If you are having trouble falling asleep, or find yourself waking up in the middle of the night unable to go back, know that you are not alone. Sleep problems are common and are increasing in these stressful times. Insomnia, the most common sleep complaint, affects about 35% of the population.
Sleep is essential to our health and well-being, This is true not only for day-to-day performance, but also for longevity. Research has shown that insomnia is associated with markers of aging such as the shortening of telomeres, which may accelerate the rate at which the body ages and raise the risk for chronic diseases and mortality.
If you are already tackling the most common causes of insomnia by trying to reduce stress levels, having a regular sleep schedule, and covering the basics of your sleep environment, but are still looking for improvements through natural supplementation, you might want to consider Ashwagandha.
Ashwagandha, or Withania Somnifera, has been used for centuries in practices from Ayurveda to African traditional medicine. This herb is an adaptogen traditionally used to treat chronic stress, whether it’s mental or physical. Recent research has also shown its effectiveness as a sleep aid.
In a 2019 placebo-controlled study designed to evaluate the safety and effectiveness of Ashwagandha to treat insomnia, researchers found that Ashwagandha extract had great sleep-inducing potential. Forty (40) participants given Ashwagandha root extract twice daily for ten weeks experienced greater improvements in sleep quality, anxiety, and mental alertness upon waking compared to those in the placebo group.
It was well tolerated and improved both sleep onset latency as well as overall sleep quality in patients with insomnia. The dose used in the study was 300 mg twice daily.
Sleep onset latency (minutes): Amount it takes to fall asleep was considerably reduced in the treated group.
More recently, a 2020 double-blind, randomized, placebo-controlled study confirmed that Ashwagandha extract can improve sleep quality and is generally well tolerated among healthy participants between 18 and 50.
Significant sleep improvements were seen in both control and insomnia subjects. These were measured based on decreased sleep onset latency (the amount of time it takes to fall asleep), increased total sleep time, total time in bed, and sleep efficiency. The treatment involved eight weeks of Ashwagandha root extract, at the same dose of 300 mg twice a day.
What You Can Do
If you already have your sleep essentials covered and are trying to improve your sleep quality further, you might want to try experimenting with Ashwagandha supplementation for a period of time.
Look for supplements that use KSM-66 as an ingredient like Physician’s Choice or Daily Nutra. To really be able to track results, we also recommend you use a sleep tracker like the Oura Ring or Whoop.