Does Ashwagandha Make You Sleepy?

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    Ashwagandha is a powerful herb used to improve sleep quality. Ashwagandha’s ability to improve sleep comes down to its stress relieving capabilities.

    Many people have heard of ashwagandha, but they may not be aware of the numerous potential benefits it offers. This article will explore whether ashwagandha is a safe and beneficial supplement for those looking to address occasional fatigue and exhaustion. We will look at the science behind ashwagandha as well as any potential side effects to consider. Get ready to learn more about this exciting natural remedy!

    What is Ashwagandha?

    Ashwagandha, also known as Indian Ginseng, is an ancient Ayurvedic herb that has been used in India and other parts of Asia for thousands of years. It is classified as an adaptogen, meaning it helps the body adapt to stress by managing the physiological effects of stress hormones. Ashwagandha is known for its healing properties, which have been documented through centuries of traditional use.

    Health benefits of Ashwagandha

    This powerful herb has numerous healing properties including relieving occasional stress, supporting muscle strength and recovery, supporting sexual wellness, aiding in memory and cognition, and much more. Let’s break down each of these benefits in a bit more detail.

    Relieves occasional stress and tension

    Ashwagandha is widely known for its ability to relieve occasional stress and tension. This study had participants take 600mg of ashwagandha for 8 weeks and they reported a 44% reduction in stress in comparison to a 5.5% reduction in the placebo group. Cortisol levels were also significantly decreased in the study group 27.9%. Cortisol is commonly known as the stress hormone, and cortisol balance is key to maintaining optimal health.

    These results were replicated in other similar studies. This tells us that supplementing with this herb can make a huge impact on our stress levels!

    Muscle strength, recovery, and endurance

    Another fascinating benefit of ashwagandha is its ability to support muscle strength and recovery. This ancient remedy is becoming increasingly popular among athletes and bodybuilders due to its ability to support muscle strength and recovery, enhance performance, and improve physical endurance.

    This study had participants take 600 mg of ashwagandha for 8 weeks combined with resistance training and they had significant increases in muscle mass and strength in comparison to the group that did not take ashwagandha. Another similar study had participants take 500 mg of ashwagandha for 12 weeks and those who supplemented reported improvements in squat power, bench press power, and perceived recovery.

    Additionally, athletes and exercise-goers are always looking to improve their endurance capacity and VO2 max. Ashwagandha has been found to increase aerobic capacity and reduce fatigue after workouts. This study shows that supplementing 600 mg of ashwagandha for 12 weeks can enhance cardiorespiratory function. This powerful supplement may be the answer to allowing athletes to train harder for longer periods of time without feeling exhausted afterward.

    Supports sexual wellness

    For men, this ancient herb can provide numerous advantages related to overall sexual function and vitality. Studies suggest that ashwagandha has the ability to increase testosterone production, which may also help support healthy erectile function, improve sex drive, and enhance overall sexual satisfaction.

    Supports memory and cognitive function

    Studies show that ashwagandha can help enhance cognitive abilities, such as sustained attention, information processing, and reaction time. It works by improving the function of neurotransmitters in the brain, which are responsible for sending messages between cells. Ashwagandha also helps relieve occasional stress levels, which can interfere with concentration and memory recall.

    Can help reduce cravings

    If you're looking for a way to reduce cravings, ashwagandha might be an option. When stress levels are high, it is common to turn to food as a therapeutic remedy. Meanwhile, studies have found that supplementing with ashwagandha can help reduce the urge to eat when feeling stressed or anxious by regulating brain chemicals associated with satiety and pleasure.

    Is Ashwagandha a Sleep Aid?

    As an adaptogen, it can help regulate hormones and manage stress levels, which can by default support healthy sleep. This makes it a great choice for those looking for natural ways to promote better sleep.

    The results of this study show that the participants who were supplemented with ashwagandha had improvements in restorative sleep. Ashwagandha has the capability to help relax the mind, which in turn calms the adrenal system. A study comparing 2 groups of participants found that those taking ashwagandha felt calmer than the control group, proving ashwagandha can optimize mental and psychomotor performance by easing mental stress.*

    Unlike other sleep remedies, such as melatonin or other sleep blend formulas, it does not make you sleepy or drowsy. Ashwagandha contributes to better sleep simply due to its stress-relieving capabilities.

    If you are looking for a supplement that specifically aims to promote healthy sleep cycles and help with jet lag, this sleep blend formula (which contains melatonin, passionflower, valerian, and ashwagandha) was created to help you drift off to sleep. It is best taken 30 minutes before bedtime.

    Does Ashwagandha Make You Tired?

    Ashwagandha is not known to cause drowsiness or make people tired. Studies have shown that ashwagandha helps boost overall energy levels and manage fatigue. In fact, a number of studies suggest that taking ashwagandha can help promote mental clarity, improve sexual and mental well-being, and provide better sleep quality which may all lead to fewer feelings of fatigue during the day.

    When to Take Ashwagandha

    When it comes to taking ashwagandha, the best time of day is a matter of debate. While some experts advocate for morning consumption, others suggest nighttime use. Ultimately, consistency is key when taking this powerful supplement. Consistent use over a period of at least 4 weeks or more is needed to feel any changes.

    As with any supplement, it is important to understand the recommended dosage in order to receive the most benefit from this powerful herb. The suggested dose for ashwagandha depends on several factors, including age and the form of the product being used. A dosage of 600mg is what is used frequently in studies that report beneficial effects. However, studies can include a range of doses that are less or more (250mg-1000mg).

    Potential Side Effects

    Generally speaking, supplementing with ashwagandha is considered safe. Side effects, if any, are mild and have not been clearly defined. However, based on clinical research large doses may cause:

    • Gastrointestinal upset
    • Diarrhea
    • Nausea and vomiting

    Always use caution if you are also taking other medications.

    Who Shouldn't Take Ashwagandha?

    Ashwagandha is generally known as a safe herb however those who are pregnant or breastfeeding should avoid ashwagandha since there is insufficient evidence to support safety and use in these populations. As always, you should review your supplement routine with your physician/healthcare provider.

    The Bottom Line

    Ashwagandha is an amazing natural herb with a wide range of health benefits. Not only does it promote healthy sleep patterns, but it also has other positive effects on our bodies and minds. It is safe to take and can be easily obtained from health food stores and online retailers. So, if you’re looking for a natural way to boost your sleep, energy levels, physical endurance, and cognitive performance, ashwagandha might just be the thing for you!

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    Dr. Carla Montrond Correia ND, CNS
    Medical Content Manager
    Dr. Montrond-Correia is a licensed naturopathic physician and a certified nutrition specialist (CNS). She holds degrees from University of Bridgeport, Georgetown University, and University of Saint Joseph, and supplemented her education with internships in the health and wellness space. She's focused on research, herbal medicine, nutrigenomics, and integrative and functional medicine. She makes time for exercise, artistic activities, and enjoying delicious food.
    Jordana Tobelem, RD
    Freelance Contributor
    Jordana Tobelem is a Registered Dietitian who enjoys helping others become the best versions of themselves through proper nutrition education. Jordana is passionate about promoting lifestyle changes through nutrition, physical activity, and behavior to create a superior quality of life. She uses her experience in the clinical field of dietetics to provide consulting services to an array of healthcare brands and companies. Jordana loves finding the most current research in nutrition to create meaningful content to share with her clients. Jordana has been a member of the Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics since 2018 and also holds certifications in both Personal Training and Health Coaching.