Lion’s Mane mushroom is mother nature’s brain juice. Lion’s Mane is an incredibly unique adaptogenic herb that has been scientifically proven to improve cognitive function, elevate mood, boost memory power, eliminate brain fog and balance the central nervous system.
The brain boosting and mental performance benefits of Lion’s Mane works by stimulating NGF – neural growth factor – to be released. NGF is a neurotrophic protein that enables the growth, replication, repair and survival of our neurons.
Additionally, Lion’s Mane is potent antioxidant that also modulates the immune system and supports gut health.
These are one of many benefits that set up Lion’s Mane mushroom to be one of the best superfoods to take before bed to improve sleep quality. Read on as we discuss why Lion’s Mane is good for sleep and how long before sleep should you take Lion’s Mane.
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Why you should consider taking lion’s mane before bed
When it comes to getting a good night's sleep, there is a lot of emerging scientific evidence that supports Lion's Mane's purported benefits for improving sleep quality and why you should consider taking Lion’s Mane before bed.
Lion’s Mane may help increases REM sleep–the lighter stage of sleep that happens 90 minutes after you fall asleep.
The REM sleep stage enables neural plasticity to occur in the brain–the process in which the brain “digests” the day and weaves that information into forming new ideas, new memories, and helps us make sense of the world around us–process our daily interactions, thoughts and environments (1).
Lion’s Mane mushroom supports sound sleep due to its anti-stress and anxiety reducing properties. This powerful medicinal mushroom works on helping to balance the central nervous system, promotes more parasympathetic nervous system activity, and calms an overactive brain which invites a more restful slumber.
Lion's Mane also offers a natural way to reset your circadian rhythm. Whether you take Lion's Mane before bed or in the morning after a good night's sleep Lion's Mane can reset your circadian rhythm and provide and energizing effect.
Lion's Mane before bed is one of the best medicinal mushrooms to enhance brain function, calm the mind and encourage a good night's sleep all at the same time.
The popularity of Lion’s Mane Mushrooms
Medicinal mushrooms have carved out a lane of their own in the health and wellness world. They have landed into the category of a nutritionally dense functional food as well as a powerful superfood and tonic herb.
We can thank the growing notoriety and popularity of medicinal mushrooms to leading mycology pioneers and biohackers across the world for bringing to light the evidence-based benefits of medicinal mushrooms to prevent any disease, as well as honouring their long history rooted in Traditional Chinese Medicine (TCM) and other Eastern traditions.
We live in an era where these once ancient, revered and secret herbs are now easily accessible to us. With no known side effects, it seems silly not to take advantage of these incredible fungi for our health.
Medicinal mushrooms provide incredible health benefits and support multiple organ systems in the body. Lion’s Mane is most popular for enhancing brain health, calming the central nervous system, elevating mood and promoting sleep.
Traditionally used to treat gastrointestinal upset and conditions, Lion’s Mane mushroom is not only a powerful superfood for brain health and performance, it’s also immune-modulating, hypolipidemic (balances cholesterol), neuro-protective, hepatoprotective (liver protective), anti-hypertensive (blood pressure lowering), anti-diabetic, a potent antioxidant and elicits anti-cancer properties (3).
Chronic stress is a major driver for poor quality sleep. The adaptogenic qualities of Lion’s Mane mushroom works to supports a healthy stress response, and balances stress hormone levels which encourages better sleep.
Lion’s Mane is known as “Nature’s Nutrient for Neurons.” It contains two bioactive diterpenoid compounds; hericenones and erinacines which have been shown to stimulate nerve growth factor (NGF) release within the brain (2, 4).
Consistently nourishing and supporting our cells and organs, medicinal mushrooms like Lion’s Mane can be easily added into everyday food and drinks for optimal health and wellbeing. Today, Western society has developed this mentality of a “hustle hard” culture that encourages the need to burn the candle at both ends to achieve our daily and long term goals.
So many people are exhausted, fatigued, run down, on the edge of sickness, anxious, depressed and unable to sleep at night. Medicinal mushrooms, adaptogenic herbs and Lion’s Mane offer a solution to solve this problem–restore waning energy levels, enhance brain health, performance and focus, and improve sleep quality for everyone.
