Ashwagandha's Effect On Sleep and Stress

15 April 2021

Can Ashwagandha Help You Sleep Better?

Quality sleep impact immune system and supports our mental and physical performance. Sleep is critical to good health and based on research, poor sleep can be associated with various health conditions that include stress, hormone and blood-sugar issues that can cascade into illness. Since the advent of Convid-19, sleep quality has gotten worse and many consumers are eyeing for natural sleep solutions to keep up with the demanding life pressures.

Ashwaganda was shown to improve the quality and quantity of sleep. This natural alternative to sleep medication will benefit people suffering from insomnia. Its root extract contains a natural compound with sleep inducing potential. In a recent study using KSM 66 Ashwagandha, the subjects who received 300-mg Ashwagandha twice a day for 10 consecutive weeks have shown improvement in sleep quality and efficiency. Even falling asleep happens in a shorter time. Another recent study in 2020, using KSM 66 Ashwangandha was conducted to subjects between 65-80 yrs old who 600 mg/day of Ashwagnadha for 12 weeks. The study has shown the improvement of sleep condition, mental alertness and quality of life in eledrely participants.

Ashwagandha root extract is a natural compound with sleep-inducing potential, well tolerated and improves sleep quality and sleep onset latency in patients with trouble sleeping at a dose of 300 mg extract twice daily. It could be of potential use to improve sleep parameters in patients with occasional sleeplessness and anxiety, but needs further large-scale studies.

Knock Out Stress With Ashwagandha!

Human body experiences a series of emotions and a specific reaction to them. Having a healthy mind and body is essential to living a productive and fulfilling life. Mental health is defined as a state of well-being with the realization of one's ability to deal with everyday stress, contribute to the community, be productive and fruitful at work (Galderisi et al., 2015). Though chemicals and hormones in our body address stress, it becomes chronic when the cortisol responsible for stress increases, causing several health issues. Emotional tension and physical tension are the results of stress, which is a body's natural response to the environment.

An increase in stress produces more cortisol in the body that may reduce functionality and testosterone level (Ahmad et al., 2010). Balancing between deadlines, work pressure, and financial instability, chronic stress of modern culture can trigger cortisol levels leading to more severe health issues. However, a natural remedy in the form of herbs like ashwagandha enhances the body's ability to fight anxiety and stress. Ashwagandha, also known as winter cherry, (Latin name) Withania somnifera, has a history of medicinal purposes. Under stressful circumstances, adrenaline increases can cause high blood pressure, high sugar levels, insomnia, weight gain, depression, and heart disease. The main reason ashwagandha is effective is because it helps to reduce the cortisol level and enhance body performance. The medicinal content of ashwagandha enhances the functions of the immune system, neurological system, as well as reproductive system.

KSM-66® – Ashwagandha for mental stress

Improve health with nature and clinically proven KSM-66® – Ashwagandha for mental stress with the highest concentration of Alkaloids, Withanolide with several other medicinal components beneficial to the body. Ashwagandha's healing power can advantageous in the following ways:


Reduces Effects from stress and anxiety

Ashwagandha is best known for its stress-relieving properties.

It has been shown in many controlled human trials that it can help people with stress and anxiety disorders (Chandrasekhar et. al., 2012)(Cooley et. al., 2009)

In a 60-day study of 64 people with chronic stress, those who took ashwagandha supplements experienced a 69 percent reduction in anxiety and insomnia, compared to 11 percent in the placebo community. (Chandrasekhar et. al., 2012)

Another 6-week study found that 88 percent of people who took ashwagandha had less anxiety than those who took a placebo (Andrade, 2000).


Reduces blood sugar

Ashwagandha has been shown to reduce blood sugar levels in many trials.

It increased insulin secretion and enhanced insulin sensitivity in muscle cells, according to one test-tube analysis (Gorelick et. al., 2015).

Furthermore, some human studies show that it can lower blood sugar levels in both healthy and diabetic people. (Andallu et. al, 2000, Agnihotri et. al., 2012 , Raut et. el., 2013)

Additionally, those treated with ashwagandha had an average decrease in fasting blood sugar levels of 13.5 mg/dL, compared to 4.5 mg/dL in those who received a placebo, in a 4-week study in people with schizophrenia.(Agnihotri et. al., 2012)


Reduces Cortisol Levels

Cortisol is known as a stress hormone because it is released by your adrenal glands in response to stress and when your blood sugar levels fall too low.

Ashwagandha has been shown in studies to support lower cortisol levels.

In one study of chronically stressed adults, those who took ashwagandha supplements had significantly lower cortisol levels than the control group. On average, those who received the largest dose saw a 30% decrease. (Biswajit, et. al, 2008)


Anti-cancer Properties

Withaferin, a compound contained in ashwagandha, has been shown in animal and test-tube experiments to aid in the induction of apoptosis, or the programmed death of cancer cells(Vyas, 2013). It also slows the spread of new cancer cells in a variety of ways. To begin, withaferin is thought to encourage the formation of reactive oxygen species (ROS) within cancer cells, causing them to malfunction. Second, it has the potential to cause cancer cells to become less resistant to apoptosis. (Nishikawa et. al., 2015)


Improves brain function and memory

In Ayurvedic medicine, ashwagandha has historically been used to improve memory.

