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Reishi: A Natural Sleep Remedy

Sleep is one of the pillars of health and is the only time the body can focus on recovery and self-healing.

The healthy sleep duration for adults is at least 7 hours per night. However, researchers estimate about 20% or one in five people in the UK have sleeping problems, which can indicate actual sleep disorders like insomnia. [1]

Insomnia is a sleep disorder in which a person has trouble sleeping or staying asleep. Statistics on insomnia suggest that globally, up to 30% of a specific population suffers from brief or mild sleep disorder symptoms, while 10% have a severe case of it. [1]

Insomnia can be caused by several different factors, such as stress, anxiety, and even some medications and treatments. If you suffer from sleeping problems and want a natural fix, consider taking Reishi mushroom supplements

What is Reishi?

Reishi, sometimes referred to as Lingzhi, has been used in traditional Eastern medicine for thousands of years. 

Traditional practitioners cite the mushroom’s benefits for immunity, mood, and sleep. Science has since provided some evidence confirming the mentioned benefits, especially regarding the mushroom’s “relaxing” effect, which seems to help with sleep.

How Reishi can Improve sleep quality

How exactly does Reishi mushroom work for sleep? It’s all due to its two active compounds: Polysaccharides and Triterpenes.


One of the active ingredients found in the Reishi mushroom is water-soluble polysaccharides, which are predominantly responsible for its immune-modulating effects. More than immune-boosting, polysaccharides have also exhibited properties that may benefit symptoms associated with inflammation and microbial infections. [2]

For sleep, the polysaccharides in Reishi release serotonin, GABA, and tryptophan. These are major neurotransmitters the brain uses to manage how awake we are or how tired we feel. More importantly, the brain balances these chemicals for proper sleep. 

1. Sertenonin is known to induce sleepiness while also providing an uplifting feeling. This is also known to affect our mood or how good or bad we feel throughout the day.

2. GABA (short for Gamma-Aminobutyrtic Acid) calms the nervous system, making it more relaxed. It also works as an anxiolytic or anti-anxiety supplement.

3. Trytophan works similarly to serotonin, by promoting relaxation and inducing sleepiness.

For these reasons, these three supplements are often recommended for those who have difficulty sleeping. [3]

Evidence shows a significant factor in sleep disorders is a chemical imbalance in the brain, specifically our neurotransmitters. If our neurotransmitters aren’t secreted in the right amounts, it can mess with our sleeping habits and the way we perceive the rest of the day. 

Taking Reishi mushroom supplements before bedtime may help the brain balance our neurotransmitters, allowing us to have a comfortable night’s sleep.


Another active ingredient in Reishi is triterpenes. 

Triterpenes, in general, are known to possess potent antioxidant properties and help with blood sugar management, particularly benefiting insulin sensitivity. The specific triterpene found in Reishi is called ganoderic acid.

Triterpenes are also known to induce a calming sensation. It can also relieve allergy symptoms, which can significantly help in improving sleep quality. [4]

When to use Reishi

When using Reishi for better sleep, it is recommended to take the supplement 30 minutes before bedtime.

If you are looking for a natural way to improve your sleep quality and help with insomnia, Reishi may be what you need, especially as you get to benefit from a wide range of its other healthy properties too.


1. Insomnia causes and treatments. (2021). Retrieved 24 December 2021, from

2. Wen ZS, Xiang XW, Jin HX, Guo XY, Liu LJ, Huang YN, OuYang XK, Qu YL. Composition and anti-inflammatory effect of polysaccharides from Sargassum horneri in RAW264.7 macrophages. Int J Biol Macromol. 2016 Jul;88:403-13. doi: 10.1016/j.ijbiomac.2016.02.025. Epub 2016 Feb 12. PMID: 26879911.

3. Jenkins TA, Nguyen JC, Polglaze KE, Bertrand PP. Influence of Tryptophan and Serotonin on Mood and Cognition with a Possible Role of the Gut-Brain Axis. Nutrients. 2016;8(1):56. Published 2016 Jan 20. doi:10.3390/nu8010056

4. Ryu SY, Oak MH, Yoon SK, Cho DI, Yoo GS, Kim TS, Kim KM. Anti-allergic and anti-inflammatory triterpenes from the herb of Prunella vulgaris. Planta Med. 2000 May;66(4):358-60. doi: 10.1055/s-2000-8531. PMID: 10865455.