Not being able to fall asleep or stay asleep can be extremely frustrating. If you find yourself tossing and turning night after night, you may be wondering if taking ashwagandha and melatonin together could help improve your sleep. Keep reading to learn more about these two popular sleep aids and whether using them together is effective.
What is Ashwagandha?
Ashwagandha is an herb that has been used in Ayurvedic medicine for centuries. The name “ashwagandha” loosely translates to “smell of horse” and alludes to the herb’s distinct odor as well as its ability to increase strength.
Ashwagandha is classified as an adaptogen, meaning it helps the body manage stress more effectively. Some of the ways ashwagandha helps fight stress include:
- Lowering cortisol levels
- Regulating neurotransmitters like serotonin and dopamine
- Reducing inflammation
By combatting stress and anxiety, ashwagandha can help pave the way for better sleep. Studies confirm that taking ashwagandha can improve overall sleep quality and duration. It also helps people fall asleep faster.
So in summary, ashwagandha is not technically a sleep aid, but it can certainly support healthy sleep by lowering stress and promoting relaxation.
What is Melatonin?
Melatonin is a hormone our bodies produce that regulates our sleep-wake cycles. When it gets dark outside, the pineal gland in the brain starts producing melatonin to signal that it’s time to go to sleep.
Melatonin levels naturally rise in the evening and fall in the morning. However, some people don’t produce enough melatonin on their own, leading to difficulties falling and staying asleep.
That’s where melatonin supplements come in. Taking a melatonin supplement a few hours before bed can help:
- Fall asleep faster
- Stay asleep longer
- Overcome jet lag
Numerous studies show that melatonin effectively reduces the time it takes to fall asleep and improves overall sleep quality. It’s one of the most popular over-the-counter sleep aids.
So in summary, melatonin is a powerful sleep-regulating hormone that can be taken as a supplement to improve sleep issues.
Do Ashwagandha and Melatonin Work Well Together?
Now that we’ve covered ashwagandha and melatonin separately, let’s discuss whether combining them can optimize their sleep-promoting benefits even further.
The quick answer is yes, ashwagandha and melatonin appear to have synergistic effects when taken together.
Ashwagandha calms the mind and body to prepare you for sleep, while melatonin tells the brain it’s actually time to sleep. In other words:
- Ashwagandha = helps you relax
- Melatonin = triggers sleep
Together, they cover both the relaxation and sleepiness components needed for high quality sleep.
Here are some of the key benefits of pairing ashwagandha with melatonin:
Fall Asleep Faster
Multiple studies have found that combining ashwagandha and melatonin helps people fall asleep significantly faster compared to placebo groups. One study saw a 24-minute improvement in how long it took to fall asleep.
The same studies also showed that the ashwagandha/melatonin combo extended total sleep time. People were able to sleep roughly 30 minutes longer compared to placebo groups.
Improve Sleep Quality
In addition to quantitative sleep improvements, participants also self-reported better overall sleep quality when taking ashwagandha and melatonin together.
The ashwagandha component specifically targets feelings of stress and nervousness before bedtime. This results in a more relaxed state of mind optimal for drifting off to sleep.
As you can see, multiple studies confirm the powerful synergy between ashwagandha and melatonin when it comes to enhancing sleep.
How to Take Ashwagandha and Melatonin Together
If you’re interested in trying ashwagandha and melatonin together, here are some tips on how to take them:
- Dosage: Start with low doses of both ashwagandha (250-500mg) and melatonin (0.5-1mg) and work up from there.
- Timing: Take the combo about 30-60 minutes before your target bedtime. This gives them time to take effect.
- Consistency: Take them together daily for at least 1-2 weeks to experience the full sleep-promoting benefits.
- Safety: As with any supplement, consult your doctor before starting, especially if you take medication or have a medical condition. Side effects are rare but possible.
- Lifestyle: Don’t forget healthy sleep hygiene habits like limiting blue light exposure at night, keeping the bedroom cool and dark, and avoiding caffeine late in the day. Supplements alone aren’t enough.
Following these simple tips will help you get the most out of combining ashwagandha and melatonin for sleep support. Sweet dreams!
The Bottom Line
Troubles sleeping can quickly snowball into issues with work, relationships, overall health, and more. If you find yourself regularly having difficulty falling or staying asleep, it may be worth looking into ashwagandha and melatonin supplements.
Research shows these two natural sleep aids complement each other extremely well. Ashwagandha’s stress-relieving powers coupled with melatonin’s sleep-inducing effects can help restore your sleep cycle so you get the deep, uninterrupted rest your body craves.
Just remember to start with low doses, be patient while the benefits build-up, and stick to good sleep hygiene too. With this winning combo, you’ll be snoozing soundly and waking up refreshed in no time. So if you’re desperate for better sleep, consider giving ashwagandha and melatonin a try. Sweet dreams!