Remember the days when you could just lay your head down on your pillow and fall asleep? You barely stirred throughout the night and woke up feeling refreshed and ready to charge the day. If you’re like most of us, those days ended somewhere in adulthood and have yet to return.
Sleep changes with age, and finding balance can be difficult. Over-the-counter sleep aids may help, but some carry the risk of dependence and morning-after side effects you don’t want. Together, we’ll talk about a new way to support sleep that won’t leave you feeling groggy. We’ll also discuss why sleep is so important.
Why Is Sleep So Important?
Some seasons of life find us barely clinging on to five hours of sleep each night. Demanding work schedules, stress, family life, and social engagements fill our time, and we seem to place sleep on the back burner —even though we know it’s not a good idea.
Most adults need somewhere between seven to nine hours of quality sleep each night. Quality sleep involves cycling through both rapid eye movement (REM) and non-REM sleep (NREM) sleep cycles an average of four times. The body does the majority of its restorative and reparative work while we rest, so getting quality sleep is good for our bodies and our overall well-being.
When sleep evades us, we look for ways to help support it. One natural way is by employing the benefits of reishi mushrooms.
What Is Reishi Mushroom?
Reishi mushroom, also known as Ganoderma lucidum, is an adaptogenic mushroom that has a flat shape and grows on decaying wood. The fruiting body of this mushroom has been used in Eastern medicine (Ayurveda and Traditional Chinese Medicine) for centuries.
Reishi is a functional mushroom. That means it provides benefits to the body over and above its nutrient and caloric contents. Reishi contains several important compounds that give it these functional, adaptogenic effects.
- Polysaccharides and triterpenoids. These compounds interact with immune system cells, supporting immune function and helping maintain a balanced immune response.
- Antioxidants. We need antioxidants to protect our bodies from oxidative stress caused by free radicals. Reishi is not only a rich source of antioxidants, but it also increases the antioxidant effect of glutathione, one of the body’s most important natural antioxidants.
While Eastern cultures have long relied on medicinal mushrooms like reishi to help support wellness, the use of them in Western culture is growing in popularity.
Is There a Link Between Reishi Mushrooms and Sleep?
Sleep supplements abound at your local big box store, but if you want a natural solution that helps restore balance to your sleep cycle, consider reishi as your sleepytime wingman. Reishi has been studied extensively for its modulating effects on both sleep quality and circadian rhythm.
Reishi has been revered in TCM for its ability to support a calm mind. Because of reishi’s adaptogenic properties, it also helps recalibrate the body’s stress response. Similarly, in western herbal medicine, Reishi is used to promote calm in cases of insomnia due to restlessness and an overactive mind.
A calm, relaxed mind and body that are prepared for sleep can translate into an easier transition from wakefulness to sleep and even an increase in total sleep time and sleep quality.
How To Incorporate Reishi for Better Sleep
Reishi isn’t a sedative. Like other adaptogens, it works best when taken consistently over time. That said, it’s also not a stimulant, so if you prefer to take reishi mushroom in the evenings, that’s okay, too. The best time to get the health benefits of reishi is whenever it is most convenient for your schedule.
Reishi is available in numerous forms, so it’s easy to take reishi when you need it. Reishi mushroom extract, tinctures, mushroom powders, and mushroom teas are all options for consuming reishi.
However, it’s worth noting that reishi’s natural taste is very bitter. Trying to add straight reishi powder to your bedtime tea to support a good night’s sleep will probably leave you with a bad taste in your mouth.
No worries! JOYÀ has the solution. We add reishi extract in a ground powder form to our Superblends with other important functional and superfood ingredients to provide a blend that has a great flavor that you’ll actually want to consume.
You can reach for reishi in two of our Superblend powders.
- Calm Cacao Superblend. Settle down with our Calm Caco Superblend. This delicious powder contains reishi mushroom, maca, mucuna pruriens, he shou wu, and cacao to help balance your stress response and settle an overactive nervous system.
- Defend Vanilla-Maca Superblend. Your “apple a day” just got a little more flavorful and arguably more beneficial. Defend Vanilla-Maca Superblend contains reishi mushroom, lion’s mane mushroom, ashwagandha, maca, and vanilla bean to help support immunity, stress response and cognitive function and defend your day.
While both of these mushroom supplements are delicious mixed into your favorite milk or non-dairy milk, you can also add them to recipes, like this one for chocolate chia pudding.
Yes, you read that right. Edibles. But don’t get too excited — these edibles are different. JOYÀ’s functional chocolates are packed with adaptogens (like reishi) and beneficial cacao and cacao butter to help satisfy your sweet tooth and meet your body’s needs. You can find reishi mushroom in our Zen Functional Chocolate and Balance Functional Chocolate.
Extracts are typically more potent and bioavailable than other supplement forms. In extracts, the chitin (the cell walls) of the mushroom cells have been broken down, so it is easier for the body to absorb. At JOYÀ, we use a reishi mushroom extract made from the fruiting body of the mushroom in our powders to ensure you’re getting the most beneficial parts of the mushroom in every delicious scoop.
Tinctures are a form of extract in which the mushroom (or other botanical) is extracted into an alcohol or glycerin-based liquid which acts as a solvent to extract the medicinal compounds. Tinctures made with alcohol may not be a suitable option for some people.
The Bottom Line
Healthy sleep is important to your overall wellness. If you’re struggling to find a balance between awake time and bedtime, reach for a remedy with real rest-inducing power, like reishi.
Reishi has been used and trusted for centuries by Eastern cultures, and now we have the research to back it up. We can trust reishi to help us get the restorative rest we need so we can feel better and enjoy a deeper level of overall wellness.
You’ve got options for reishi mushroom, but at JOYÀ, we’re meticulous about our ingredients and the process we take from field to formula. With JOYÀ, you can be certain that what we say is in each scoop of our Superblend powders and each bite of our Functional Chocolates is really there. To learn more about how functional ingredients can support your health, visit our blog today.