Yes, and there are many reasons you should take Lion’s Mane before bed if you want to reap the benefits of a natural sleep aid. However, you can also take lion’s mane at other times of the day too.
So, how does lion’s mane work as a sleep aid?
What are the other benefits of lion’s mane?
Where can you find lion’s mane?
Read on to find out!
What is Lion’s Mane?
Lion’s Mane, also known as Yamabushitake, is an edible mushroom belonging to the tooth fungus group. Lion’s mane can be identified by its long white spines, resembling an actual lion’s mane!
This extraordinary mushroom is harvested for traditional Chinese medicine and cuisine, as it’s widely known to have beneficial effects on the body thanks to its bioactive compounds. It's not surprising that Lion's Mane Mushroom is commonly used in the most effective nootropic supplements.
Some of the many health benefits include:
- Improving cognitive function
- Anti-inflammatory and antioxidant properties
- Anti-depressant and anxiolytic properties
- Protecting against digestive ulcers
You can consume lion’s mane in raw and cooked form (popularly as a tea or coffee), or as a supplement in powder, capsule, or liquid form. Lion’s mane is actually a popular ingredient in nootropic formulas due to its powerful effects on the brain!
Can You Take Lion’s Mane Before Bed?
Sleep problems are very common nowadays, and it’s no surprise seeing as screen time, caffeine consumption, and everyday stress are all on the rise! We have all suffered an evening of restlessness and poor sleep, which is normal to experience from time to time.
However, longer stretches of poor sleep can have negative effects on our everyday life and health such as:
- Feeling fatigued
- Experiencing brain fog
- Lacking focus and concentration
- Mood swings
- Increased risk of chronic diseases
- Shortening our life expectancy
As new research on lion’s mane emerges, it’s becoming evident that it may be a useful sleep aid for many reasons, thus supporting the idea of taking lion’s mane before bed.
Let’s delve into the details:
Lion’s Mane Before Bed: An Effective Adaptogen
Mushrooms are known to have adaptogenic properties, particularly lion’s mane - the all-natural brain booster! Adaptogens are substances that work to counteract the effects of stress in the body.
As we know, stress can have many physical effects on your body, including harming your immune and endocrine systems1, which can often have a knock-on effect on our sleep quality.
Lion’s mane adaptogenic properties can help offset these physical changes, alongside easing symptoms of mild anxiety and depression2, and regulating our neuroendocrine systems.
Due to these positive effects, consuming lion’s mane may be a great addition to your pre-bedtime routine, particularly if stress and anxiety is hindering your sleep!
Lion’s Mane Before Bed: Supporting Nerve Growth Factor (NGF)
You'll find active nootropics called hericenones and erinacines in lion's mane, which stimulates the synthesis of nerve growth factor (NGF). In turn, this promotes overall brain health.3
NGF is part of the family of neurotrophins, which are responsible for the growth, survival, and developmental plasticity of target neurons.4
It’s been shown that NGF is involved in the modulation of naturally-occurring sleep and wakefulness 5, indicating that lion’s mane may help us dial in our sleep-wake cycle!
Lion’s Mane Before Bed: Combatting Delayed Sleep Phase Syndrome
Those who suffer with delayed sleep phase syndrome (DSPS) may find themselves falling asleep unusually late and experiencing difficulties with waking up the following morning due to poor signalling from their internal clock.
One study has noted that lion’s mane may serve as a functional food in the prevention and treatment of delayed sleep phase syndrome by advancing the sleep-wake cycle.6
Does Lion’s Mane Have Any Side Effects?
There have been no major side effects of lion’s mane reported, however it’s best to avoid it if you have an allergy to mushrooms. As always, we recommend consulting your doctor before taking any new supplement!
It appears the benefits of lion’s mane aren’t unique to our waking life! The advantages of taking lion’s mane before bed are becoming increasingly apparent, so we definitely recommend trying it out for yourself if you’re looking for an aid to help you wind down and get a better night’s sleep!
- Panossian A, Wikman G. Effects of Adaptogens on the Central Nervous System and the Molecular Mechanisms Associated with Their Stress-Protective Activity. Pharmaceuticals (Basel). 2010;3(1):188-224. Published 2010 Jan 19. doi:10.3390/ph3010188
- Aloe L, Rocco ML, Balzamino BO, Micera A. Nerve Growth Factor: A Focus on Neuroscience and Therapy. Curr Neuropharmacol. 2015;13(3):294-303.
- Ramos OV, Torterolo P, Lim V, Chase MH, Sampogna S, Yamuy J. The role of mesopontine NGF in sleep and wakefulness. Brain Res. 2011;1413:9-23.
- Furuta S, Kuwahara R, Hiraki E, Ohnuki K, Yasuo S, Shimizu K. Hericium erinaceus extracts alter behavioral rhythm in mice. Biomed Res. 2016;37(4):227-32.