When should you take ashwagandha, and what are the benefits of adding it to your daily regime? Those are great questions if you’re ready to improve your health and want to select the right supplements for your personal needs. This natural herb has received a lot of attention on social media for its potential to lower cortisol levels and reduce stress. When taken regularly, it can help support your overall health while boosting your sense of well-being.
It’s important to understand how to take Ashwagandha in order to maximize its benefits. In this article, we will discuss the benefits of Ashwagandha, how it works, and the best time to take it to receive the benefits you desire.
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What Is Ashwagandha?
Ashwagandha is an ancient Ayurvedic herb that has been used for centuries to promote health and well-being. It’s derived from the root of the Withania somnifera plant, which is native to India and parts of Africa. Ashwagandha is known for its calming and rejuvenating effects. It has been used to treat a variety of conditions, including:
Some people also use ashwagandha to boost energy levels and improve physical performance.
Ashwagandha is available in a variety of forms, including capsules, tablets, powders, teas, tonics, and liquid extracts. It’s sometimes added to food and drinks for easy consumption, which is beneficial if you don’t like taking medication or supplements.
How Does It Work?
Ashwagandha works by targeting the body’s stress response system. It increases levels of the neurotransmitter GABA, which is responsible for calming the nervous system and reducing stress. It also increases serotonin levels, which is a neurotransmitter responsible for regulating mood and improving sleep.
What makes ashwagandha so effective is its high concentration of withanolides, which are compounds that have a variety of properties believed to help combat some types of chronic disease.1 Let’s look at those properties and gain an understanding of what they mean for your health:
- Adaptogenic – supports your body in the management of stress, helps to restore balance
- Diuretic – helps eliminate excess sodium and water retention to reduce bloating
- Anti-inflammatory – reduces inflammation throughout the body
- Sedative – slows brain activity to promote relaxation
- Cytotoxic – kills unhealthy cells and stops them from dividing and growing, including cancer cells
- Antitussive – prevents and relieves coughing
- Immunomodulatory – modifies the immune system to help the body fight infection, cancer, and other illnesses
These compounds are believed to be responsible for ashwagandha’s many health benefits. We’ll discuss those health benefits more in a moment. For now, note that this powerful herb also contains a variety of other compounds that are believed to contribute to its known health benefits. That includes alkaloids, flavonoids, and saponins.
What Are The Benefits Of Taking Ashwagandha?
After reading the list of powerful properties contained in ashwagandha, it’s not shocking that the herb boasts a variety of health benefits. One of the most well-known benefits is its ability to reduce stress and anxiety. We live in an increasingly stressful world that has most people reaching for supplements to overcome the fatigue and mental drain that comes with chronic stress.
One study published in the Journal of Ayurveda and Integrative Medicine in 2022 found that ashwagandha effectively improved the physiological, psychological, and cognitive effects of stress with no side effects.2 60 adults who reported high stress levels were split into two groups, either receiving the supplement or a placebo.
Study participants taking ashwagandha for 30 days reported better improvements in stress levels as well as depression and food cravings. They also had lower cortisol levels.
Another study published in the Indian Journal of Psychological Medicine in 2012 provided similar results. 64 people experiencing chronic stress were split into two groups, and one group received 300 mg of high-concentration, full-spectrum ashwagandha root extract twice a day for two months.3 The supplement substantially reduced cortisol levels and lowered levels of perceived stress significantly.
In addition to those mood-enhancing benefits, ashwagandha is believed to have a powerful anti-inflammatory effect. High levels of inflammation leave your body vulnerable to a variety of chronic diseases, including asthma, cancer, heart disease, and diabetes. Excessive inflammation is also a sign of an autoimmune disorder like lupus or vasculitis.4
From arthritis to fibromyalgia, diabetes, and cancer, ashwagandha can help relieve symptoms and improve comfort when taken consistently over time. It can even help boost your immune system to naturally protect against infection and illness.
So, what about the quality of your sleep? That’s another area where a high-quality ashwagandha supplement may help.
A systemic review and meta-analysis of ashwagandha’s effect on sleep was published in the journal PLOS ONE in 2021.5 Researchers found that the supplement has a noticeable on sleep quality with the best results occurring for those meeting the following criteria:
- Adults diagnosed with insomnia
- Treatment duration longer than 8 weeks
- Treatment dosage above 600 mg per day
The study also found that participants taking the ashwagandha supplement woke up in the morning more mentally alert and with lower anxiety levels. There were no noted serious side effects.
As if those proven benefits aren’t enough to send you searching for the best ashwagandha supplement, we have more!
Ashwagandha may also help boost the immune system. Studies have found that taking Ashwagandha can help increase the number of white blood cells, which are important for fighting off infections.6 It may even help improve blood circulation and reduce blood pressure, which is beneficial for heart health.
As researchers continue to study the effect of ashwagandha supplementation on various bodily systems, this list of health benefits is likely to grow. What we know already proves that the supplement is beneficial for everyone trying to prevent or treat a wide variety of physical ailments.
