Get Better Sleep With Some Help From Mushrooms

New research backs up what traditional Asian healers have known for more than 2,000 years…

With regular use, consuming Reishi mushrooms can help you reach deep, restful sleep in as little as three days.1

In the study, researchers determined that the mushrooms “significantly increased total sleep time and non-rapid eye movement sleep.”

They found that Reishi promotes sleep by increasing TNF-a, a key substance in sleep regulation, in the brain’s hypothalamus, serum, and dorsal raphe nucleus.

In a different study, researchers found Reishi works by influencing certain gut microbes that naturally produce neurotransmitters. In turn, these chemical messengers act on serotonin pathways in the brain.

A healthy gut-brain connection is essential for quality sleep. You see, 80% of neurotransmitters reside in your microbiome, including 90% of serotonin.2

This backs up earlier research which found the Reishi mushroom has an incredible ability to calm the nervous system and promote a state of deep relaxation.

In this study, 132 volunteers found a significant reduction in fatigue and improvement in overall well-being after using Reishi for eight weeks.3

As you know, a good night’s sleep is your first line of defense against the chronic diseases we associate with aging.

Unfortunately, most doctors today lack even a basic awareness of the thousands of years of accumulated medical wisdom that now exists only in traditional cultures. They know almost nothing about nutrition, medicinal herbs, or their vital role in preventing diseases.

So, doctors dole out prescription sleep aids, which act directly on receptors in the brain to slow down the nervous system.

But these dangerous drugs impair motor skills and brain function. They’re also highly addictive and cause severe liver and kidney damage. They can damage your cardiovascular and immune systems.

And they don’t work…

A study by the National Institutes of Health found that prescription sleeping pills only add an additional 11 minutes of sleep a night!4

I never prescribe sleeping pills to my patients. At the Sears Institute for Anti-Aging Medicine, we use natural medicines that take a different, safer route.

I’ve been recommending Reishi – nicknamed the “mushroom of immortality” – for years to promote health. In addition to helping you sleep, these medicinal mushrooms can:5,6,7,8

  • Strengthen your immune system
  • Reduce the risk of cancer
  • Increase good cholesterol to protect against heart disease
  • Support healthy blood sugar levels
  • Reduce the risk of depression and anxiety

And now, I plan to recommend them to patients who have trouble falling and staying asleep.

Try Moon Milk For A Good Night’s Sleep

I don’t recommend Reishi supplements. A recent study in Nature found that a shocking 74% of Reishi supplement products were fake.9

I suggest that you buy dried, ground Reishi mushrooms online. Look for a product that is 100% USDA-certified organic and has been lab-tested to rule out heavy metal and biological contamination.

I like using the powder to make a moon milk drink that’s perfect before bed.

Ingredients:

  • 1 cup full-fat coconut milk
  • 1 cup unsweetened almond milk
  • 1 tbsp fresh ginger, finely chopped
  • 1 tbsp fresh turmeric, finely chopped
  • ⅛ tsp ground black pepper
  • 1 tsp Reishi mushroom powder
  • 1 tbsp raw honey

Preparation:

  1. Add both milks, ginger, turmeric, and pepper in a small saucepan. Bring to a simmer over medium-low heat, stirring occasionally. Turn off the heat, cover, and let stand for 5 minutes.
  2. In a blender, combine the heated milk mixture, reishi powder, and honey until smooth. Drink and enjoy.

To Your Good Health,

Al Sears, MD

Al Sears, MD, CNS

 


References:

1. Cui X, et al. “Extract of Ganoderma lucidum prolongs sleep time in rats.” Ethnopharmacol. 2012 Feb 15;139(3):796-800.
2. Tang W, et al. “A randomized, double-blind and placebo-controlled study of a Ganoderma lucidum polysaccharide extract in neurasthenia.” J Med Food. Spring 2005;8(1):53-8.
3. Stephanie Saul. “Sleep Drugs Found Only Mildly Effective, but Wildly Popular.” New York Times. October 23, 2007.
4. Cheng C, et al. “The effects of two different ganoderma species (Lingzhi) on gene expression in human monocytic THP-1 cells.” Nutr Cancer. 2010;62(5):648-58.
5. Gao Y, et al. “Effects of ganopoly (a Ganoderma lucidum polysaccharide extract) on the immune functions in advanced-stage cancer patients.” Immunol Invest. 2003 Aug;32(3):201-15.
6. Chu T, et al. Study of potential cardiovascular… intervention trial.” Br J Nutr. 2012 Apr;107(7):1017-27.
7. Xiao C, et al.“Hypoglycemic effects of Ganoderma lucidum polysaccharides in type 2 diabetic mice.” Arch Pharm Res. 2012 Oct;35(10):1793-801. doi: 10.1007/s12272-012-1012-z. Epub 2012 Nov 9.
8. Zhao S, et al. “Spore powder of ganoderma lucidum improves cancer-related fatigue in breast cancer patients undergoing endocrine therapy: a pilot clinical trial.” Evid Based Complement Alternat Med. 2012;2012:809614. doi: 10.1155/2012/809614. Epub 2011 Dec 10.
9. Wu T, et al. “Evaluation on quality consistency of Ganoderma lucidum dietary supplements collected in the United States.” Sci Rep 7, 7792 (2017).