If you have trouble getting to sleep or find it difficult to stay asleep, you’re not alone. It’s estimated that one-third of people in the UK will suffer from insomnia at some point in their lives. A study found that insomnia rates had risen sharply, with nearly 23 million people suffering from sleepless nights. But, there’s an unexpected thing you can try to catch some Zs - Reishi mushrooms.
Reishi mushrooms are reportedly good for sleep, with a number of scientific studies starting to explore this potential superpower. With more people trying it out, some are on the fence. Does it really help – and how does it work? Read on to discover whether Reishi is right for you.
What Causes Sleep Problems?
Sleep problems are common and can be caused by a range of factors, including stress, anxiety, depression, changes in your environment or daily routine, and physical health problems like chronic pain. Some people may have sleep disorders, such as insomnia, sleep apnoea, or restless leg syndrome, which interfere with their ability to get a good night's rest.
There are also certain medications and substances, such as overconsumption of caffeine, nicotine, and alcohol, that can also contribute to sleep issues. And, depending on your stage of life you might find yourself more susceptible. For example, sleep problems are common during perimenopause, when they are often linked to hot flushes.
However, it is not all doom and gloom when it comes to sleepless nights. More and more people are turning to natural remedies to help and one you may not have considered is a soothing cup of Reishi mushroom coffee! Our mellower blend allows you to enjoy a coffee without the wiring effects of a caffeine fix.
What are Reishi Mushrooms?
Reishi mushrooms, also known as Ganoderma lucidum, are a type of fungus that has been used for centuries in traditional Asian medicine for its purported health benefits. These mushrooms grow in humid, coastal regions of Asia and are characterised by their shiny, reddish-brown cap, long stem, and tough texture.
Does Reishi Mushroom Benefit Sleep?
Chinese medicine has revered the Reishi mushroom for centuries, identifying it as a ‘shen tonic’ which helps regulate the body, calm the spirit and induce sleep. Scientific research suggests that the Reishi mushroom does indeed have potential sleep-enhancing benefits. One study found that Reishi increased total sleep time and non-REM time in rats. Another study found that Reishi increased sleep time in mice. Many other studies indicate a link between Reishi and improved sleep. This one dives into the reasons why Ganoderma, the genus to which Reishi belongs, can improve sleep, examining its effects on networks in the body. However, it's important to note that scientific research on Reishi mushrooms and sleep is still limited, and further studies are needed to fully understand their mechanisms of action.
How These Mushrooms Help You Sleep Better
Reishi mushrooms may promote sleep in several ways:
- Stress Reduction: Reishi mushrooms are believed to have adaptogenic properties, meaning they may help the body adapt to stress and promote relaxation. Chronic stress can significantly impact sleep quality and duration. This study, for example, found that people taking Reishi reported a reduction in anxiety.
- Immune Modulation: Reishi mushrooms are known to boost the immune system, and certain immune factors may play a role in sleep regulation – so by supporting immune function, Reishi mushrooms may indirectly promote better sleep.
- Anti-Inflammatory Effects: inflammation in the body can disrupt sleep patterns and lead to sleep disturbances. Reishi mushrooms possess anti-inflammatory properties, and some studies have suggested mushroom extracts could have the potential for clinical use in treating inflammatory diseases. As inflammation may cause sleep problems, it’s possible that anti-inflammatory mushrooms could help tackle this problem.
It's worth mentioning that more research is needed to fully understand and confirm all of the above points. Also, individual responses to Reishi mushrooms may vary, and it's important to consult a healthcare professional before incorporating any supplements into your routine, especially if you have underlying medical conditions or are taking medications. Read more about the possible side effects of Reishi mushroom below.
A Good Bedtime Routine
If you’re having sleep problems, don’t assume that just taking Reishi mushroom will fix the situation. It’s important to incorporate Reishi into a bedtime routine that’s designed to help you unwind and get to sleep.
A good bedtime routine might include:
- Maintaining a Consistent Sleep Schedule: Going to bed and waking up at the same time each day can help regulate your body's internal clock and promote better sleep.
- Creating a Restful Environment: Your bedroom should be dark, quiet, and cool. Consider using earplugs, an eye mask, or white, pink or brown noise recordings if needed.
