In the quest to get fitter, stronger and faster, sports enthusiasts, weekend warriors, and everyday consumers work on almost everything from nutrition to flexibility, but often neglect one of the most powerful performance tools – ‘Sleep.’
Sleep is an essential component of one’s health and well-being, affecting physical development, emotional control, cognitive performance, and overall quality of life. Along with being a fundamental component of the recovery and adaptive process between training sessions, evidence suggests that increased sleep duration and enhanced quality of sleep in athletes are associated with improved performance and competitive success.
Ashwagandha, scientifically known as Withania somnifera, is one of the oldest known adaptogens and its root carries plenty of therapeutic benefits. In Latin, the species name somnifera means ‘sleep inducer’ referring to the use of the herb as a sedative and a nervine. Ashwagandha promotes healthier sleep in two ways; one by impacting sleep directly and two by lowering stress which indirectly benefits sleep.
In an 8-week, randomized, double-blind, placebo-controlled clinical trial published in the Journal of Ethnopharmacology, KSM-66 Ashwagandha supplementation demonstrated a 33.50% decrease in sleep onset latency, 11.30% increase in sleep efficiency, significant when compared to placebo. The study also demonstrated that KSM-66 Ashwagandha produced a 45.30% increase in sleep quality, significant when compared to placebo.
In a second study published in Cureus, 10-week supplementation KSM-66 Ashwagandha supplementation produced a 30.32% decrease in sleep onset latency, 10.39% increase in sleep efficiency, significant when compared to placebo. The study also demonstrated that KSM-66 Ashwagandha produced a statistically significant increase when compared to placebo.
In another published study, participants supplemented with KSM-66 Ashwagandha demonstrated a 33.59% decrease in the sleepiness scale, indicating improved and better quality of sleep. KSM-66 Ashwagandha also 53.13% reduction in mental alertness on rising score, signifying better alertness and less drowsiness upon rising.
Multiple studies have shown that higher levels of stress affect the sleep cycle and may reduce the quantity of good sleep an individual gets. A published study demonstrated that an 8-week supplementation of KSM-66 Ashwagandha resulted in a 32% reduction in serum cortisol, and a 46.01% decrease in the sleep quality score, indicating better sleep.
Thus, Ashwagandha is a multipotent herb that can help you sleep well and recover. There are a plethora of products on the market for improving sleep and aiding in better recovery which uses KSM-66 Ashwagandha.
Here are a few such examples: