Does Ashwagandha Help You Sleep?

Does Ashwagandha Help You Sleep?

Key points: 

  • Ashwagandha is an adaptogen herb that is widely used to relieve stress symptoms. It is also claimed to have other health benefits, such as boosting mental alertness, sharpening focus, and treating symptoms of insomnia. 
  • Studies suggest that ashwagandha supplements are useful for pain relief, reducing blood sugar, improving immune health, promoting muscle strength, and lowering body fat percentage. However, there’s not enough research on the benefits of ashwagandha.
  • Ashwagandha is available in tablet, powder, and pill forms. There isn’t a general rule about when you should take ashwagandha, and you can take it either in the morning or in the evening, depending on your preference and goals.
  • Ashwagandha supplements are not recommended for pregnant and breastfeeding women, individuals with auto-immune diseases and thyroid disorders, and people who are recovering from surgery.  

Ashwagandha is one of the most popular stress-reducing herbs, scientifically known as adaptogens. More and more people turn to natural remedies in an attempt to alleviate different health conditions, which explains the increase in ashwagandha’s popularity. This herb has been used in Ayurvedic medicine for thousands of years and is thought to have a lot of health benefits. Adaptogens like ashwagandha are mainly used to support the body’s response to stress and help reduce stress levels as well as improve sleep quality.


Ashwagandha Benefits

The main reason so many people use or research ashwagandha is its ability to improve sleep. Several small studies have found that individuals who use ashwagandha supplements 

have better sleep quality. Ashwagandha is also thought to boost mental alertness, sharpen focus, and treat symptoms of insomnia. Besides all the benefits, ashwagandha has been known to help with mild obsessive-compulsive disorder, restless leg syndrome, and fibromyalgia, as well as regulate the levels of cortisol, which is a stress hormone.

Ashwagandha regulates the HPA axis, which is where the hypothalamus, pituitary gland, and adrenal glands interact. In a healthy individual, cortisol levels are high in the morning, which makes you wake up and helps you stay energised, and they gradually become lower during the day. Individuals with disrupted sleeping schedules experience higher cortisol levels in the evenings.

Ashwagandha’s effects on sleep may be due to its content of triethylene glycol, a compound that promotes sleep. This plant also contains withanolides, molecules with antioxidant, anti-inflammatory, and hormone-balancing properties. They improve the body’s ability to cope with stress since stress is the most common reason for reduced sleep quality and increased fatigue. Preliminary research suggests that ashwagandha helps individuals to fall asleep faster and stay asleep for longer, as well as have an overall deeper sleep. 

In traditional medicine, ashwagandha has been used as a pain relief agent, and a remedy used to treat several conditions, including skin diseases, diabetes, gastrointestinal disease, rheumatoid arthritis, and epilepsy. Research also suggests that supplementing your diet with ashwagandha may reduce blood sugar levels and improve immune health. In addition, ashwagandha may help improve muscle strength and lower body fat percentage. Some studies have also shown that ashwagandha supplements can increase VO2 max levels, which promotes heart health. 

While all the benefits are promising, the lack of research on ashwagandha makes it difficult to fully understand its benefits and effectiveness.


How To Take Ashwagandha 

This herb is available in different forms, including tablets, capsules, or powder. It’s also widely added to various cosmetic products. However, the information about the benefits of topical application is limited, which is why it’s recommended to use oral supplements of ashwagandha.


When To Take Ashwagandha

You can take ashwagandha at any time of day or night as its effects are not immediate, and it may take you days or weeks to notice the effect. If you take ashwagandha as part of your health routine, you can take it in the morning along with other supplements. But keep in mind that taking ashwagandha on an empty stomach may cause stomach discomfort, so it’s a good idea to try taking it with smoothies or other drinks. 

If you’re using ashwagandha to improve your sleep quality, it’s better to take it at night before you go to bed. Taking it at night may also be a good option for those who experience stomach discomfort after taking ashwagandha in the morning. 


Side Effects of Ashwagandha

Ashwagandha is safe for short-term use, but the long-term effects have not been studied sufficiently, which is why it’s not recommended to take it for more than three months. High doses of ashwagandha may cause some mild side effects such as diarrhoea, nausea, upset stomach, and vomiting. Less common symptoms are dry mouth, drowsiness, vertigo, cough and congestion, blurred vision, or rash. Some evidence suggests that ashwagandha supplements may cause liver damage, but this effect could occur due to contaminants in unregulated supplements. Ashwagandha may also interfere with certain medications.  

Ashwagandha is not recommended for the following individuals: 

  • Pregnant or breastfeeding women
  • Individuals with auto-immune diseases and thyroid disorders
  • People who are recovering from surgery or those who have an upcoming surgical procedure 

It’s best to consult a professional if you’re planning on supplementing with ashwagandha. If you fall into any of these categories, talk to your doctor about sleep aids that are safe for you to use. 

If you have trouble sleeping or you wake up exhausted, you should consider using a combination supplement for even better results.



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Does ashwagandha make you sleepy or give you energy?

Ashwagandha does not cause sleepiness, but it has been shown to reduce stress and support emotional balance. Ashwagandha is a natural sleep aid. It helps you fall asleep faster and stay asleep for longer, as well as improves overall sleep quality.

Is it better to take ashwagandha in the morning or at night?

You can take ashwagandha at any time of day or night, depending on your goals and personal preference. Some individuals may experience stomach discomfort when taking ashwagandha supplements on an empty stomach in the morning.

What are the negative effects of ashwagandha?

Ashwagandha is generally safe, but if you take high doses of this supplement, you may experience some side effects like stomach discomfort, drowsiness, nausea, and diarrhoea.

When should ashwagandha be avoided?

Ashwagandha is not recommended for pregnant and breastfeeding women. It’s also recommended to avoid it if you have an auto-immune disease or thyroid disorder. Ashwagandha may also interact with certain medications or supplements.