- Establishing a Pre-Sleep Routine: This could include reading a book, taking a warm bath, meditating, or practising relaxation exercises.
- Avoiding Electronic Devices Before Bed: The blue light emitted by phones, tablets, computers, and TVs can interfere with your sleep.
- Watching Your Diet: Avoid large meals, caffeine, and alcohol close to bedtime.
Incorporating Reishi into Your Bedtime Routine
Reishi mushrooms can be consumed in various ways. They are available as dietary supplements in capsule form, as a powder that can be mixed into drinks, or as a tea. As part of your bedtime routine, you might want to sip on a cup of Reishi tea or mix Reishi powder into a warm drink before bed.
One delicious option to consume at any time of day is Cheerful Buddha’s Reishi mushroom coffee blend. Unlike regular coffee, mushroom coffees won’t make you feel wired – instead, they help you to unwind. Our Reishi mushroom coffee blend combines Reishi with other beneficial ingredients including adaptogenic Ashwagandha and antioxidant-rich cacao.
That’s why our Reishi mushroom coffee is perfect at all times of the day. As it contains a much lower caffeine content, it won’t keep you counting sheep all night. For those who are especially sensitive to caffeine, you can satisfy your coffee cravings for that afternoon cup, without experiencing any jitters. Similarly, if you really enjoyed your first cup, why not have a second!? We dilute our coffee beans with the addition of Reishi mushroom meaning the overall caffeine content is diluted.
What Other Mushrooms Benefit Sleep?
There are several mushrooms other than Reishi that are believed to benefit sleep.
- Lion's Mane (Hericium Erinaceus): Lion's Mane is known for its potential to promote brain health and cognitive function. It contains compounds that may support the production of nerve growth factor (NGF), which plays a role in maintaining healthy brain function. Improved brain health can contribute to better sleep quality.
- Cordyceps (Cordyceps Sinensis): Cordyceps is an adaptogenic mushroom that has been used in traditional Chinese medicine for centuries. It is believed to enhance exercise performance, reduce fatigue, and improve overall vitality. By supporting the body's energy levels in fighting inflammation, it may indirectly contribute to better sleep.
- Chaga (Inonotus Obliquus): Chaga is known for its antioxidant properties and immune-supporting effects. It stimulates white blood cells by supporting the production of beneficial cytokines, helping to support immunity and reduce inflammation. By doing this, Chaga may indirectly contribute to better sleep.
- Turkey Tail (Trametes Versicolor): Like the mushrooms outlined above, Turkey Tail is packed with antioxidants and is believed to have immune-supporting properties – which could indirectly contribute to better sleep.
Explore Our Range of Reishi Products
If you want to improve your night’s sleep, why not explore our Reishi coffee blend? We also offer a soothing Matcha Latte powder containing a good dose of Reishi. Doze off with the help of a creamy and comforting blend, packed full of antioxidant properties. There’s also no-added sugar so it's perfect before you fall into bed.
What ingredients in Reishi mushrooms benefit health?
Reishi mushrooms contain several active compounds associated with potential health benefits, including various proteins and peptides, plus polysaccharides and triterpenoids. Polysaccharides have anti-inflammatory and immune-modulating properties. Triterpenoids are currently being studied for their possible health benefits, including their potential ability to combat immune diseases.
How has Reishi mushroom traditionally been used to benefit sleep?
In traditional Asian medicine, Reishi mushrooms have long been used as a calming and sleep-promoting agent. The belief was that consuming Reishi helped to replenish energy, or "qi", in the body and mind, promoting a state of relaxation conducive to better sleep.
What are the side effects of Reishi mushroom?
Research suggests that some people may experience mild side effects, such as an upset stomach, diarrhoea, or allergic reactions when consuming Reishi mushrooms, and some studies have suggested a possible link between Reishi and liver problems. Reishi mushrooms may interact with certain medications, so it's important to consult with a healthcare professional before taking Reishi supplements, especially if you are pregnant or have any pre-existing medical conditions or are taking medications, particularly anticoagulants or immunosuppressants.
What other things is Reishi good for?Reishi mushroom is being studied for its potential to support heart health and regulate blood sugar. They have also been recognised for supporting the skin too. More research is needed to fully understand whether it has these properties.