Is Ashwagandha A Good Sleeping Aid?
Ashwagandha can serve as a powerful sleep aid in addition to all of the benefits we just discussed. Research suggests that it can help improve sleep quality and reduce the amount of time it takes to fall asleep.
How does that work? It’s believed to encourage relaxation and deeper sleep by reducing stress and anxiety levels. Stress and anxiety are known to disrupt sleep, so it makes sense that controlling those factors could result in a better night of restorative sleep. It’s also possible that ashwagandha increases levels of the sleep hormone melatonin, which helps regulate the sleep-wake cycle.
In a study of 64 adults, those who took Ashwagandha for 8 weeks experienced significant improvements in sleep quality. Participants were able to fall asleep faster and stayed asleep for more consecutive hours while experiencing less stress and anxiety.
In another study, elderly people who took Ashwagandha experienced significant improvements in sleep quality. Just like participants in the previous study, they were able to fall asleep faster and stay asleep longer.
If you are looking for a natural way to improve your sleep quality, Ashwagandha may be worth considering. If you want to maximize benefits, check out FOCL Night, which features Ashwagandha in it. You’ll enjoy the benefits of ashwagandha and CBD without the “high” that comes with products that contains THC or the side effects of other medications and supplements.
When Should You Take Ashwagandha To Help You Sleep?
When taking Ashwagandha to help you sleep, it’s important to understand how the herb works and when to take it for maximum benefits. The most common way to take it is in capsule form. Most supplements are taken once or twice a day with meals. Those basic instructions work for general well-being and other health benefits, but you have to take it at the right time of day if you want to use it as a natural sleep aid.
So, when is the best time to take Ashwagandha as a sleep aid? For most people, it works best if taken about one hour before bed. Ashwagandha promotes heavy relaxation and reduces stress levels, so it makes sense to take it as you’re winding down at the end of the day and preparing for sleep.
It’s important to understand that that the full effects of Ashwagandha can take up to two weeks to fully kick in. You don’t want to assume that it isn’t working and give up on your new supplement too soon. Make sure you’re taking the supplement consistently and give it at least a couple weeks before you determine how effective it is for your sleep needs.
It's important to find the right dosage of Ashwagandha. Everyone is different when it comes to the right dosage, so what works for someone else may not work well for you. Start with a low dose and gradually increase over time until you find the dosage that works best for you. The quality of your supplement matters as well, and we’ll discuss how you find the best ashwagandha supplements in a moment.
Warning: If you take prescription medication, note that Ashwagandha can interact with certain medications. It’s highly recommended that you consult with a healthcare provider before taking this supplement or any others to avoid negative interactions.
Find The Best Products With Ashwagandha For A Good Night Of Sleep
There are two options when selecting an ashwagandha supplement:
- Look for a pure ashwagandha supplement that doesn’t contain unnecessary added ingredients. Choose the right dosage for the results you want to receive.
- Look for a supplement that combines ashwagandha with other natural herbs and botanicals for increased effectiveness. Make sure all ingredients are of premium quality and beneficial for your sleep health.
If you choose the second option, FOCL Night is the best option on the market today. It combines organic ashwagandha with premium CBD extracted from hemp plants. Other ingredients include organic passion flower for its relaxing effect on the mind, organic valerian root to enhance bodily repair during deep sleep, and 5-HTP to help with production of serotonin and melatonin.
The CBD included in FOCL’s Night formula is free of THC, so it won’t make you feel high or alter your mental state in any way. The formula is 100% plant based and excludes all pesticides and herbicides that are included in some other types of sleep aids.
When you take ashwagandha at night as a sleep aid, you still receive the other benefits discussed above. Imagine getting out of bed feeling refreshed, alert, and ready for a new day! That can happen when you take FOCL nigh consistently over time.
Timing is key when taking ashwagandha. It offers an exciting range of health benefits, but the ability to naturally fall asleep faster and stay asleep longer is what brings many people to take it.
Keep in mind that maximum benefits can take a couple of weeks to set in, so commit to taking it on a routine schedule for at least that long before you decide if it works for you or not.
How quickly will Ashwagandha work?
The effects of Ashwagandha can vary from person to person, but most people will feel the full benefits within a few weeks. It’s important to take the supplement daily and remain consistent to achieve maximum results.
How does Ashwagandha compare to melatonin?
Ashwagandha and melatonin are both natural substances that can help improve sleep quality. However, Ashwagandha has a range of additional benefits that melatonin does not offer.
Ashwagandha can help reduce stress and anxiety, improve cognitive function, and increase energy levels. While melatonin is effective at regulating sleep cycles, it doesn’t do anything for your stress levels, anxiety, depression, or inflammation.
Can ashwagandha raise blood pressure?
Ashwagandha has not been shown to raise blood pressure, but it may lower it. There is some scientific support for the herb’s ability to lower blood pressure naturally. Just add that to the long list of benefits that come with taking ashwagandha.