How Lion’s Mane before bed can help you
- Rejuvenation effects
The word rejuvenation evokes a feeling of waking up every morning feeling energized, restored, grateful and excited for the day ahead. Unfortunately, for many of us, we feel the opposite. People are exhausted just trying to get through each day. With all the responsibilities and expectations placed on us, we’re constantly being pulled in hundreds of directions all the time.
Once upon a time, we would’ve looked forward to holidays and vacations as a time to relax and rejuvenate. The stressful events of the 2020 COVID-19 pandemic gave us all an opportunity to reflect on our lifestyles and where we’re able to add in more rejuvenating practices and tools to our days and weeks as a way to buffer the stress and noise of our lives.
The adaptogenic properties of Lion’s Mane mushroom work to boost energy levels through it’s action on the HPA axis – the hypothalamic – pituitary – adrenal axis. The HPA axis connects the brain and adrenals and influences our stress response – the activation of our sympathetic nervous system and fight or flight response.
When you take Lion’s Mane mushroom, it works to preserve cortisol within the adrenal glands, preventing an over active nervous system which if chronically turned on all the time, causes exhaustion and chronic fatigue.
One key role in rejuvenating ourselves is supporting gut health. The gastrointestinal tract is responsible for breaking down and absorbing the nutrients from our food. When the body has degrees of leaky gut and gut inflammation, this digestive process is not only inhibited, it lowers the nutrients available to our cells to make ATP – cellular energy. It also disrupts the balance of bacteria within our microbiota. Unfavourable bacterial species rob the body of energy, damage immunity, drive inflammation, and cause chronic stress.
The gut also directly influences the release of neurotransmitters in the brain. This has a direct relationship with the more energizing neurotransmitters such as acetylcholine and glutamate, and calming neurotransmitters such as GABA that play an important role in sleep and mood.
- Anxiety reducing benefits
The number of individuals who experience anxiety symptoms is growing everyday. Many of us are seeking natural alternatives to help manage and decrease anxiety in our lives.
One natural solution is Lion’s Mane mushroom for its natural anxiolytic effects. A 2010 study revealed a reduction in anxiety and depression symptoms in thirty females that consumed Lion’s Mane extract over four weeks (5).
Lion’s Mane mushroom can help reduce anxiety through numerous avenues, one being it’s anti-inflammatory and an antioxidant benefits. Lion’s Mane works to reduce pro-inflammatory mediators and pathways within the body, and protect neurons from oxidative damage that can alter neurotransmitter release and uptake.
Lion’s Mane contains a unique compound known as erinacines that can cross through the blood-brain-barrier and stimulate NGF (nerve growth factor) within the brain and thus, boost brain and neural health.
Another pathway in which Lion’s Mane is able to reduce anxiety is through modulating and supporting healthy gut function. Our microbiome, the bacteria that live in our gut, have the ability to influence the release serotonin – 80% of which is actually synthesized within the gut. On top of this, the Vagus Nerve – the nerve that enables a bi-directional communication between the gut and brain influences neurotransmitter function; impacting mood, satiety, energy and sleep.
Thirdly, Lion’s Mane mushroom can reduce anxiety via its adaptogenic properties, promoting a reduction in the activation of the sympathetic nervous system and stress response.
Anxiety is often accompanied by a stress response–whether the source of stress is caused by something mental (worrying about past and future etc.), physical (sickness or disease), or environmental (toxins, pollutants in the air etc.), the fact is, many of us fall into this conscious state when we’re trying to drift off to sleep and lie awake restless due to stress.
By buffering the stress response and supporting the adrenals and nervous system, Lion’s Mane dampens the stress response and helps combat those feelings of anxiety when we feel or experience stress, calms an overactive mind and improves sleep quality.
- Stress reducing benefits
Not sleeping enough hours or getting poor quality sleep is itself a stressor. For all those times you wake up and know you didn’t get enough sleep or go to bed dreading the morning alarm–that is also a stressor. This a vicious cycle of poo sleep often leaves us feeling paralyzed, disappointed, desperate and exhausted.
Fortunately, we can reduce stress by incorporating adaptogenic herbs and medicinal mushrooms like Lion’s Mane into our life. Again, Lion’s Mane works on that HPA axis, calms an overactive nervous system which helps improve our sleep and lowers the stress of not getting enough sleep.
