohol consumption also results in a tolerance that develops through adaptation of neurotransmitter systems. Consequently, long-term effects of alcohol consumption on sleep are unclear. As a result, it is essential to look at both the short-term and long-term effects of alcohol. Moreover, most studies that have investigated alcohol's effect on sleep quality and duration are cross-sectional, which means that they cannot assess the direction of the effects. Furthermore, the prevalence of insomnia has increased with age, which means that the long-term effects of alcohol consumption on sleep are not clear.

Caffeine Reduces Sleep Quality

Despite its performance benefits, a recent study suggests that caffeine consumption can reduce sleep quality. In a double-blind randomized crossover study, 18 teenagers were randomly assigned to take either 80 mg of caffeine or a placebo before bed. They were also given a fixed sleep-wake cycle. After abstinence from caffeine, the teenagers' electroencephalograms were analysed using frequentist or Bayesian statistics.

Researchers at the University of Minnesota in Minneapolis found that administration of caffeine 16 hours before bedtime significantly reduced the duration and quality of sleep. The results also indicated that caffeine decreased the time it took to fall asleep and prolongs the time it takes to wake up. However, these effects were not statistically significant. During the study, the amount of caffeine consumed did not affect the total sleep time, although it decreased the number of minutes of slow-wave sleep.

In a second study, researchers found that caffeine had a detrimental effect on the quality of sleep, but the results were not conclusive. These researchers found that participants' sigma activity levels were significantly lower in the caffeine and withdrawal conditions than in the placebo group. The results of this study are based on log-transformed data. These results suggest that caffeine may reduce sleep quality, a common health concern for many people.

While caffeine has many benefits to increase physical and mental stimulation, it can also cause serious health consequences, so it is important to monitor your caffeine intake and avoid high-doses of the substance. It should only be consumed in small doses, preferably less than 400mg per day. During pregnancy, caffeine is not recommended to exceed 200 mg per day. The reason is that caffeine crosses the placenta quickly and stays in the woman's body for longer. The foetus cannot break down caffeine and may be adversely affected if the substance is consumed. Therefore, pregnant and breastfeeding women should avoid caffeine intake.

Conclusion

There are various methods to help improve sleep quality and duration.  These can include more exercise, avoiding using electronic devices such as phones just before bed and avoiding alcohol. 

In addition, you can also use adaptogens that can assist with homeostasis by helping to promote healthy cellular processes. 

Adaptogens include extracts from herbal and plant sources that have been used for centuries in Auryvedic medicine, and have recently been proven in clincial trials to provide many benefits. 

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