5 April 2023

Ashwagandha & Sleep – An Experiment

There is a ton of information available on the internet about virtually every supplement known to man. Just one Google search and you’ll be overloaded with benefits, side effects and how to use it. The problem is often that it’s just literature or the same websites repeating similar information without analysing it. General information is fine. But before you begin, it is also helpful to read about some personal experiences. At least, for me that is often what the deciding factor is. It is most-likely less scientific, but if 1 person had a great experience that is important for me and often it’s enough convincing me giving it a try.

Probably you have heard about Ashwagandha, the ayurvedic herb that communities have been taking since ancient times for all kinds of purposes. Numerous people take it to combat stress and science has proven to do exactly that in a research from 2012 in 64 participating adults. But not much is researched when it comes to sleep and Ashwagandha. According to the herb’s anti-stress properties, Ashwaghanda might have a positive effect on sleep. After all, the main reason people not get good sleep is due to too much stress.

What Happens when taking Ashwagandha Before Bedtime?

Once you begin doing some research on it, you can find some anecdotal reports from persons enjoying better sleep when taking Ashwagandha Root. Below I mentioned some personal experiences:

  • I can think clearer after waking up without needing coffee.
  • I haven’t woken up with upper back/neck pain (something that used to happen, even with good posture).
  • I’m now in a much better mood when I wake up.

Now, when you read these positive statements, don’t you want to find out for yourself what Ashwagandha Root Extract could do for better sleep? Well, I had the same opinion:

About 3 months ago, I did not sleep as well like I used to. I was turning a lot and woke up 3 or 4 times during the night for about 30 minutes. Solving this issue is what I wanted and it seemed a perfect option to try for myself what the effect of Ashwagandha on my sleep would be. After going through the anecdotal reports and studies I found on the internet, I came up with a list of possible and expected results:

Expected…less stress, easier to wake up in the morning and less turning at night.

Possible…clearer skin, vivid dreams and less dependent on coffee in the morning.

The Experiment’s Setup

The experiment was easy. I decided to take 500 mg of Ashwagandha Root Extract every night before going to bed. Sometimes I took it 1.5 hours before going to bed, and sometimes right before bedtime. I kept doing this for 20 days without a break.

Here’s What I Found Out

If currently you are not sleeping well, you are most-likely curious about how to get quality sleep. If you’re worried of taking over-the-counter sleep medication, then I totally understand that. Though they do work (without any side effects) for some persons, it is a great idea to figure out if you can get better sleep with natural supplements instead. Below I mentioned the things I’ve experienced after taking Ashwagandha Root.

  • It Helped Me Sleep Deeper

Before taking Ashwagandha I often woke up in the middle of the night and stayed awake for 20 to 30 minutes. Perhaps this was work-related stress. It was hard to put my body in a comfortable position and I kept on turning trying to find a comfortable spot. After taking Ashwagandha Root Extract for about 5 days, such episodes became less. I can conclude that I’m sleeping deeper after the experiment. Now I fall asleep rapidly, and only wake up in the early morning. I also noticed that my naps became less frequent and shorter on average. I was used taking around 4 naps of 30 minutes weekly. After the experiment this changed to 1 or 2 naps of 20 minutes. This is most-likely because my overall sleep quality got better.

  • Stress Reduction

This was also expected and probably the deeper sleep also helped with that. I felt less stressed and more emotionally in control during the entire experiment. I had no problem waking up in the morning and starting to work. Also, small things, such as missing a bus or train bothered me less. Instead of becoming impatient or nervous that something happened, it was easier to just accept it and deal with the situation for as much as I could. I didn’t notice a big impact on my dreams, skin or how much I’d wanted coffee in the morning.

  • Conclusion

It’s been a little over a month now that I finished my experiment with Ashwagandha Root Extract. I stopped taking it daily because I wanted to see what would happen. Were the results lasting? Or did my sleep revert back to what it was before? I’m happy to say that most of the changes still last. Even without taking Ashwagandha Root Extract daily. Now I take it once or twice weekly whenever I feel I could use some extra ‘stress resilience’ or deep sleep. Ashwagandha Root Extract is a fantastic supplement to have at home. Most people nowadays don’t sleep optimally and everything that helps you get better sleep without side effects is something to consider.