How Does Lion’s Mane Benefit Sleep?

What are the health benefits of lion’s mane?

What are the common causes of sleep problems?

What are the negative effects of sleep disorders?

How do adaptogenic mushrooms affect the sleep cycle?

Can a lion’s mane make you sleepy?

Can you get the lion’s mane before bed?

How do you get the lion’s mane to sleep?

What are lion’s mane mushrooms?

Hericium erinaceus, otherwise known as lion’s mane, is a functional mushroom known for its mood boosting properties. It has been used in traditional Chinese medicine for centuries and is still a dietary staple for the health conscious.

This saprotroph feeds on dead tree remains and is commonly found in Asia, Europe and North America.

The many health benefits of lion’s mane have piqued the interest of researchers in recent years, but there is still much to learn about the effects of this medicinal mushroom on the mind and body.

Health benefits of lion’s mane

Research on health benefits of lion’s mane mushroom indicates that this fungus has the potential to promote nerve regeneration through the production of nerve growth factor (NGF) proteins and brain cell repair. It appears to alleviate symptoms of dementia, relieve brain fog, as well as improve overall brain function and neuronal health.

Some of the possible beneficial effects of lion’s mane include:

  • reduces symptoms of anxiety and depression
  • Provides anti-inflammatory effects
  • improves the functions of the central nervous system by stimulating nerve growth factors
  • has a protective effect on the brain and improves brain health
  • reduces the risk of heart disease and blood clots
  • promotes neurite outgrowth
  • prevents memory loss and protects against mild cognitive impairment
  • it lowers blood sugar, which is quite a bit beneficial for those suffering from diabetes
  • encourages apoptosis (cell death) of cancer cells and has the potential to fight cancer
  • improves gut health
  • strengthens the immune system and improves immune function
  • has neuroprotective properties and reduces nerve damage in neurodegenerative diseases, such as multiple sclerosis and Alzheimer’s disease

Bioactive compounds found in lion’s mane

Hericium erinaceus contains a multitude of bioactive compounds, such as:

  • polysaccharides
  • beta-glucoxlan
  • polypeptides
  • digestive enzymes
  • prebiotic fibers
  • ericenones and erinacins

While many of these compounds are just beginning to be understood by science, some are known to have profound effects. For example, the ericiones, found in the fruiting bodies of the lion’s mane, and the erinacins, found in the mycelium of the fungus, they have incredible neurotrophic potential.

What are the Common causes of sleep disorders?

Some of the common causes of disturbed sleep are:

  • physical ailments, such as ulcers and chronic diseases;
  • medications, including alpha and beta blockers, corticosteroids and SSRI antidepressants
  • psychiatric illnesses, such as depression and anxiety;
  • environmental factors such as stress, alcohol and caffeine
  • genetics (for example, narcolepsy is a genetic sleep disorder)

The most common sleep disorders

The five most common sleep disorders include:

  1. Restless Legs Syndrome (RLS)
  2. REM sleep behavior disorder (RBD)
  3. Narcolepsy
  4. Insomnia
  5. Sleep apnea

Negative effects of sleep deprivation

Of the five major sleep disorders, four lead to different levels of sleep deprivation, whether it’s caused by an inability to fall asleep or a deep sleep during the night. Prolonged sleep deprivation can lead to significant physical and mental health problems, such as:

  • reduced attention span
  • slowed thinking and memory problems
  • lack of energy
  • frequent mood swings
  • weight loss
  • palpitations of the heart
  • increased risk of heart disease
  • increased risk of chronic diseases, such as type 2 diabetes;

Adaptive mushrooms and the circadian rhythm

One of the many adaptogenic properties of medicinal mushrooms, including Hericium erinaceus, is their ability to they stimulate cortisol production and stabilize the circadian rhythm.

How does cortisol affect the sleep cycle?

According to a study published in PubMed Central, adaptogens help stabilize levels of cortisol, a hormone responsible for feeling alert and awake. This hormone peaks in the morning and decreases during the day, reaching a minimum value at night.

Low cortisol levels allow you to fall asleep easily at night. However, problems related to stress, poor diet and lack of exercise can cause your cortisol levels to rise later in the day, leading to poor sleep.

Adaptive mushrooms and cortisol

Adaptive mushrooms have brain-stimulating properties, meaning they can cause early morning cortisol levels to rise if taken regularly, which will have a beneficial effect on your productivity. The lion’s mane, for example, turned out have an effect on memory and focus when taken early in the day.

Due to the early morning peak, cortisol levels will stabilize during the day and decrease at bedtime. Therefore, if taken in the morning, adaptogenic mushrooms like lion’s mane can be a great way to reset your circadian rhythm and help you maintain a healthy sleep schedule.

Can a lion’s mane make you sleepy?

Although more studies are needed on the effects of lion’s mane on sleep, currently available animal and human studies seem to suggest that this mushroom can work wonders for a good night’s sleep.