Healthy men who took 500 mg of standardised extract daily showed substantial improvements in reaction time and task efficiency as compared to men who got a placebo in one controlled trial (Pingali et. al., 2014)

Another eight-week study found that taking 300 mg of ashwagandha root extract twice daily improved general memory, task success, and attention in 50 adults. (Choudhary et. al., 2017)


Increases energy levels and improves concentration

In Ayurveda, a type of alternative medicine based on Indian principles of natural healing, ashwagandha is one of the most essential herbs.

It has been used to alleviate stress, increase energy, and boost focus for over 3,000 years (Mirjalili et al., 2009)


References

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Agnihotri, A. P., Sontakke, S. D., Thawani, V. R., Saoji, A., & Goswami, V. S. (2013). Effects of Withania somnifera in patients of schizophrenia: a randomized, double blind, placebo controlled pilot trial study. Indian journal of pharmacology, 45(4), 417–418. https://doi.org/10.4103/0253-7613.115012

Ahmad, M. K., Mahdi, A. A., Shukla, K. K., Islam, N., Rajender, S., Madhukar, D., Shankhwar, S. N., & Ahmad, S. (2010). Withania somnifera improves semen quality by regulating reproductive hormone levels and oxidative stress in seminal plasma of infertile males. Fertility and Sterility, 94(3), 989-996.

https://doi.org/10.1016/j.fertnstert.2009.04.046

Andrade C, Aswath A, Chaturvedi SK, Srinivasa M, Raguram R. A double-blind, placebo-controlled evaluation of the anxiolytic efficacy ff an ethanolic extract of withania somnifera. Indian J Psychiatry. 2000 Jul;42(3):295-301. PMID: 21407960Andallu B, Radhika B. Hypoglycemic, diuretic and hypocholesterolemic effect of winter cherry (Withania somnifera, Dunal) root. Indian J Exp Biol. 2000 Jun;38(6):607-9. https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/21407960/

Biswajit A., Hazra J., & Mitra A. A Standardized Withania Somnifera Extract Significantly Reduces Stress-Related Parameters in Chronically Stressed Humans: A Double-Blind, Randomized, Placebo-Controlled Study. Jana. Vol 11.

https://blog.priceplow.com/wp-content/uploads/2014/08/withania_review.pdf

Chandrasekhar K, Kapoor J, Anishetty S. A prospective, randomized double-blind, placebo-controlled study of safety and efficacy of a high-concentration full-spectrum extract of ashwagandha root in reducing stress and anxiety in adults. Indian J Psychol Med. 2012 Jul;34(3):255-62.

https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/23439798/

Choudhary D, Bhattacharyya S, Bose S. Efficacy and Safety of Ashwagandha (Withania somnifera (L.) Dunal) Root Extract in Improving Memory and Cognitive Functions. J Diet Suppl. 2017 Nov 2;14(6):599-612.

https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/28471731/

Cooley K, Szczurko O, Perri D, Mills EJ, Bernhardt B, Zhou Q, Seely D. Naturopathic care for anxiety: a randomized controlled trial ISRCTN78958974. PLoS One. 2009 Aug 31;4(8):e6628. https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/19718255/

Galderisi, S., Heinz, A., Kastrup, M., Beezhold, J., & Sartorius, N. (2015). Toward a new definition of mental health. World psychiatry: official journal of the World Psychiatric Association (WPA), 14(2), 231–233.

https://doi.org/10.1002/wps.20231

Gorelick J, Rosenberg R, Smotrich A, Hanuš L, Bernstein N. Hypoglycemic activity of withanolides and elicitated Withania somnifera. Phytochemistry. 2015 Aug;116:283-289. https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/25796090/

Mirjalili MH, Moyano E, Bonfill M, Cusido RM, Palazón J. Steroidal lactones from Withania somnifera, an ancient plant for novel medicine. Molecules. 2009 Jul 3;14(7):2373-93. https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/19633611/

Nishikawa Y, Okuzaki D, Fukushima K, Mukai S, Ohno S, Ozaki Y, Yabuta N, Nojima H. Withaferin A Induces Cell Death Selectively in Androgen-Independent Prostate Cancer Cells but Not in Normal Fibroblast Cells. PLoS One. 2015 Jul 31;10(7):e0134137. https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/26230090/

Pingali U, Pilli R, Fatima N. Effect of standardized aqueous extract of Withania somnifera on tests of cognitive and psychomotor performance in healthy human participants. Pharmacognosy Res. 2014 Jan;6(1):12-8.

https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/24497737/

Raut AA, Rege NN, Tadvi FM, Solanki PV, Kene KR, Shirolkar SG, Pandey SN, Vaidya RA, Vaidya AB. Exploratory study to evaluate tolerability, safety, and activity of Ashwagandha (Withania somnifera) in healthy volunteers. J Ayurveda Integr Med. 2012 Jul;3(3):111-4

https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/23125505/

Vyas AR, Singh SV. Molecular targets and mechanisms of cancer prevention and treatment by withaferin a, a naturally occurring steroidal lactone. AAPS J. 2014 Jan;16(1):1-10. doi: 10.1208/s12248-013-9531-1. Epub 2013 Sep 18.

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