Why REM Sleep is important
Medicinal mushrooms like Lion’s Mane and Reishi mushrooms have been shown to improve REM sleep, the stage of sleep we experience just before we wake up.
The REM stage of sleep is paramount to our health and emotional wellbeing as it enables us to make sense of our world, to create connections between abstract thoughts and ideas and helps us to know our role in the world. It’s honestly quite fascinating.
When we improve REM sleep levels we improve our emotional processing, and is also a key reason why when we go to sleep after an emotionally heavy or hard day, we wake up the next morning feeling literally better, because whilst we’ve been asleep, our brains been active, processing these emotions and the memories associated with it.
Human studies show a lack of REM sleep reduces the ability to effectively process emotions which can also attribute and intensify feelings of anxiety and depression (7).
Anxiety and Stress Related benefits of taking Lion’s Mane
Stress and anxiety are present at all times of the day, not just before bed or when we’re trying to fall asleep. I know most of us want the “best time” to take Lion’s Mane or any natural herb, food or compound. The feeling is if we miss this “right time” window it’s effects and benefits will be wasted. When it comes to Lion’s Mane, this couldn’t be any more further from the truth.
Adaptogenic herbs like Lion’s Mane mushroom work their magic and benefits throughout the entire day and night, regardless of when you consume them.
When you regularly take Lion’s Mane, you expose your body to its anxiolytic and anti-stress compounds more frequently and this consistently adds support and nourishment to your nervous system, helping ease anxiety and stress levels.
Frequently Asked Questions
Is Lion’s Mane good for sleep?
Lion’s Mane (Hericium erinaceus) is a popular medicinal mushroom for its ability to improve REM sleep levels, calm the mind, and reduce symptoms of anxiety and stress that contribute to poor quality sleep.
How long before you sleep should you take lion’s mane?
To improve sleep quality and increase the chances of falling asleep faster, we recommend you take 1/2 teaspoon (1-2 grams) of high quality organic Lion’s Mane mushroom extract powder or Lion's Mane tincture 30 minutes to 1 hour before you sleep.
Try organic Lion's Mane available here.
Which are the best mushrooms for regeneration?
Studies show that Lion’s Mane mushroom is one of the best mushrooms for regeneration and for protection of neurons and nerve cells.
To sum it all up, Lion’s Mane mushroom is an amazing superfood for improving your sleep health and getting a better night sleep.
Lion’s Mane can improve your sleep quality by reducing stress, anxiety and inflammation in the body– all factors which influence the quality and quantity of sleep.
Lion’s Mane benefits also support a healthy nervous system and protect the brain, improve neurotransmitter release and function, mood and energy.
If you're someone that suffers from insomnia or sleep deprivation or just want to improve your restful sleep and boost sleep scores, try to get the best organic Lion's Mane mushroom extract today and enjoy a great night's sleep tonight. Sleep well.
- Matthew Walker – Why We Sleep
- Martin Powell – Medicinal Mushrooms – A Clinical Guide
- Hericium erinaceus: an edible mushroom with medicinal values - https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/23735479/
- Hericium erinaceus, an amazing medicinal mushroom - https://link.springer.com/article/10.1007/s11557-015-1105-4
- Reduction of depression and anxiety by 4 weeks Hericium erinaceus intake - https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/20834180/
- Hericium erinaceus Improves Mood and Sleep Disorders in Patients Affected by Overweight or Obesity: Could Circulating Pro-BDNF and BDNF Be Potential Biomarkers? - https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC6500611/
- Overnight Therapy? The Role of Sleep in Emotional Brain Processing - https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC2890316/
Written by Eliza Hedley
Eliza Hedley is a health, mindset and abundance enthusiast obsessed with helping millennial's experience living at a higher level.
Eliza's relaxed new age approach and understanding of nutrition and wellness sees her empowering and coaching individuals to understand that their health is the ultimate asset. Upon experiencing first hand the power and place of tonic herbalism and medicinal mushrooms in everyday life, Eliza’s become an adaptogen fangirl and feels their utilisation in today’s world is essential for abundance and wellbeing.