While lion’s mane does not induce drowsiness, its stabilizing effect on cortisol levels may promote easier and more restful sleep at bedtime.

For example, according to a 2019 study, Lion’s mane supplements improved sleep disturbances in overweight or obese patients. After taking lion’s mane for 8 weeks, participants reported improved mood (lower levels of depression and anxiety) and improved sleep quality.

This study also looked at circulating pro-BDNF and BDNF (brain-derived neurotrophic factor) as potential biomarkers responsible for this lion’s mane benefit. The lion’s mane has known neurogenetic potentialas it stimulates the production of nerve growth and brain-derived neurotrophic factors.

While levels of BDNF did not increase, levels of its precursor, pro-BDNF, did, meaning that this neurotrophic factor could be related to lion’s mane’s ability to improve sleep quality.

Hericium erinaceus for sleep

The lion’s mane and stress-related sleep disorders

Lion’s mane mushroom supports healthy sleep in times of acute stress, according to a 2015 pilot study. This study examined the effects of Hericium erinaceus on female undergraduate students during a stressful exam period.

The results show that lion’s mane was able to reduce anxiety levels in female participants after 4 weeks of use, which led to an overall improvement in their subjective well-being. Participants also reported sleeping more restfully due to lower stress.

What can we say definitively? The lion’s mane and sleep disorders

Here’s what we know so far about Hericium erinaceus and sleep disorders:

  1. Adaptogens, including Hericium erinaceus, have been shown to improve the circadian rhythm by stabilizing cortisol levels during the day.
  2. According to a human study, lion’s mane was able to improve the quality of REM sleep in overweight people after 8 weeks of use.
  3. The underlying mechanism of the effects of Hericium erinaceus on sleep could be related to its neurogenetic properties and its ability to stimulate nerve growth factors.
  4. Lion’s mane can also relieve stress-related sleep problems, according to a study done on female undergraduates during exam period.
  5. More studies are needed to fully uncover the mechanisms of lion’s mane and its beneficial effects on sleep.
  6. Since there are no downsides to taking lion’s mane, its low cost and high availability, it may make sense to include this fungus in one’s diet as a way to improve sleep.

I’m interested in Taking the lion’s mane to sleep?

If you’re interested in trying lion’s mane for sleep, why not have it in your breakfast? Us AdaptogenShroomsSuperfood Granola contains an organic extract of lion’s mane mushroom, as well as highly concentrated extracts of chaga and Cordyceps mushrooms.

Mushroom  AdaptogenShroomsgranola

In addition to providing you with nutrients found in these adaptogenic mushrooms, our granola is vegan, gluten-free and made with organic ingredients. It comes in three flavors, each equally delicious. If you can’t decide on a flavor, we also offer a bundle with all three options so you have some variety to start your mornings.

The lion’s mane and sleep FAQ

What are the side effects of lion’s mane?

There is no research on it side effects of lion’s mane extracts, but anecdotal evidence and centuries of use suggest that these medicinal mushrooms are perfectly safe to eat. However, be cautious of the possibility lion’s mane drug interactionsas the mushroom may interact with antidiabetics and blood thinners.

Can you get the lion’s mane before bed?

Adaptive mushroom extracts are brain enhancers and may provide stimulant effects similar to caffeine. Therefore, you should avoid taking a lion’s mane mushroom supplement before bed, especially if you are sensitive to caffeine, as it can make you restless and unable to fall asleep. Instead, consider taking lion’s mane in the morning to reap its benefits during the work day.

Is lion’s mane a sedative?

No, the lion’s mane is not a sedative. However, due to anxiety-relieving benefit of lion’s mane, you may feel calmer and more relaxed after taking this adaptogenic mushroom, but without the drowsiness that often accompanies sedatives. Therefore, regular use of lion’s mane can help improve the quality of your sleep, especially if you have trouble falling asleep due to stress.

Can you get lion’s mane and reishi mushrooms together?

Yes, you can get lion’s mane with any medicinal mushroom, including turkey tail, maitake, and reishi mushroom. When it comes to medicinal mushrooms, the whole is better than the sum of its parts, so you’ll likely get more benefits from lion’s mane if you take it with other adaptive fungi.

How long does lion’s mane take to work?

The effects of lion’s mane are cumulative, meaning that the more you use it, the more you will notice its benefits. You should experience some benefits of lion’s mane within the first two weeks of use. However, to get the full potential of this mushroom, you will need to take it consistently for about a month or more.

Is Lion’s Mane addictive?

No, lion’s mane is not addictive, even at high doses. You can stop taking lion’s mane extract whenever you choose and you will not experience any side effects or withdrawal symptoms. The only negative effect you can expect is that the benefits of lion’s mane will diminish over time once you stop taking the medicinal mushroom.

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